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February 1, 2014

The Daily Star Super Bowl XLVIII Predictions

(Continued)

Prediciton: Broncos 31, Seahawks 30.

GREG KLEIN

Cooperstown Crier

I watched the NFC Championship game and thought I was watching two .500 teams, rather than the best teams in the conference. It was an awful game with two teams sinking to the occasion. The thing that amazed me was the sports media the next day, talking about what a great game it was. What game were they watching?

Seattle has a great defense, but Denver shut down New England. Every time the Patriots needed a play or got close to making it a game, it was the Denver defense that stepped up. With all this talk about the Seahawks defense, I expect the Broncos defense to feel unappreciated.

The Seahawks were great at home. The stadium, the crowd and the noise helped them win, but they won’t have that in the Super Bowl. You also have to take into account that no Seahawks have played in the Super Bowl, so Seattle probably will make some out-of-character penalties and turnovers.

Marshawn Lynch is the key for Seattle. For the Seahawks to win, he needs to be the MVP with close to 200 yards rushing. But I love the way Denver shut down New England’s LeGarrette Blount, and I can see them doing that to Lynch, too.

Peyton Manning has had two weeks to work on a game plan, so he should have a huge game. A radio host called him the Greg Maddux of football. That’s a good analogy. He isn’t fast, he isn’t mobile and he doesn’t have the best arm, but he will use his head to win.

This game looks a lot like the AFC title game. Denver gets ahead early as Seattle makes a few mistakes. The Seahawks will then make a second-half run, but it won’t be enough. Right when it seems like the Seahawks will get back into the game, Peyton will make a big play. Then Denver’s defense makes a big play and it’s game over.

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