Category Archives: Super Bowl

Thoughts On The Super Bowl

Chris Schisler

The New England Patriots will play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on February 1, 2015. Who will win this battle of Super Bowl familiar teams?

The Patriots took the controversial path, being accused of cheating in their last two playoff victories. The Seahawks took the lucky path, scoring two touchdowns and a two point conversion in 45 seconds of late 4th quarter play. The Green Bay Packers still are in shock from the onside kick that stole an NFC Championship from them.

The Patriots look like the best team. They needed no luck to surpass the Colts in the AFC Championship. They won 45-7. The week before they survived a spirited attack from the Baltimore Ravens, winning 35-31.

The Super Bowl is not always determined by who is the best team but who has the best matchups. The matchups favor Seattle.

The Seahawks secondary is one of the few teams that has an answer for Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski. Strong safety Kam Chancellor and their athletic linebackers can be physical with him. If they take him away as an option the Patriots high flying offense is mortal.

The Seahawks secondary, The Legion of Boom, will play aggressively in man coverage on the outside. By rerouting the Patriots receivers they will mess with the timing of the offense.

By getting after Brady, with midline pressure, Seattle will bother the 3 time Super Bowl champion QB. The counterpunch could possibly be the Patriots run game, they have to establish the run.

The Patriots are the better team on paper. The Seahawks though have the matchups and after what they did last year, its hard to bet against them.

How Denver can Comeback

I could care less about Bruno Mars and this ridiculous halftime show. Let’s talk about the second half of this football. Peyton Manning is the sheriff. Don’t count him out until it is literally over.
I’m not saying that it will happen, or that it’s even likely. But it could happen. Denver is too good to crumble this easy.

The Broncos are moving the ball well. They just are not scoring and to make matters worse they are turning the ball over.

They need to get their running game going. It sounds counterintuitive down 22. But there is no threat of the run. The Seahawks front seven is ready to stop Peyton. The defensive line is getting in the passing lanes and making Peyton adjust his release point. The man coverage is killing the Broncos. Though they need to keep going to the back shoulder throws.

Getting the run game going will give the Seahawks something to think about and may open up the passing game. We know the Broncos can play some ground it football. Running formations will give more protection for Manning.
This will also bring some credibility to the play-action. But Jacob Tamme is the biggest reason to bring in another tight end. Tamme is the last guy Seattle expects to kill him. Tamme is a good receiver and has a chemistry with Peyton going back to their Indianapolis days. Two tight end sets could be huge for Denver.

Defensively they Broncos need to keep stopping the run. Win on 1st down, get Wilson in 3rd and long, keep him in the pocket. It’s not rocket science but is easier said than done.

The point is this game is not over. The point is that it’s Peyton. Make adjustments and act as if it is a brand new ball game. Do your job and as Bill Walsh said “The score will take care of it self.”

Does the Super Bowl Favor Great Offense or Great Defense

We are a day away from the Super Bowl. The two week build up to the big game is almost complete. This year we have a meeting of a great offense (Denver) and a great defense (Seattle). The question is which does the Super Bowl favor, great offense or great defense.

In the early 2000’s the answer was great defense. The Giants great offense was dominated in Super Bowl 35 by the Ravens legendary defense. Super Bowl 36 saw St. Louis’s “Greatest Show on Turf” stifled by the Patriots dominant defense. Super Bowl 37 was won by the Buccaneers bone crushing defenders and it was not even close. The Patriots won the next two Lombardi trophies. While Brady had emerged as a great quarterback, New England still had a dominating defensive unit. Pittsburgh would win Super Bowl 40 and Super Bowl 43. The Steelers were a pretty balanced team in both championship seasons. That said we know they prided themselves on their defense.

Things seemed to be changing when the Indianapolis Colts won it all in the 2006-2007 season.The Colts were a great offensive team that beat Lovie Smith’s great defense. The Colts defense was far from great but it had just enough pieces to be successful. Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeny provided great pass rush; this made life difficult for teams that had to pass to keep up with Manning. Safety Bob Sanders was a dominating presence in the Colts secondary. An offensive centered team won the Super Bowl; but defense still had a strong presence in the big game.

The Patriots entered Super Bowl 42 with a historic undefeated record and a record breaking offense. The Giants entered the game on a roll after barely sneaking into the playoffs. New York’s defense frustrated New England’s offense. An offense that was used to getting what it wanted with relative ease was stifled. The Giants defensive line dominated the game. Eli Manning provided the late game dramatics with the winning score to Plaxico Burress. The Giants beat one of the greatest offenses of all time in the Super Bowl. This supported the Idea that defense wins championships.

Super Bowl 44 and 45 were won by teams with great offenses. In Super Bowl 44 we watched two great offenses as Drew Brees and the Saints beat Peyton Manning’s Colts. This Super Bowl will always be remembered by Sean Peyton’s rewarding gamble to start the 2nd half with an onside kick. It will also be remembered by Peyton Manning’s pick 6 that cost Indianapolis the game.

Super Bowl 45 was a shootout between Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. While the Steelers had a good defense it was not what it once was. Rodgers carved up the Steelers and stepped out of Brett Favre’s shadow. One of the most pivotal plays was when Cullen Jenkins busted up a run play, leading to a Clay Matthews fumble recovery. Are you noticing a trend?

Super Bowl 46 was a rematch of the Patriots and Giants. Oddly the game was almost entirely like their Super Bowl 42 meeting. The Giants defensive line was dominant. It was a tough game that Brady almost won; the problem was Eli got the last chance. Defense prevailed over an offensive juggernaut once again.

The Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl 47 on one of the best days of my life. I had waited 12 years for another Super Bowl parade in Baltimore. I was only 10 and just beginning to obsess over football when we won Super Bowl 35. The 2012 Ravens did not have the dominating defense I grew up watching. The Ravens got to the Super Bowl on the throwing arm of Joe Flacco.

The Ravens defense almost gave up what seemed like an insurmountable lead. That however is when the magical unscriptable and fitting ending happened. Ray Lewis’s iconic career ended with a goal line stand in the Super Bowl. The Ravens built their lead on offense and won the game (the hard way) on defense.

In the Super Bowl you will always have two great football teams. The Super Bowl almost always has two evenly matched teams- which is shown by the close games we have been treated to. I would argue that a Super Bowl championship is won and lost with defense. It comes down to who can make the game changing turnover or defensive stand. Even in Super Bowls featuring two great offensive teams, the game has come down to defensive heroics. As we approach Super Bowl 48, let me remind you that defense wins championships.

Comparing Super Bowl Teams

The best team does not always win the Super Bowl. A prime example of this is when the New York Giants defeated the undefeated New England Patriots in the 2007 season. The Lombardi trophy goes to the best team on Super Sunday. This is fair; after all just getting to the Super Bowl demands a perfect postseason run. On Sunday we will see who brought the better game with them to New Jersey; but who is the better team. Lets break it down by position.

QB: Broncos

With all due respect to Russell Wilson this one is not even close. Peyton Manning is a legend having his most impressive season. Russell Wilson has shown a ton of skill and poise in his young career but he is not on Manning’s level.

RB: Seahawks

This is rather easy to explain. Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch is exactly what his nickname suggests. Moreno is a serviceable running back. But Marshawn Lynch is a very crucial part of the Seahawks offense. Everything starts with the run game for Seattle.

TE: Broncos

While I love what Zach Miller brings to the table, it does not match what the Broncos tight ends. Julius Thomas is a match up nightmare. Jacob Tamme is a very reliable number two TE.

WR: Broncos

Demaryous Thomas, Erick Decker and Wes Welker… enough said. The Broncos have the best receiver group in football.

Offensive Line: Seahawks

When a team dominates on the ground much of their success is attributed to the offensive line. Seattle has a great run game. Every thing starts up front with the Seahawks, who strive to be the most physical team.

Defensive Line: Seahawks

The Seahawks are great at stopping the run and create tons of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Brandon Mebane, Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril will make life difficult for Denver’s line.

Linebackers Seahawks

Bobby Wagner leads one of the best linebacking groups in the NFL. Seattle does not blitz much but when they do they get to the quarterback. They are dominant against the run and swallow up underneath routes.

Secondary: Seahawks

Richard Sherman is the best corner in football and he won’t hesitate to tell you. Earl Thomas is as hard hitting a free safety as I’ve ever seen. This secondary is the Seahawks greatest strength.

Coach: Tie

John Fox and Pete Carroll are two experienced coaches who get it. Their players love to play for them. Both coaches are looking for their first Super Bowl ring. I have equal respect for both of them.

If you put a gun to my head and demanded I told you who the best team was I would chose Seattle. They are a great team all the way around. The Broncos have a great offense but I think Seattle is better overall. These teams have such contrasting styles it makes the game very intriguing.
Prediction: Seahawks win 27-24

3 Huge Factors for The Big Game

The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are set to do battle in the 48th edition of the Super Bowl. The winner will be champions of the football world, the loser will cope with the bitterest defeat. By now everyone has broken down the matchup so much that Super Bowl coverage has largely become white noise. Here at Common Sense Football we want to bring attention to some major factors that could help decide the 2013-2014 NFL champions.

1.) How They Call The Game

The Broncos high octane passing attack and the Seahawks dominating secondary is the biggest match up in this game. The way the game is called by the officials will have a huge impact on the game. The Seahawks corners are very physical and play lots of tight man coverage. If the officials are very strict and call ticky-tack pass interference and holding penalties it will negate Seattle’s biggest strength. If the refs let them play and are more reserved with the flags it should be a fair and compelling battle in the secondary. These pass interference penalties are subjective. The most important thing is that the game is called consistently.

2.) Red Zone Scoring:

The Seahawks will slow Denver down dramatically but there is no stopping Peyton Manning. Seattle needs to be able to keep up with Denver’s historically high scoring offense. Touchdowns are the only way to do this. Seattle kept Drew Brees’s Saints around, in the divisional round, by settling for field goals. They got away with it against the Saints but won’t get past the Broncos with field goals.

3.) Weather

Weather is going to be a factor because it is in New Jersey. I kind of think the conditions have been overblown. It will be cold and windy but last time I checked Denver and Seattle are cold and windy often. Peyton Manning has struggled in severe cold; but we’re expecting temperatures in the 30s. Peyton will be fine.

Logic would say that in the case of snow Seattle would have the advantage. The Broncos need to throw the ball for big numbers to succeed, while the Seahawks build off their running game. Earlier this season we saw that snow can actually help the passing game. The Ravens and Vikings played a game in heavy snow, and pass rushers struggled. They could not change directions and struggled to maintain their footing. Snow may not be a drastic disadvantage for Denver.

The weather is a factor but it is one that both teams have to deal with. It is also something that neither team can control. Wind however could be a great advantage for Seattle because it makes it harder to throw the ball.

A Quick Look at a Super Matchup

A Quick Look at a Super Matchup

-Chris Schisler

Common Sense Football is the go to place for your Super Bowl coverage. During your two week wait for football, we will look at the big game from every angle. Today we will look at how the Broncos should attack the Seattle Seahawks dominant secondary.

The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks come into Super Bowl 48 as complete opposites. Seattle is an old school smash mouth football team. Their goal on both sides of the ball is to be the more physical team. Offensively everything starts on the ground with Marshawn Lynch. Russell Wilson is a dual threat as he can beat you with his arms and his legs. Wilson’s magic tends to happen outside of the pocket. Denver’s quarterback is as opposite to Wilson as a biker bar is to a church. Yes, the “Sheriff” Peyton Manning is a traditional pocket passer and he is one of the best anyone has ever seen. Manning leads the most explosive offense in NFL history with one of the best groups of receivers ever assembled. The Seahawks are perhaps the only team equipped to play against such a dynamic offense. They have the league’s best secondary, one that is not shy to tell you that either. The scary thing is the front seven is just as good as the secondary. This matchup is as juicy as it gets.

The Broncos will want to spread the mighty Seattle defense out. Peyton Manning will put the game’s best secondary to the test. Manning will do his pre-snap theatrics, and will do everything in his power to create the best matchups for his weapons. Logic would say that the Seahawks (who play a lot of man coverage) would put Richard Sherman primarily on Demaryous Thomas. The Seahawks tend to leave their corners on their respective sides instead of moving with their wide receivers. Denver should line up in as many different formations as possible, moving where their receivers align.

In the playoffs the Seahawks have shut down two dynamic tight ends in Vernon Davis and Jimmy Graham in consecutive weeks. With that train of thought you would not expect much from Julius Thomas. I think however Thomas could be the X-factor in this game. Davis and Graham were the 49ers and Saints biggest weapons. Denver’s best target is a wide receiver, Demaryous Thomas. Erick Decker and Wes Welker are Peyton’s next best receiving options. With all the attention that Seattle has to give to the receivers, it would not be hard to imagine the tight end having a big day. Don’t forget about Jacob Tamme either.

The Seahawks should be able to put pressure on Peyton Manning. This is because they generate so much pass rush without sending many extra blitzers. Defenses that rely on blitzing get torn apart. Peyton Manning has such a quick release that blitzing him is often just wasting defenders.

The Broncos passing game vs the Seahawks secondary is the most intriguing matchup the Super Bowl has to offer. The Broncos are dependent on the arm of Manning to win this game. The Broncos know that there is no defense to a perfect throw. Manning will need a lot of them to win this game.