I spend most of my time here breaking down numbers, film, and history to help get some small insight into what might be coming. This game is almost impossible to predict. Denver enters at nearly full strength and with all the motivation in the world. Seattle is close to unbeatable at home and has every reason to bring their most focused effort of the year. So let’s forget facts and predictions. Let’s talk about the game I want to see unfold tomorrow, and the anguish it would bring to the Broncos and their fans.
Cram it down their throats
Denver will want to prove their toughness almost as much as their ability to win. Much of the bad blood over the off-season came from Seahawks players who implied the Broncos were physically intimidated in the Super Bowl. Anyone who watched the game could see it, but apparently the only thing that hurts more than a Kam Chancellor hit is the truth.
Players like Terrance Knighton and Denver media members like Mike Klis have spent the off-season trying to minimize the 43-8 stomping the Broncos received, and have come dangerously close to putting all their eggs in the “beat Seattle to prove our worth” basket. If they do it, they can crow and feel vindicated. But what happens if they don’t? Their season may seem pretty pointless after just three weeks.
There is no better way for Seattle to crush the Broncos spirits than to physically dominate them again. Losing would be one thing, but imagine a game where the heart of the Seahawks offensive line clears room and Marshawn Lynch trucks linebackers left and right. Any game where an opposing offense is able to run it consistently up the gut is emasculating. To do it in a game when the defense is keyed up to prove their physical nature would be devastating to the Broncos fragile, paper mache psyche.
Give me 175+ yards on the ground, and at least one patented Lynch slow-to-a-stroll touchdown. A bonus would be Lynch giving Knighton the Darnell Dockett treatment from last year.
Punish all who enter your path
Tackling has been just north of terrible for Seattle so far. They were nearly perfect in the regard at the end of last season. Denver relies on receivers getting yards after the catch. Seattle was best in the NFL at limiting yards after the catch last season.
I want Wes Welker to not only hear footsteps every time he catches the ball, I want him to feel the wind rush out of his lungs as Kam Chancellor gives him a physics lesson. When two objects collide, the one with greater weight, density and badassness wins.
I want Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright and Chancellor to remind Julius Thomas that he is a finesse tight end like Jimmy Graham. Ferocity trumps finesse at CenturyLink Field. Thomas should be careful not to trip on the tombstones of past victims.
Russell runs wild
This is a tough one. I kind of want to see Von Miller and Demarcus Ware have some success rushing the passer, but not so that they can sack Russell Wilson. I want them to work their tails off and get this > < close to bringing him down, only to have him evade them and scramble for a long gain.
I want to see their expressions with hands on their hips as Wilson turns certain doom into a first down. And then does it again. And again. I want to see the fight leave their bodies as they realize that beating their man off the edge is actually hurting their team more than helping.
One crucial Manning mistake
The Broncos rise and fall with Manning. He had two uncharacteristic interceptions in the Super Bowl and a miscommunication that led to a safety on the first play. I want to see him leave Seattle with at least a seed of doubt that the game was not just a one-time thing. One more interception or strip sack would do.
He is too good to have another meltdown, but I’d like to see Seattle prove they are too good to be dismissed as “fluky,” the way some have described the events of Super Bowl Sunday.
Play like champions
It would be perfect to see the Seahawks win 44-7, but all signs point to a much closer game. Most importantly, I’d like to see Seattle win the game in a fashion that leaves the visitors and all who watched the game feeling like the result would be the same each and every time, no matter the location.
These are the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. The time has come to remind everyone why they sit on the throne.