The PiRates have been a little occupied in the last fortnight with familial health issues, and we were not able to go to sea to our secret island where we gain the information to find out booty.
In real terms, multiple geriatric relatives needed special TLC, so we could not get to the university computer where we have access to simulations.
Here is how our three ratings see this game.
|N F C||A F C||PiRate||Mean||Bias|
Here is how we see the game based on studying the units on both sides.
When Denver has the ball:
The Broncos’ offensive line is A+ in pass protection and B+ in creating running holes. The Seahawks defensive line and linebackers are A+ in pass rush and A- in stopping the run. We give a slight edge here to the Seahawks.
The Broncos’ receivers and the Seahawks’ secondary are close to even. Denver’s receivers get a little better grade because of the A++ quarterback, but overall we will call this one a push.
Peyton Manning added to the passing attack gives Denver a slight advantage against Seattle’s pass defense.
Knowshon Moreno may not be 100%, and Montee Ball is a considerable drop in talent for the Broncos’ running game. Seattle gets a slight advantage here.
When Seattle has the ball:
The Seahawks’ offensve line gets an A- in pass protection and a B+ in creating running holes. Denver’s defensive line and linebackers get an A in pass rush and a B in stopping the run. Russell Wilson may have to scramble more than average, but the Seahawks might be able to control the clock and sustain drives with key gains on the ground.
The Seahawks’ receivers are clear and away superior to the Broncos’ makeshift secondary. Without a potent pass rush and terrific blitz package for this game, Denver will have trouble stopping Seattle from completing short passes and stretching the field horizontally. Seattle receives the largest advantage of the game here.
Wilson may not have a field day passing, and he might have to run the ball a couple times to shake the Denver pass defense, but his job will be easier than Manning’s job.
Marshawn Lynch may not have a John Riggins type game, but if he converts a bushel of first downs in short yardage situations and breaks open just one run, it may be enough to bring a Lombardi Trophy to King County.
Special Teams: If it comes down to a field goal, nobody is better than Denver’s Matt Prater. However, this site notoriously has swirling winds, and the wind could make kicking an interesting propostion.
Our “Expert” Opinion—Seattle and Denver were definitely the two best teams in the NFL this season, and it should be a quite memorable Super Bowl, similar to the Indianapolis-New Orleans Super Bowl.
Seattle has been credited with being a terror at home and just good on the road, but the statistics paint a different story. The Seahawks are just plain great no matter where the game is played.
Don’t believe for a second that we think this is a mismatch. Yes, as you can read, we have the Seahawks favored to win the game with about a 60-65% chance of the outcome. If you are the type to throw away your hard-earned income, the smart play would be to take Seattle and the points.
Our prediction is that Seattle will win by 4-6 points, even though our three computer ratings call it a virtual tossup and favor Denver by less than a point.
Seattle—21 to 31 points
Denver—16 to 25 points
Note—Beginning next week, we will switch to college basketball coverage. The Big Dance is just 6 weeks away.