On paper, the Seattle Seahawks are facing insurmountable odds against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. I don’t need to extol the exploits of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as that’s been done enough. Denver wide receiver Wes Welker and tight end Julius Thomas handle the short passing game while wideouts Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas show great proficiency catching Manning’s deep passes. Manning tossed an NFL record 55 touchdown passes during the 2013 regular season which reaffirms the Seahawks’ tough task of defeating the Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Seahawks don’t have anywhere near the star power of the Broncos. Quarterback Russell Wilson is a solid second-year starter with a tremendous career upside. Running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 1,257 yards in 2013, solidifying his rushing efficiency. Then there’s cornerback Richard Sherman, a two-time Pro Bowler who never hesitates to tell anyone who’ll listen how great he is. In contrast, Manning doesn’t have to tell anyone how great he is. Canton will call Manning to get fitted for his yellow Pro Football Hall of Fame jacket as soon as he decides to retire.
But I digress. Wilson, Lynch and Sherman could play a great game against the Broncos, and it still may not be enough. Seattle will need players who are under the radar to step up and make plays. But who would that be? Maybe it’s linebacker Malcolm Smith, who snared the interception caused by Sherman that sealed the NFC Championship victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Maybe it’ll be wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, whose touchdown reception against the 49ers gave Seattle a lead they would never relinquish.
Or how about Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (pictured, above), a talented player whose first year in Seattle has been marred by injuries? Harvin also serves as a kick returner and has the speed necessary to go the distance every time he touches the ball. Harvin’s five career touchdowns on kickoff returns as a member of the Minnesota Vikings reaffirm his big play ability. Seattle could definitely use Harvin’s explosiveness in an effort to beat Denver. If the Seahawks can get a total team effort, maybe they’ll have the chance to win their first Super Bowl title.