Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Who will be crowned? Student Life staff predicts the Super Bowl

Five of the last six Super Bowls have been one-score games in which the winner wasn’t assured of victory until the final minute. And this year should be no different—the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks were the two best teams in the regular season, making this Super Bowl only the second in the last 20 years to feature the league’s top squads. Student Life’s staff thinks the game will come down to the wire yet again, with every prediction forecasting a one-score game. Viewers the world over would relish such a battle.

Sahil Patel, editor-in-chief

Denver 35, Seattle 27

The top-ranked offense and defense have met in six previous Super Bowls, and the top-ranked defense has won five of them. But the Seahawks have not faced a team that has weapons as deep and diverse as the Broncos. Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas can lock down two threats, but that still leaves open Julius Thomas and Wes Welker, who scored 22 touchdowns combined this season. On the other side of the ball, Seattle’s offense has struggled in its last six games, averaging only 272.8 yards per game, which is lower than any team averaged for the entire season. But I predicted the Houston Texans would be here at the beginning of the season, so what do I know?

Zach Kram, senior sports editor

Seattle 23, Denver 17

I have too many memories of immovable defenses stifling supposedly unstoppable offensive forces in big games to pick the Broncos here. Let’s all hope that this matchup doesn’t turn out as lopsided as the Ravens-Giants or Buccaneers-Raiders blowouts from a decade ago, but the combination of Seattle’s press coverage and Peyton Manning’s wobblers in the wind and cold will give Seattle the edge. Russell Wilson and co. have been suspect as of late, but we’ve gone an entire postseason without a single defensive touchdown thus far, and I have a feeling that the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” will halt that streak on Sunday.

Derek Shyr, senior sports editor

Denver 24, Seattle 20

As a huge Peyton Manning fan, seeing him come back from four neck surgeries and put up incredible numbers with the Broncos has felt like an incredible fairy tale. That tale will finally have a perfect ending because Seattle won’t be able to contain Denver’s aerial attack. It’s true that the Legion of Boom seems impeccable, but the Broncos have an incredible depth of receivers who have been nearly impossible to stop this season. While the weather may be atrocious, Manning has proven that he can throw effectively in bad weather, and let’s not forget that Knowshon Moreno’s impressive productivity in the cold will force the Seahawks to honor the run. Seattle’s offense has impressed fans with explosive plays, but it has shown an inability to drive the football down the field consistently. Giving Manning more time will tire out Seattle’s defense and ultimately lead to his second championship.

Nick Kauzlarich, sports editor

Denver 24, Seattle 20

In a matchup that features Denver’s top-ranked offense and Seattle’s top-ranked defense, Peyton Manning will get the best of Richard Sherman with a game-winning touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in the final minutes. The Seahawks have not faced a quarterback of Manning’s caliber or a team with as many lethal wide receivers this season. While the Broncos have a mediocre run defense, they will stack the box to limit Marshawn Lynch’s “Beast Mode” runs and force second-year quarterback Russell Wilson to stay in the pocket and try to win with his arm. While I’m tempted to believe that defense wins championships, I just can’t go against the awe-inspiring Manning in this one.

Alex Leichenger, staff writer

Seattle 23, Denver 17

Sorry, Peyton Manning, but the Pro Bowl-laden Seattle secondary and a side helping of frigid cold will leave you cuddling up somberly with some Bud Light and Papa John’s after the game. Doubting Manning may seem like a fool’s errand in light of his record-shattering passing season, but the Seahawks are the NFL’s most talented team. It starts in that secondary with Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, who will contain the Denver offense. From there, it’s all about Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch, who treats hits at scrimmage like pats on the back from his coaches. Quarterback Russell Wilson is a wild card as only a second-year player, but expect the disciplined and dynamic playmaker to demonstrate the same poise he has throughout his young career.

Albert Mo, staff writer

Seattle 27, Denver 23

Much has been made—and deservedly so—of the offensive juggernaut that is Peyton Manning and his bevy of talented receivers, but Knowshon Moreno will be critical for Denver’s success in this game. While Seattle’s front four alone can consistently pressure the quarterback, they’re not as formidable in terms of stopping the run, so it will be interesting to see if they can continue to stack the box and play man-to-man in the secondary against Manning and company. Marshawn Lynch will be the MVP, grinding out runs to both set the tone and seal the game. Russell Wilson’s run/pass option will give a dubious Denver defense fits. Seattle pulls away in the third quarter, and a late Broncos’ TD makes it seem closer than it actually was.

Danny Schwartz, staff writer

Seattle 23, Denver 17

As a biased, anti-Manning-family Eagles fan, and given the relative lack of significance and accuracy of game predictions, I would like to envision my ideal Super Bowl. It involves a lot of “Manning Face”—Giants fans will know exactly what I’m talking about—as Seattle’s top-notch defense will come out strong this Sunday. The Seahawks’ defensive line’s depth and capability in both pass rush and run stopping will give Peyton Manning fits and limit Knowshon Moreno’s draw play runs, and Seattle’s All-Pro secondary will disrupt the Broncos’ talented receivers. Look for Wes Welker to have the best day of any Bronco pass catcher while he works in the slot, but a Manning wobbler will get picked by Earl Thomas to seal the Super Bowl for Seattle in the 4th quarter.

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Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878