WASHINGTON - Well, well, well. Look who's back in business.
Before the season, I picked the Seattle Seahawks to win Super Bowl XLVIII. Which means this is the 4th time in the five years I've done NFL Recaps I've correctly predicted one of the two Super Bowl participants in the preseason.
Hopefully, that gets me back some of the street cred I lost predicting the Redskins would go 11-5. But I digress.
What we have here, folks, is a good old-fashioned showdown in New Jersey. The Seahawks will bring their top-ranked defense to MetLife Stadium against the record-setting Denver Broncos offense led by Peyton Manning. Having those two units on the field, facing-off to decide who wins the Lombardi Trophy just seems apropos.
We've got two weeks to dissect this game, so I won't burn all my material now. But I will point out this tweet from Tony Dungy after the game: "This reminds me of 30 yrs ago. 1984 Dan Marino and Miami looked unstoppable on Offense. Played Ronnie Lott and a physical 49er D in SB XIX."
At a time when the NFL is shifting away from the old "Defense Wins Championships" credo, Seattle has a chance to reverse that perception. Meanwhile, Peyton is in position to cement his legacy as the greatest quarterback of all-time.
It's a team easily seen as the villain (c'mon...nicknames like Beastmode and the Legion of Boom lend themselves to that, no?) vs. the feel good stories of John Fox (back from midseason heart surgery) and Peyton Manning (from career-threatening neck surgery to greatest single season for a QB ever).
Thus, it's the Super Bowl we deserve, even if it's not the one we need right now. Can't wait.
On to the final NFL Recap of the season. I'll give you a moment to compose yourself.
Typical of my 2013 season, New England's injury-riddled lineup stalls out in Denver a week after I proclaimed them as "back." Instead, they're back home. Given what they had to overcome this season, they should be proud to get this far...even if Tom Brady is now just 2-4 in the postseason against the Manning family.
I just had to chuckle reading some of the "See? Peyton CAN Win the Big One" tweets. Manning was awesome on Sunday. Dude threw for 400 yards in a playoff game (for an NFL-record 3rd time), something his boss John Elway never did for the Broncos. But let's be real...this game was this game. It wouldn't change his past performances and certainly doesn't affect his future ones. Let's all just appreciate the masterpiece he put together against the Pats and save the legacy talk until after the confetti has fallen in New Jersey.
The Beats By Dre ads would lead you to believe just about every player walks into the stadium thinking they're "The Man". Only one left the stadium having proved it: Richard Sherman.
Yes, he's brash. Yes, he's easy to hate. But like Wes Mantooth, we gotta respect him. He's the best player on the league's best defense, and he's taking Seattle to their 2nd- ever Super Bowl.
Colin Kaepernick posted his 2nd career 100-yard rushing postseason game, and already has the 2nd-most rushing yards by a QB in playoff history. But until he gets his game together as a passer, San Francisco will continue to fall short.
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