Rollin' Like Sisyphus

A Super Bowl As Perpetual Anti-Climax

Posted in Life's A Gamble by Huckleberry on January 31, 2014
NFL to Huckleberry: Get bent. Huckleberry to NFL: If you insist.

NFL to Huckleberry: Get bent. Huckleberry to NFL: If you insist.

Here we are, another Super Bowl.
In the past, even among the more recent “interesting” games, there was a clear favorite and an indisputable underdog.
In this game, while there is a technical favorite and underdog, a case can be made for either one in either slot.
On paper, this should be a close game, with a tough, physical and talented defense taking on the most prolific offense the game has seen in a while.
At least that’s the conventional logic.
But think about that for a second.
If both forces are at the top of their respective games, one or the other has to come out on top quickly. If Denver’s offense works as its reputed to, Seattle’s done. If Seattle’s D overwhelms as its capable of, Denver’s night is over before it’s begun.
I don’t want to pick this game, but I will because that’s what we do here.
Just a few notes on my train of thought first, so please indulge me.
Denver’s offense has struggled against defenses similar to Seattle’s. Jacksonville runs the exact same scheme, and Manning looked awful the entire game. If not for a Broncos defensive touchdown and the fact that Jacksonville’s D may have the same scheme, but not the same athlete’s, Denver would be playing golf right now. Seattle’s D has what it takes to beat a Manning-centric offense.
But.
Manning hasn’t run the Manning Offense(tm) since Week 15, because it wasn’t working too well when the weather got cold.
The Broncos have been successfully grinding out ground-and-pound wins by keeping the ball away from the other team. And the Seattle D is vulnerable to the run, along with a patchwork Denver o-line that is surprisingly effective.
Which is bad news for most teams,
BUT
Could be good news for an offensively hapless Russell Wilson.
But back to Manning and the Seattle D.
Manning loves to flap his arms and yell out midwestern city names to draw out the schemes of opposing Ds, but Seattle doesn’t blitz, and it doesn’t disguise its coverage. What you see is what you get, so a lot of Manning’s usual theatrics will likely just tire himself out.
Seattle is dominant at home, above average everywhere else.
Denver is nearly dominant at home and abroad, but is shaky in certain ways in all phases of the game.
Manning hates cold weather.
Seattle doesn’t.
Wilson hates the pocket.
Denver’s D-line has easily contained every scrambling read-option QB its faced.
I don’t know how to handicap this.

SUPER BOWL

STRAIGHT UP

DEN v SEA: DEN

AGAINST THE SPREAD

DEN v SEA: DEN -2

AGGREGATE RESULTS:

STRAIGHT UP: 7-3
AGAINST THE SPREAD: 5-4-1

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND RESULTS

STRAIGHT UP: 1-1

@DEN v NE: NE
@SEA v SF: SEA

AGAINST THE SPREAD: 1-1

@DEN v NE: NE +5.5
@SEA v SF: SEA -3.5

DIVISIONAL ROUND RESULTS

STRAIGHT UP: 2-2

@SEA v NO: SEA
@NE v IND: NE
@CAR v SF: CAR
@DEN v SD: SD

AGAINST THE SPREAD: 1-2-1

@SEA v NO: SEA -8 (PUSH)
@NE v IND: IND +7.5
@CAR v SF: CAR +2
@DEN v SD: SD +10

WILDCARD WEEKEND RESULTS

STRAIGHT UP: 4-0

@IND v KC: IND
@PHI v NO: NO
@CIN v SD: SD
@GB v SF: SF

AGAINST THE SPREAD: 3-1

@IND v KC: IND -2.5
@PHI v NO: NO +2.5
@CIN v SD: SD +7
@GB v SF: SF -2.5

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