By The First Order Historians Team
Meehan: Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching, and we wanted to do a little something different this year. We’re going to have all of the writers say their piece about their preferences and get you ready for the big game.
Coach Ryan: I’ll be giving you tips on everything from what kind of routine you should follow leading up to the game to how to host or find the best Super Bowl Party for you. It’s finally Super Bowl Weekend and we’re bringing it with ideas for beer, food, and our typical game breakdown so sit back, get your best excuse for calling in Monday ready, and prepare for a day of indulgence. It’s time for Super Bowl XLVIII.
The Pregame and everything leading up to it:
Meehan: The biggest thing I hate about the Super Bowl is the waiting. It’s the two weeks prior to the game, and the pregame show which now starts sometime around 11PM on Saturday. As much as we love to break things down here and overanalyze everything on this website, don’t forget that in the end it’s decided on the field in those sixty minutes stretched out to the death over three and a half hours which decides the outcome. What Tom Jackson and Chris Berman think is important disappears completely when that ball is kicked off.
You can only discuss some of this stuff so much, and in the end if the players don’t really care what you’re thinking at home let on one of the pregame shows. So that means if Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher from Fox Sports One go out of their way to mention that a certain guy needs to “focus on something”, if that information gets back to the player he rolls his eyes and doesn’t do it. And if Erin Andrews tells them they need to “be careful” when it comes to anything, they’ll ignore the second part of whatever she’s saying and just put a piece of duct tape over their hotel room peephole.
Coach Ryan: The worst part about the pregame is, well the pregame. As much as I love the NFL and football the one thing I can’t stand is when the pregame starts at 10:00 in the morning for a game at 6:30 that actually probably won’t kick off until what seems like 9:00. If you regularly watch NFL programming than all you are watching Super Sunday are recycled pieces that they’ve already used to try to get you choked up, ESPN is especially terrible at putting the same things out there 50 times before the game. I love getting down and dirty and studying stats until I’ve over analyzed everything but I highly recommend keeping yourself occupied with other activities Sunday afternoon so you don’t go into Super Sunday mind numbing shut down. (If you are a fan of either the Broncos or the Seahawks it is perfectly logical to start watching lead up programming two weeks ago).
When you wake up Sunday morning take the time to make yourself a hearty breakfast with an overload of bacon. This is the perfect opportunity to have the pregame numbing stuff on in the background while not really paying attention it. You can still get your “fix” by seeing the stadium and checking out the weather while keeping yourself occupied as Chris Berman rumbles stumbles jumbles through the first couple hours of talking about the home of the “New York Football Giants.” Making yourself a gourmet breakfast not only will coat your stomach and prepare it for the night’s overindulgence but if you take the time to cook up bacon, hash browns, and eggs will stimulate your brain which should help recall all the useless stats you’ve read over the course of the season from yours truly.
More than likely you don’t live in a place like Florida and will probably be locked in due to weather so avoiding too much recap from the past two weeks will be tough after your morning gluttony. Take this time post breakfast to plan out what you are bringing (or making) for the big game. In reality this should already be planned out but most of you will be waiting until the last minute. I’ll give some suggestions on what you can bring later on but for now make your list and head out to the store. The biggest tip I can give you is the earlier you head out the less crowded the store will be. Trying to run out at 5:00 for a couple little things on the way to your party or right before the game is about as easy as trying to find a turkey baster at 3:00 Thanksgiving Day. Do your major shopping Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning, trust me.
Shortly after shopping is done you’ll return to find out that the pregame show is still going on and should be about the time you start figuring out how right we are about mind numbing non stories you are hearing for the fifth time in the past two weeks. If you don’t already know that Russell Wilson attended Peyton Manning’s football camp when he was in high school you probably aren’t a huge fan of the NFL anyway and should probably start watching all those episodes of The View you’ve been putting off. If you’re on schedule this is when you should start cooking or getting organized so pop in one of your favorite movies that you can listen on in the background, I recommend a loud action movie or something you know by heart.
Laugh if you want but the best way to judge how you’re doing on time is ‘The Puppy Bowl.’ This yearly tradition of puppies running into each other starts at 3:00 on Animal Planet. If you’re saying that you’ve never watched it or how it’s a waste of time you either don’t have a soul or don’t have a significant other who more than likely is about to murder you for still watching 15 hours of filler. If you’re planning on bringing some huge dish that involves a lot of cooking or are having people over this is DEFCON 4 and you should probably be panicking that you wasted your day wishing the Super Bowl was in better weather so Erin Andrews was wearing less clothing. Don’t lie you know this to be true.
Meehan: Out of the three networks that cover the Super Bowls, we find ourselves in the middle with this one. NBC does the best job by far – they have the best camera angles and Al Michaels is probably the only decent announcer left in primetime. This year’s game is on FOX which features the tolerable Joe Buck, but also leaves you stuck with Troy Aikman and you can write your own joke about him drooling here. CBS had the game last year, and hopefully in the time between now and when they get the game again they will have gone bankrupt and that will never happen again. Their coverage was so bad that during Super Bowl 47, I clearly remember thinking – “Good Lord, can this broadcast get any longer?” Then the power went off. Note to self: Don’t ever challenge God to a chess match…(Editor’s note: ABC is not allowed to broadcast the games anymore because of a tiresome legal dispute with Another Bad Creation that has raged for nearly a decade and a half) So if you handle Captain Concussion without getting run over by the Buck Truck, then it should be a pleasant viewing experience. I hate myself so much for having typed that sentence.
Coach Ryan: I’m in almost complete agreement with Meehan on this one. I used to think that FOX offered you the worse coverage but last year’s CBS Broadcast made the B1G Network’s coverage of the Indiana and Purdue football game look like EMMY Winning commentary. Luckily for us we not only get to listen to Chris Berman for 10 hours until the FOX Pregame starts but then you get to deal with 7 hours of the FOX Robots jumping around Joe Buck’s dome piece. I used to hate Joe Buck and still think that FOX uses his way too much although I actually think I’m used to hearing him call games. What drives me nuts is him during pregame or post game coverage when the camera is on him because you can just tell with his smirk how much he loves being on TV and comes off as beyond arrogant. I wish my dad could have been a Hall of Fame analyst, damn you Joe!
Meehan: I’m usually taking notes during the commercials, so I don’t notice them very much. I can tell you that anytime you use cute animals and work that into your product it’s usually effective. Celebrities are also a hit, but I’m still waiting for Kanye West to find a way to interrupt everything and make it all about him. (Editor’s Note: Have you seen MSN.com lately? It’s all Kanye West, all day, 24-7. If Congress passed a law legalizing murder we wouldn’t hear a damn thing about it unless they recorded it on an 808 and used auto-tune. I tried to get through this article without swearing, but seriously – fuck that guy. End Rant)
The funny thing about the commercials is that none of the companies advertising even need to make ads. Budweiser is available in most junior high schools by now, and Doritos and Pepsi have been waging a war on your teeth since the morning the Civil War ended. And there is always usually some bizarrely uncomfortable public service announcement featuring prominent members of both political parties encouraging people to donate to the Red Cross by texting five numbers as if your last cell phone was purchased in 2003.
Coach Ryan: In my opinion the Super Bowl commercials may be the biggest irony about Super Sunday. Part of the reason that the NFL has reached God like status in America is because of the Super Bowl. Part of reason the Super Bowl is the biggest television draw of the year is because there is something for everyone which is partly due to the commercials. Literally millions of people turn in to the Super Bowl solely so they can see all the new commercials. The NFL will be forever grateful to Doritos and Bud Light for making them the king of American sports and the NFL thanks these companies by allowing the advertise during the game for the low price of $4 million for a 30 second advertisement.
I know everyone has different opinions but the commercials are the only thing more over hyped than the halftime show. I have been to several Super Bowl parties where people talked AKA drunkenly shouted during the game and attempted to shush the party when the commercials came on. Listen people I only should have to say this once as a sports fan but THEY ARE COMMERCIALS! I understand you wanting to watch them and respect them as a 30 second piece of (sometimes) entertainment. They are debuting during the Super Bowl although throughout the next week or two you will see them 30 billion times while some of which you’ve already seen online and you will be able to watch them all Monday morning on the internet.
I will respect people wanting to watch them so respect the actual football fans who want to watch the game which is the reason you are at your party and unlike the commercials is live and you will only see once. I for one use commercial time to do things that you normally do during commercials like use the bathroom, refill my plate along with my beer, do a shot of whiskey, and complain that Erin Andrews is still wearing too much clothing.
The Super Bowl Parties:
Meehan: I have an easy way around this – I don’t attend them. I usually go over to my Mom and Dad’s crib to check out the game, and I rarely drink during the actual game itself. This is for two reasons: 1) I usually have the Super Bowl off, so I’ve had a couple the night before at home; and 2) I stayed at my apartment during Super Bowl XLIV (Colts/Saints) and had several drinks and when I woke up the next morning to write about it, large parts of the game were missing from my memory bank. Plus if you don’t drink, you can’t drink and drive. (Anybody want to buy this soapbox?)
If you do go to the Super Bowl Parties you will find out that if New Year’s Eve is amateur night, Super Bowl is amateur night at your local strip club. If you can even hear the game by the third quarter it’s a miracle, and it’s usually due to someone of the opposite gender yelling something stupid like “shimmy” over and over again or criticizing one of the players’ haircuts. No thanks. If I want to hear that shit, I’ll just sit outside of my local cosmetology school and pretend that leopard print nylons can cover up not having a personality.
Coach Ryan: Ahh the Super Bowl party, the thing that can make or completely ruin your Super Bowl experience. I’ve seen them become disasters and I’ve seen them pulled off perfectly. The biggest advice I can tell you on deciding where to watch the game or who to invite over for your party is figure out what you want to get out of the game. If you are a commercial watching, let’s get black out drunk, and sing along with every Bruno Mars song at the top of your lungs than invite all your girlfriends over and do it up but please for the love of God stay away from the football fans.
Unfortunately all too often that crowd is combined with the sports fans and disaster commences. This actually can be avoided rather easily by allowing different options and areas within the party. For starters have different party areas designated for different activities. One way this can be done is by providing more than one TV area with distractions. Set up the main big screen in the living room off the kitchen for the actual football fans and filter the wives/ non sport fans to a different viewing area at another area of the house. These people are going to be wasted and yelling about how good that Bud Light Lime commercial is so it is crucial you have drunken activities to keep them occupied. They will only pay attention during the commercials so having a game set up like cornhole, darts, or beer pong is always a good tip.
Sometimes it is unavoidable that everyone will be trying to watch one TV which can provide problems. The last time I threw a Super Bowl party it was around one TV and involved about 50 people yet turned out to be one of the best Super Bowl parties I’ve seen. If this is your situation you must set up your area properly and set ground rules. It’s OK to let people know a day or two ahead of time that your party is for WATCHING FOOTBALL and so your expect people to watch the game. As uncomfortable as this may seem it will save your party and you’ll be happy you stood up for yourself. During halftime head outside or to the grill so the halftime fans can enjoy that part of the show. Set up your keg (or coolers) outside and away from the TV, this will provide a water cooler effect for the people who are just there for the party and don’t have much interest in the game. Keep the food in the kitchen not by the TV so that this is designated as a common area where the sports and non sports fans meet and are able to socialize as they return to their designated areas.
It’s also crucial to have a backup plan in case the place you head to becomes a drunken disaster. You should be able to tell before the game kicks off what kind of experience you’re going to have. If it seems like you’ve picked the wrong party don’t feel bad to excuse yourself and head somewhere else. If all else fails and you’re a big football fan heading to a bar to watch the game may be a good option. A lot of times bars will have a cover charge of around $25-50 a head which may sound like a lot but they give you all you can eat and drink. Trust me if you are hosting or helping to host a party expect to drop $350+ to do the party the right way so spending $50-$100 for you and a date to go watch the game with multiple TVs and good sound while you forget about all the other hassles and distractions a lot of times is the best option for the sports fan and eliminates all the prep and clean up.
The Snacks / Drinks:
Meehan: If you do plan on drinking, this is not the time for liquor. You’re going to want a beer that has virtually no alcoholic content whatsoever and take at least seventeen of them to get a good buzz on. Coors Light and Bud Light are always favorites, because they are only .00003% alcohol by volume. Corona is somewhere in the middle, because it’s a little too festive for the occasion. And if you plan to drink Guinness the entire game, guess who’ll be spend the last drive cleaning up their own puke off of the carpet? (This is exactly why you buy a house with hardwood flooring)
The food standard is chips and dip, although now we are the fattest nation that we have ever been at any time in history. It’s a holiday that’s meant for gorging yourself, so if you put out carrots and celery just know that those vegetables are going to be really lonely. I’d recommend something so barbaric that you’d only feel comfortable eating it with a sword and a shield present. It also helps if you sing the theme song from “Team America” while you’re doing it. (Fuck yeah!) Meat should be front and center – remember this is the league that is stealing your dinner anyway. A steak on a hotdog bun sounds good, or perhaps may I suggest the bacon wrapped bacon? Condiments are optional, except for mayonnaise which you are required to put on everything. That’s why selecting what you drink is important, because I’m expecting you to put mayo in that as well.
Coach Ryan: I’m going to have to differ a bit on this one and recommend keeping the Coors Light and mayo out of front and center. The Super Bowl is quite often the St. Paddy’s Day amateur night but that doesn’t mean that’s how you have to treat it. In my opinion there are several different ways to theme the food and drink for your party whether it’s finding food and drinks from the cities of the teams, the city the game is in, or doing some sort of food or drink competition setting a theme is a way to take your party from frat party style drunken mess to unique and memorable. This year we are lucky to have cities represented that embrace terrific beer and wine so asking people to bring a six pack or a bomber of good craft beer from the region immediately gives your party credibility.
If you are going to go the craft beer route it is extremely important you set rules about the drinking and only invite people who will sip on beers and not slam a $20 bottle of beer in two minutes. Take turns introducing the beers (the commercials are a great time to do this) and split each bottle between about five people. If you’re going the craft beer route figure one taster per four to five people and split the beer up evenly which will also set the stage as this is to be sipped on and enjoyed. Keep in mind this route takes research and trust in your friends to step up and bring a good product instead of just grabbing a twelve of Michelob Ultra. Too much work for you? Easy just stick with local six or twelve packs from the Colorado and Seattle area such as Shift and Fat Tire from New Belgium Brewery (Denver) along with Red Hook Brewery (Seattle) are fairly common beers that are available across the United States. On a side note Seattle beers are very hard to find as they tend to not distribute but branching out to Rogue Brewery or Widmer Brothers, both out of Portland offer more choices in good beers while sticking with the Northwest Region.
As much as beer and football go hand and hand make no mistake that the food is what people talk about on Super Sunday. The easiest and cheapest way to handle it is to recommend a pot luck type deal and if you’re hosting offer suggestions on what people should bring. If you just tell people to bring a side you’re going to end up with five veggie trays, twenty bags of chips, and about ten different jars of salsa. Seattle and Colorado are beer cities although New Jersey (New York) is all about food so it’s pretty easy to go with that. If you trust your friends cooking skills having everyone make a gourmet pizza AKA NOT FROZEN would be a great way to spice up your party. Buying a few pizza stones and inviting friends over early with dough and designated toppings could make for a great cheap spread. If you go that route have people bring ingredients for buffalo chicken, white pizza, or some other non sausage and pepperoni pie.
The great thing about New Jersey (yes I just said that) is that it’s located between New York and Philadelphia so you can incorporate everything from cheese steaks, hoagies, Italian sausages, hot dogs, and pork rolls. Your options are pretty limitless here. The best way to do it is recommend a few friends to grill up some wings and potato skins and designate a few friends to concentrate more on the main courses.
Want a food competition? DO IT! A few years ago I hosted a Super Bowl party and invited everyone to head on over a few hours before the game for a rib cook off. Everyone came with a rack of ribs (which should run you under $20 a slab) along with their home made sauces and spices and we spent a few hours running 2-3 grills. The end result was over 50 lbs of ribs to be split among everyone. If you didn’t bring ribs you had to bring a home made (KEY WORD: HOME MADE) dip or side. Everyone stepped up their game and we had more food than anyone could eat all made with pride. You could do a similar contest with chili, pizza, wings, cheese steaks, or any other dish. Trust me you will become a Super Bowl party God.
Meehan: It’s Bruno Mars. There’s always the possibility of a cocaine overdose so you know damn well you’re going to be glued to that television. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are supposed to join him, which means that if you’re looking for a bunch of washed up aging funksters that are going to put you through yet another live version of “Give it Away” you’re in luck.
Coach Ryan: I remember when I found out that this year’s Halftime Show was going to feature Bruno Mars and having no idea on any songs that he sings. I recognized the name from somewhere but had no idea that he had reached Super Bowl Halftime status. The NFL must have realized that a lot of football fans felt the same way because they added the Red Hot Chili Peppers late in the game to appeal more to the “older fans” of the NFL which as offended as I was in some sort of way I guess made sense.
Regardless being the get to the bottom of it journalist I am I scanned YouTube for a sampling of Bruno Mars songs and I have to say, why him. Bruno Mars was born in Hawaii which along with his music makes him a perfect candidate for halftime of the Pro Bowl not Super Sunday. My view on Halftime is the same as my view on the commercials, I really don’t care. It’s a longer time to stretch your legs and get more food and booze which has been way easier the last few years with performers like the Black Eyed Peas, Madonna, and Beyonce. Sorry I know they are huge recording artists but Madonna and Beyonce don’t really scream football music to me.
Still I feel like the NFL missed out on a golden opportunity for the people in the New Jersey with the list of popular musicians from the area. I know the NFL doesn’t cater to the “area” when it comes to performers during halftime but some sort of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Bon Jovi, Paul Simon, and Hell even Jay-Z would of been an interesting blend. I know that ‘The Boss’ did halftime in 2009 but he still represents New Jersey better than Bruno Mars. This will more than likely be the last cold weather Super Bowl (even though my fingers are crossed that Seattle could get one some day) and I think the NFL dropped the ball on this. Take this time to head away, far away from the TV and talk to the other football fans about your analysis and thoughts for the second half during this time while the girls and or your kids dance and sing to typical Top 40 music.
This year’s matchup:
Seattle Seahawks (15-3) +2.5 at Denver Broncos (15-3) (47.5); 6:30 PM EST – FOX
Meehan: The Super Bowl will be held at MetLife stadium this year, which is the stadium located in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. The New York Giants and the New York Jets play here, and it’s going to be the first Super Bowl in recent memory where the weather is expected to be very frigid. It’s going to be so cold that governor Chris Christie may not even remove any of the seven layers of detachable fat that he has between his nipples and what is currently the world’s most overworked belt.
The Denver Broncos come into this one with what is statistically the best offense in NFL history. Peyton Manning threw for 55 touchdown passes this year, which is an incredible feat when you consider that the officials hardly go out of their way to protect top tier quarterbacks from injury. But all sarcasm set aside, it’s been a pleasure to watch all of the ways he’s been able to use his options to maximize total points in order to cover up that horrid defense of theirs which is down to a coroner’s skeleton crew.
The Seattle Seahawks were also the one seed in their respective conference and had an amazing season. They finished 7-1 at home, their lone loss to a familiar division foe in Arizona who a lot of writers slept on this year including myself. While Denver’s defense was awful through a majority of the season, Seattle had the number one pass defense in the league even though at most times it seemed easier for them to stop the opposition on a crucial 3rd and three than it was to pass drug test.
But you really have to hand it to the Seahawks – they beat some really good teams this year, and played in one of the all-time tough divisions in recent NFL history. The NFC West was no joke in 2013, and Seattle had to beat New Orleans and San Francisco on their way to the Super Bowl. And they did it without really having a superstar quarterback, which I’ll discuss in the analysis portion of this piece.
Coach Ryan: A lot has been made about having the game in New Jersey when it comes to weather to the point of having talk about moving the Super Bowl to another day. Although it would have taken a wind chill comparable to the 49ers and Packers game to make that happen all that has seemed to come up from preseason was how much snow would there be at MetLife Stadium. At the time of writing this article the answer appears to be little to none which is probably the worst case scenario for cold weather cities hoping to someday host a Super Bowl of their own. I’m not saying I wanted snow like New England and Oakland had in the Tuck Rule Game but the idea of Peyton (or Russell Wilson) holding up the Lombardi Trophy as giant snow flakes fall around them in spectacular HD would be a magical sight that would just about convince another snowy Super Bowl down the road. When this is all said and done it’ll probably just be remembered as the game where fans received $2,000 hand warmers and will bring questions on if the weather affected the losing team.
As for the teams: they actually were the matchup I picked for last year’s Super Bowl and was the game that most people wanted to see all season long. In one corner you have Peyton Manning and the loaded Broncos who were finally able to get over the hump and put the embarrassment of losing at home to Baltimore last year away for the time being. At this point the Broncos are riding the number one passing offense this year and arguably in history into the game against the Seahawks who have the top passing defense in the league. It’s the ultimate battle of offense against defense in the elements, the way the Super Bowl should be played. Can Peyton finally get back to the top and win his second Championship? Will the apprentice who went to Manning’s quarterback camp and overcame all odds by being picked in the third round beat the face of the league? Will it be Pete Carroll shining his famous smile on the stage in New Jersey winning Championships in both college and the pros? This game brings so many great story lines that pertain to the actual game as opposed to last year where it all seemed the revolve around one player in Ray Lewis even over the brother vs brother story line. It’s good to finally have the focus on simplistic concepts such as offense against defense and this should be a Super Bowl for the ages.
Meehan: After the Richard Sherman debacle in the NFC championship game, it’s no secret that this game is going to be sold as good vs. evil. Peyton Manning relies on good old fashioned elbow grease and tireless film study, while the Seahawks have relied heavily on their home crowd and adrenaline in order to get the job done. Since we’re always whining about what effect everything that happens in America will have on our children, this is the perfect time to gather all of your kids around the television and explain to them why God is rooting for the Broncos and Satan is trading in his trademark Hellboy getup for a seafoam green mask with a beak on the front of it.
My point here is, the NFL would love to see the Broncos win. It would mean that the good guy has now won two Super Bowls with two different teams, and that has never happened in NFL history unless you count Johnny Unitas’ infrequently mentioned Super Bowl VIII 1/2 victory where he led the San Diego Chargers to a 31-20 victory over the even less frequently mentioned Tulsa Tornadoes.
Even with as dominant as the Seahawks defense has been, I can honestly say that Denver should win easily here. I was shocked to see that the line is currently sitting at 2.5 points in their favor on 5dimes, and that some outlets actually had it at 2 flat. So maybe Vegas can see something that we don’t…Could it be that Peyton Manning simply cannot be trusted in the extreme cold? Or could it be that the odds makers foresee Russell Wilson is about to have the breakout game of his career? I sincerely doubt that it’s the latter, because Wilson averaged just above 200 yards passing a game and the Seahawks have not fared well this year in games where they have struggled to run the ball.
That’s why when it comes down to it I’m taking Denver here. And I’m also making a bold prediction regarding the overall quality of the game from a casual fan’s perspective: I think this could end up being a very poor Super Bowl to watch. When Denver has the ball, Peyton could be fighting through that secondary to try and thread the needles. When Seattle has the ball, Russell Wilson’s interpretation of where he thinks the pocket should be may cause the other 21 players to simultaneously run into each other as he tosses the ball out of bounds for yet another intentional grounding penalty. Just because these are the two one seeds doesn’t mean we can’t have a bad game, and that’s what I foresee happening here.
But the believer in me hopes that it will be at least somewhat tolerable, and it certainly can’t be any worse than the last time the Seahawks were in the Super Bowl. So I’m taking Denver for the sole purpose that I think they’ll be able to wear Seattle down enough with good clock management. I’m saying that Denver scores three touchdowns – two of them Manning TD passes and the other a Moreno run, plus a Prater field goal. Then I’ll say that Marshawn Lynch will account for the only Seahawk touchdown, with Steven Hauschka hitting four field goals while Seattle struggles in the red zone or just outside of it. And much like Jeramy Stevens dropped a key pass in Super Bowl XL, I’m saying the curse sticks with that jersey and Zach Miller becomes Grungetown’s new goat making a similar mistake. I like Denver to cover what I think is a very, very stupid spread.
Meehan’s Prediction: Broncos 24, Seahawks 19
Coach Ryan: At this point you have the food, the beer, and are at the party. The only question left is who are you going to pick? At this time it seems like the weather should be a non factor so the question just comes down to who do you trust more, Denver’s offense or Seattle’s defense. The old saying is ‘defense wins Championships’ but whoever wrote that probably wasn’t anticipating going up against Peyton Manning and his crew of Pro Bowl talented receivers. At this point we know that Richard Sherman AKA Mr. 3.9 GPA from Stanford will be covering Demaryius Thomas which should be a great battle that I actually think Sherman will win throughout the course of the game. The problem for Seattle is how do you stay up with Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas, and Knowshon Moreno as well.
Denver lost three games this year although I really only count two of the losses due to Brady’s comeback being such a rarity act of God type loss. In both the losses to Indianapolis and San Diego Peyton was thrown off by good defenses combined with mistakes by Peyton and his offense. The problem is this is the Super Bowl and Denver is bringing a record setting offense into a stadium that will be cold and calm. If Seattle wants to stay in the game they can’t allow Peyton to establish a rhythm and are going to have to control the line of scrimmage while pressuring Manning for four complete quarters.
One of the joys about watching Manning preform his quarterback artistry is seeing him pick apart defenses by changing the snap count, routes, calling out blitzes, and basically being the offensive coordinator at the line of scrimmage. When Peyton is constantly hit and swarmed at the line he will throw a pick just like any other quarterback. You should be able to tell in Denver’s first drive of the game who has the advantage by how the refs are officiating the contest. If Seattle’s secondary is allowed to get physical and disrupt route timing between Peyton and his receivers than Denver could be in trouble but the same can be said if Denver starts getting away with illegal picks.
Peyton has survived this year by picking defenses apart 7-8 yards at a time wearing out defenses and bringing the secondary close until he gets one of his targets in single man to man coverage and drops it over everyone’s head. The Seahawks are going to have to shut down Denver in the first quarter when they start off with simple slant and out patterns. If you start seeing pass interference being called early on Seattle has no chance.
For Seattle they are going to also need to get production on offense and their most important piece is Marhsawn Lynch. Last week Denver was able to shut down any running game from the Patriots but Lynch is a different animal and Pete Carroll won’t stop using him. Like the NFC Championship Lynch carried the ball over 20 times and was shut down early but like Peyton at quarterback eventually he’s going to do something big against you. If Seattle is able to move the ball effectively Denver’s lack of talent in their secondary could be exposed by Russell Wilson for a few big gains keeping the Seahawks in the game perhaps with a chance to win late in the game.
I don’t particularly see this as being a high scoring game, at least not initially. The spread is -2.5 Denver and it really could either be a trading field position defensive battle or it could be the Peyton Manning riding off into the sunset show. Personally I’m sticking with the physical, who can control the line of scrimmage defensive battle the football fans like but most of America will find boring. This is an extremely hard game to pick and to be honest kind of reminds me of when the Giants took out the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII due to the fact that I feel like nobody outside of the Northwest is picking them to have a chance. In the end defense wins Championships but defenses crumble under great quarterbacks and so as much as I’d like to pick Seattle (I really want to pick them by the way) I have to go with Peyton and his record setting season in a close one.
Broncos 23, Seahawks 20
The next day:
Meehan: The Super Bowl experience is like my Christmas, only with less of the whole “stockings hung with care” thing. I take that Monday off, because the rest of the country does as well. More people call in sick on the day after the Super Bowl than both Arbor Day and Secretaries’ Day combined, which is altogether somewhere between five percent and the number that you get when you take the unemployment rate from 100%. Some of the players have usually been enjoying themselves as well, bathing in champagne and getting prepared for the child support payments that will show up on their doorstep the first week of November. I don’t genuinely wish any harm on any of these guys, but I do laugh when some of them get all torn up and do something goofy in front of a camera. The most recent thing that comes to mind is the shirtless dance that Rob Gronkowski did at a nightclub after the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. The media blows that stuff way out of proportion – they should only be allowed to talk about Gronk when he blows out his knee, which gives them plenty of airtime on a yearly basis.
ESPN and some of the other sporting networks that have popped up recently will do everything they can to let your Super Bowl hangover carry on through most of the week, but then you’ll realize there’s no football and it will suck. You’ll be forced to do the most horrible things like take a walk outside and talk on the phone with your friends – You won’t even recognize yourself anymore. But football will soon return, and then the cycle will start yet again.
Coach Ryan: One of the greatest things about being a PE teacher isn’t the garbage pay or the fact that I haven’t had a raise since 2007, it’s all the sick time you can save up. If you’re still reading this article than more than likely you along with Meehan and I are football (and basically any sport) junkies. Congratulations, you just survived another football season of all day Sundays sitting in bars, yelling at TVs, and going into financial crisis in only 17 weeks that will take you ironically enough until the beginning of September to get out of. You like us here at First Order Historians deserve a day off so take it and enjoy!
I always hate when football season ends although at the same time it’s an exhausting sports season and leaves me sad to see it go but counting the seconds until the Winter Olympics, hockey playoffs, and baseball begin. Let me just say this is my second NFL season writing for all of you and as much work as Meehan and I put into these pieces it has been my legitimate pleasure being able to bring you my thoughts and picks this season. Now go out and grab your beer, plan out your food, and place your bets becausea it’s time for America’s unofficial National Holiday: Super Bowl Sunday!
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content. Have fun and be safe watching this year’s game.
The FOH Team