Legitimacy vs. Legacy
By Andrew Fish Fain
For the first time ever, the NFL’s biggest game is being played on the country’s biggest stage (Ok it is in New Jersey, but we are all calling it New York). So what better two teams than the NFL’s best offense going up against the NFL’s best defense?
But this game seems to have much more on the line than just crowning a champion. For the Seahawks this game means legitimacy. It means that after years of futility, and just one Super Bowl appearance in the teams’ history (one that Seahawk fans will tell you was stolen from them by the refs), this maybe their best shot at winning a title.
They have a defense that is second to none in the NFL and are as brash as they are talented. Led by Corner Richard Sherman (he of the post-game insults to Michael Crabtree) and bookend defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, Peyton Manning will not have an easy time of it. Especially without a running game, and that’s the Seahawks specialty, stopping the run. Frank Gore had just 14 yards in the NFC Championship game.
The offense runs through Marshawn Lynch, the very definition of beast mode. He is a low to the ground runner, who has the power to run through and over defenders. While QB Russell Wilson may be a young guy in terms of experience, but he is always calm, cool and collected, even under the most intense pressure. He has the ability to tuck it and run if need be, and with Percy Harvin back in the fold, he has a ton of weapons to help him out.
This may be the best team Seattle has ever put on the field, and their 13-3 record is proof of that. But now can they shine on the big stage or will they wilt under the pressure?
On the other side of the field, sits the Denver Broncos. While football is a team sport, this game means more to Peyton Manning than any other player on the field. While I don’t believe it, many will tell you that this is the game for his legacy. Win, and he will go down as one of, if not the best QB of all time. Lose, and while he will still be looked upon as great, he will be tarnished by the fact that he only has one ring. Manning was always known as the guy who “couldn’t win the big one” and a loss on Sunday will only play into that.