Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Super Bowl: Who has the edge?

Quarterback

Seattle's Russell Wilson has been impressive over his first two seasons. He's an athletic improviser who can extend plays with his legs. But Denver's Peyton Manning is, arguably, the greatest ever to play the position, a master who is coming off a historic season. He set league records for passing yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55).

Edge: Broncos

Running backs

Seattle's Marshawn Lynch is a man of few words, but "Beast Mode" lets his physical, hard-nosed running style do all of the talking. Lynch has more yards between the tackles over the past three seasons than any other back. But the Broncos' Knowshon Moreno is no slouch, either. He's a 1,000-yard rusher who caught 60 passes for 548 yards.

Edge: Seahawks

Receivers/ tight ends

The Seahawks' receivers are better than advertised with Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate leading the way and Percy Harvin now healthy. But the Broncos' diverse group boasts three No. 1-type wideouts in Damaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker. Plus, Denver has the better tight end in Julius Thomas.

Edge: Broncos

Offensive line

Denver's Peyton Manning barely has been touched this postseason, aided by his ability to deliver throws quickly and recognize blitzes. His offensive line allowed just 20 sacks this season. Both lines have been just as solid in run blocking. But with the Seahawks' defensive front four, Manning likely will be more uncomfortable than usual.

Edge: Broncos

Defensive line

The Broncos' front is underrated. It's led by NT Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton, who has been unblockable in recent weeks. And DT Malik Jackson has been a stout interior rusher. But Seattle's front four can create more havoc. It racked up 29 sacks led by Cliff Avril (9) and former Buccaneer Michael Bennett (9).

Edge: Seahawks

Linebackers

If it weren't for Von Miller's season-ending torn ACL, the Broncos would have the edge. Denver still has allowed just one 100-yard rusher all season. But the Seahawks have a better unit overall led by the unsung Bobby Wagner. Wagner, in his second season, had 15 tackles in the NFC title game against the 49ers.

Edge: Seahawks

Secondary

The Broncos boast strong veterans in CB Champ Bailey and CB Dominique Rod­gers-Cromartie. But Seattle's "Legion of Boom" is the league's top secondary for a reason. Richard Sherman is, arguably, the best corner in the game, and S Earl Thomas effectively mans the middle. They play physical and rarely give up big plays.

Edge: Seahawks

Special teams

Both teams have quality kickers: Denver's Matt Prater (25-of-26 on field goals) and Seattle's Steven Hauschka (33-of-35). If the Seahawks can get Manning & Co. to punt, they have playmakers in the return game with an 11.1-yard average. Seattle has better kick/punt coverage, and that could be an X-factor in field position.

Edge: Seahawks

Coaches

The Broncos' John Fox has more Super Bowl experience. He previously went as coach of the Panthers (2003) and defensive coordinator of the Giants (2000). Pete Carroll's energy and aggressiveness has rubbed off on the Seahawks. But with Peyton Manning, Denver has another coach on the field, which gives them the edge.

Edge: Broncos

Joe Smith, Times Staff Writer

Super Bowl: Who has the edge? 02/01/14 [Last modified: Saturday, February 1, 2014 9:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning planning $6 million upgrade to practice facility

    Blogs

    Lightning owner Jeff Vinik will invest $6 million in upgrading the team's practice facility, the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon.

    The plan will create a brand new locker room and training facilities for the team, an 18,000 square foot addition.
  2. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  3. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  4. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  5. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium (w/video)

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.