It is time. We, the ROTB staff have made our Super Bowl picks (at least most of us). You will note that, like most other outlets, the split is pretty even. You can make a compelling argument for either team. Here we go.
My Cardinal bias might be playing a factor here, but nevertheless, I think this is the game where Peyton ties his little brother for Superbowl victories, and Denver goes home happy. The #1 offense going up against the #1 defense is the ultimate match-up, and Goodell has to be thanking the Football Gods for this one. All eyes will be on Richard Sherman after his tirade against Michael Crabtree, but ultimately, I see Demaryius Thomas working his magic against Sherman.
But then again, like I said, my Cardinal bias is present, and I could never predict an NFC West team (not named Arizona) winning the Superbowl, so for the sake of my homerism, I have the Broncos pulling this one out.
Jesse Reynolds: Denver 31 - Seattle 23
Seattle's defense was excellent this year but I think it may be overrated when you take the time to look at who they played this year. When looking at the teams they played this season New Orleans was the only offense that closely compares to Denver's offense (but even then it's a stretch as Denver averaged 50 more yards and 12 more points per game than the Saints did). Seattle did skunk the Saints, but it was at home. Of the teams they faced no team (outside of New Orleans) finished in the top 10 in offensive average yards per game, passing yards per game or points per game.
Denver's offense though as not faced a defense like the Seahawks. Looking at the Bronco's schedule the best defense they played was a washed up Houston Texans team in week 14. So while the Bronco's have looked great on offense they look to be overrated to as the best two defenses they faced all year were the 7th ranked Texans and the 12th ranked Baltimore Ravens. Though they can tout this unique fact, three teams from the AFC West made the playoffs and so they have played three playoff teams and finished 5-1 in the conference.
When comparing the two it appears Seattle has the slightly better advantage as they have actually faced good competition and some very good defenses.
Despite this I give Denver the edge as if it will come down to two factors. Can the Broncos stop the run and can they move the ball in the air? Because Seattle will be away from their home field advantage, the recently very poor play of Russel Wilson and my dislike of their team, I foresee a strong win by the Broncos.
Robert Norman: Denver - 28, Seattle - 24
Full Disclosure, I want Denver to win. I'm a Peyton Manning fan and think he's arguably the best QB in the game ever. Seattle has a solid team, but the one area they greatly lack is wide receiver and Percy Harvin won't have an impact after being out all year. Defensively, the Seahawks are great, but have yet to face a team with so many offensive weapons and a QB with the ability to pick apart a defense like Manning. Take it with a grain of salt, though. I can't remember ever choosing a winning Super Bowl team.
Michael Oliver: Denver 31 Seattle 17
I don't see it being particularly close either. The malignant Seattle offense cannot generate points or yards in the way Denver can. I believe the Denver run defense should contain Lynch enough and their secondary can do enough to stop the likes of Doug Baldwin and Percy Harvin. I understand that Seattle have the stingiest defense, but Manning will find the weaklink and exploit it. They haven't faced a team this good yet.
AndyStandsUp: Seattle 17 Denver 14
For starters, I was "the guy" who guessed the Buffalo Bills would win 4 years in a row, so I'm probably not the best person to be asked to predict the winner. I tend to over think things.
That being said, for the last 20 years my boss has been a Donkey fan and wouldn't hesitate to throw in my face the Cardinals long failures. I really have a deep-rooted dislike for Denver.
On the other hand, a Pete Carroll image makes me want to rake my fingernails against a chalkboard. Smug, college-cheating, gum-smacking, feminine-looking lowlife...and those are his good points. Throw in the NFC West opponent factor and I don't like this team either.
So, in point, I've started a new job and have a Packer fan as a manager (yeah!!..not really) and think Seattle's defense will overcome the Denver offense which will fail like so many of the great offensive teams have done in the SB, like Minnesota, Miami, New England and New Orleans.
Did I mention I picked the Bills four years in a row?
Alex Mann: Seattle 35 Denver 21
I think this Seattle defense is just too good. They have their weak spots, but I believe that Manning will too busy trying to escape to be able to find any of his targets. They talked about it during the pro bowl, the Offensive line creates a shell, allowing Manning to look straight and to step up in the pocket. If Seattle can disrupt that Manning won't be the same.
D.L. Parsons: Seattle 17, Broncos 10...in a surprise blizzard...
Like many of you, I can't stand the sight of either Carroll or Jim Harbaugh (little drama queen) in any game, much less the Super Bowl. However, I have to put aside my emotions and pick the best Defense to win. Denver has had trouble with good defenses. The SheHawks have a damn good 4-man rush, which allows them to clamp down on all receivers. However, if the 'Hawks have a defensive weakness, Manning will find it and exploit it. I just don't see Manning having the time to play dink-and-dunk.
RedC: Denver 26, Seattle 13
I anticipate many field goals in what promises to be a great game featuring two teams that will pit strength against strength. It won't be a surprise at all if no more than one touchdown is scored all game... but then again, Peyton Manning will be on the field, and it's never a surprise when he goes off. If anyone appreciates the moment it's him and, understanding that the end is near, he won't let another one slip through his (probably frostbitten) hands.
Kent Hodder: Seattle 27 Denver 24
I see the key difference being a defensive touchdown from someone in the Seattle secondary, likely Sherman or Thomas. Given the extended preparation time for the Seattle defense I think they would have learned a few things in how to play against a Peyton Manning led offense. Wilson should be able to create enough with Lynch to get the ball into the endzone twice and into FG range twice.
Seattle will drop 7 into coverage on nearly every down, flood their zones and force Peyton to throw the ball into tight windows, something that he cannot do as well as he used to. In a game likely affected by wind the tendency of Peyton to flutter a couple of dead ducks a game is going to hurt Denver and provide the game breaker for Seattle. Seattle may not have faced an offense like this yet, but Denver have not faced a defense like this either.
Jess Root: Denver 27, Seahawks 21
I picked Seattle to win the Super Bowl over Denver before the season began. However, I have to change that pick now.
The one thing that has been understated so far is the Denver run defense. They were seventh in the league. Yes, teams couldn't run much because they would be behind, but they also stonewalled New England, who had turned itself into a power running team. So people keep talking about the Denver offense against the Seattle defense, but the Seattle offense has to do something.
Peyton Manning will exploit Seattle defensively for a few big plays, but the game will be fairly close. I can't overstate the effect of nerves for young players on the biggest stage. Russell Wilson will look jittery for a while and it will be enough to get behind. That will be enough.
I'm not betting against Manning in his greatest season ever. He will make it happen.