The Super Bowl, the biggest event in American sports, will be played Sunday. So grab something good to eat, sit down with your family and friends, and watch the pregame festivities, the ads and the big halftime show.
Oh, yeah, and the football game. With all the hoopla surrounding the Super Bowl, it’s easy to forget about the game. Super Bowl XLVIII — that’s the Roman numeral for the number 48 — should be a terrific matchup.
The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks have identical records of 15 wins and three losses. Denver has the top offense in the National Football League (NFL), having scored almost 38 points a game during the regular season.
Seattle had the top-rated defense. The Seahawks gave up a little more than 14 points a game.
So who’s going to win, the Broncos or the Seahawks? The best offense or the best defense?
I think the Broncos are going to win. They have Peyton Manning, maybe the best quarterback of all time. This season, Manning threw a record 55 touchdown passes and passed for 5,477 yards, another NFL record.
Manning did not rack up all those touchdowns and yards by himself. Denver has talented wide receivers. Demaryius Thomas (92 catches), Eric Decker (87) and Wes Welker (73) do a great job of getting open and catching Manning’s passes.
Don’t forget tight end Julius Thomas (65 catches) and running back Knowshon Moreno, who ran for more than 1,000 yards, caught 60 passes and scored 13 touchdowns this season. I think the Broncos have too many playmakers for even the Seattle defense to stop.
The one thing that might stop Manning and the powerful Broncos offense is the weather. This is the first Super Bowl to be played outdoors in a cold-weather city: East Rutherford, New Jersey, just outside New York. All previous Super Bowls have been played in warm places, such as California or Florida, or in a domed stadium.
The weather report for the 6:20 p.m. Sunday kickoff is for temperatures in the 30s and dropping into the 20s, with mostly clear skies. There is not much chance of snow or rain and very little chance of high winds.
That’s not too bad compared with the recent cold snap, although I doubt many people in New Jersey will be watching the game with their windows open. If it snows or rains or if the wind kicks up, that kind of weather might favor the Seahawks. Seattle has a solid running game led by Marshawn Lynch (1,257 yards) and scrambling quarterback Russell Wilson (539).
Still, I think things will stay all clear for a Denver win. My prediction: Broncos 31, Seahawks 20.