Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Super Bowl: Does defense win championships?

By: The Associated Press
January 29, 2014 Updated: January 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm
0
photo - FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2013, file photo, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril hits the arm of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees causing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett in the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle. The Seahawks finished the regular season as the best pass defense in the NFL with three All-Pro selections in the secondary. Their best performance came when they suffocated New Orleans in Week 13. Now comes the challenge of duplicating that in Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game against the Saints. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2013, file photo, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril hits the arm of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees causing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett in the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle. The Seahawks finished the regular season as the best pass defense in the NFL with three All-Pro selections in the secondary. Their best performance came when they suffocated New Orleans in Week 13. Now comes the challenge of duplicating that in Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game against the Saints. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund, File) 

That old maxim about defenses winning championships was being spread on pretty heavily during Super Bowl week.

By the Broncos, of all teams.

Yes, the very same AFC champions who tore up the league with a record 606 points, 55 touchdowns coming off Peyton Manning's arm, have been touting how strong their defense has become.

Measure it against Seattle's unit, which allowed a very miserly 231 points and ranked first against the pass and in overall D, and the Broncos would seem to be whistling a hollow tune.

But linebacker Danny Trevathan, a breakout player in his second NFL season, sees plenty of greatness in his defense, too.

"Oh yeah. You are supposed to have that attitude," Trevathan said. "On defense you're not supposed to let guys push you over. You are supposed to be the aggressor on defense and you are supposed to have that attitude. I think that is what makes playing defense so passionate to me.

"I think this game was meant for tough guys. You can't be soft out here."

No one is soft on either of these teams, of course. On the contrary, it's only the second time in 20 years that the top seed in each conference got this far.

It's also that classic matchup that so excites fans, media and, yes, players. The Seahawks can't wait for the chance to test themselves against Manning, seeking his second ring in an almost-certain Hall of Fame career.

"It's going to be a great challenge," middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "They're talented all across the board. They protect Peyton well and they run the ball well. He's definitely passed the ball well. It's up to us to do our jobs and make sure that we come ready to play."

Expect both sides to be very ready. Denver (15-3, No. 2 in the AP Pro32) is a 2 1-2-point favorite over Seattle (also 15-3, but top-ranked in the AP Pro32).

The main reason for that spread: In the points-crazed NFL, fans who bet early dive headfirst into the offense. With their wallets open.

Plus, the biggest star in this game, and pretty much any time he is in uniform, is Manning. That draws more support for the Broncos.

But not here.

Pro Picks sees the Seahawks' quick, relentless and heady defense putting more pressure on Manning than he has seen all season. Yes, he's been sacked only 20 times, and he might not go down a whole bunch in the Jersey Meadowlands on Sunday. But he will be forced to throw before he wants to or before his four outstanding receivers — Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker and tight end Julius Thomas — shake free from the tight coverage of the NFL's best secondary led by All-Pros Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.

Seattle also brings the heat with the deepest rotation of linemen in the league, and some savvy, versatile linebackers. The Seahawks don't take their foot off the gas, either.

For the Broncos to prosper, they'll need a huge contribution from Knowshon Moreno and the running game. It could happen, particularly if the Seahawks are overly protective of not letting Manning get on track.

But hardly anyone dominates on the ground against Seattle.

For those who believe the Seahawks will need to light up the scoreboard to beat the Broncos, we think a couple of touchdowns and a few field goals will do the job. Silent man Marshawn Lynch running the ball in Beast Mode, and some improvisation from quarterback Russell Wilson — along with the best defense since the 2000 Ravens — will be enough.

SEAHAWKS, 23-21

 

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.