Jan 30, 2014; Jersey City, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) at a press conference in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII on the Cornucopia Majesty yacht on the Hudson River. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl 48: Keys to the Game

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Here we are gang. The “Road to MetLife Stadium” has finally hit its climax. Tonight, from MetLife stadium, the AFC champion Denver Broncos take on the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. It’s the first outdoor cold weather Super Bowl as we all know, but the weather has lifted to make the game a reasonable temperature, without much wind.

It’s a unique game, in that we have the rare occurrence of two number one seeds facing each other for the right to call themselves champions.

Here are some thoughts on the game from both sides:

SEAHAWKS: DON’T FALL BEHIND:

Yes, the Seahawks were the number one seed in the NFC. But they were the number one defense in the league for a reason. They are not built to play in a shoot-out. If the Broncos break ahead in this game by two scores or more, they are not built to come back. Russell Wilson is a talented quarterback, but he is not a guy who is going to sling his team back to the lead.

The Seahawks need to be able to control this football game by running the ball and playing great defense. If the game turns into one where Wilson has to drop back on every down, you might as well stop watching because the result will be obvious. The Broncos will win.

If Seattle wins, the MVP will either be Marshawn Lynch or a member of the defense. Don’t fall behind or you will be sorry, Seahawks.

BRONCOS: PROTECT THE QUARTERBACK

You know what I always say about the offensive line. It makes the offense go. The Denver offensive line will be a huge key to this game, and not just to help Knowshawn Moreno and the running game. It will be a key in the case of Peyton Manning as well.

If the Seahawks’ line can get to Peyton Manning with a four man rush, he’s going to have a rough time with the Seahawks’ secondary, which is probably more talented than the Broncos’ wide receivers. If they can’t get to Peyton, he is going to pick them apart. It will be a huge key tonight.

CAN SEATTLE TURN THE BRONCOS OVER?

Not only were the Seahawks the number one ranked defense overall, they were highly ranked in the turnover game. Specifically, they were number one in the NFL in interceptions, and third in fumbles forced.

If Peyton and company control the ball, it will be over quickly. If Seattle can turn them over, however, and give Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch some short fields to work with, the NFC champs might win their first Super Bowl ever.

It will be a major factor in the game tonight.

Enjoy it folks.

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