The Denver Broncos come into Super Bowl XLVIII confident that they can come away winners. Why wouldn't they be? They have not only the #1 offense in the league, they have one of the greatest offenses of all time. The defense has definitely been stingy in the playoffs allowing only an average of 15 PPG over the last 4 games, two of those being the playoff games. Here's the top 5 reasons Denver walks away with the victory on Super Sunday.
Everyone knows what Peyton Manning brings to the table but he needs a solid running back to win the big game. His average YPC have dipped from 4.3 during the regular season to 3.8 in the playoffs. But the number to pay attention to is the 10 first downs he has rushed for in the postseason. His YPC is down because of the type of plays he's been used on. He doesn't fumble the ball and he finds ways to gets tough yards even when teams know he's coming. Just as important, Moreno understands how to pass block for Manning. As Manning recently said in an interview;
[Moreno] has just been extremely dependable for us the entire season in the passing game, in the running game and in pass protection. I've said this before. We are in the shotgun a lot. I just feel very comfortable with No. 27 standing next to me.
Peyton choosing the correct play
Manning's ability to put his unit in the best possible position is unrivaled. Belichik chose that as one of the things to talk about at the post game press conference for a reason. At this level of the game every quarterback has the physical talent to make all the throws. What separates the best from everyone else is knowing when to make the throws. The way Manning is able to interpret all the information available to him pre-snap and during the play is what makes him great. His knowledge of the game allows him freedoms and flexibility few quarterbacks have. When he comes up to the line if he sees a look that he doesn't like, he can quickly check to a play to better exploit it.
Seattle has a defense that can match up man for man with the talent that Denver has. A lot of weeks Denver had so much talent on offense they got easy match ups to exploit. Against the Seahawks they won't be able to do that. Sherman, Thomas and Chancellor can stand up to the talent. However, Seattle isn't known as a team that disguises a lot of what they do pre-snap. They basically line up, show you what they're going to do, and beat you anyway. It may work a lot, but that's never been a recipe for success against Peyton Manning.
Seattle is not at home
The 12th man makes Seattle one of the most difficult places to play for opposing quarterbacks. Manning won't have to deal with the 127 decibel noise level inside their home. Think it doesn't play that much of a factor? How else do you explain the fact that since 2002 their record is
The stats show that on average NFL teams win at home approximately 57% of the time. Since playing at Century Link Field the Seahawks have managed to win 73% of their home games, a massive difference from their road win percentage of only 41%. Whatever it is that gives them the extra boost at home, Manning won't have to deal with it.
They have produced against top level defenses before
No one has a better defense than the Seahawks, that's what being number one means, but the Broncos have played against top defenses already. Denver has played 5 top ten defenses this season and averaged 30.4 PPG in those contests. The last time the Seahawks scored 30 points was 7 games ago.
Madden says they will win
Who can doubt the expertise that a Madden 25 simulation brings to the table. Every year since 2004 the makers of Madden NFL run a simulation of the Super Bowl and release the results. Many people laugh at the idea of software being able to predict the outcome of a sporting event but the proof is right there. The simulation has predicted the winner correctly 80% of the time. Most of those games were between two very evenly matched teams which makes 80% a very impressive win rate. There is a lot of reason to feel good if you're a Broncos fan heading into the big game.