Talking Super Bowl with Zig Fracassi of Sirius-XM NFL Radio
Zig, an anchor/host at Sirius/XM NFL Radio, was kind enough just over a month ago to stop by and talk about all things NFL regular season. Now, he is back to talk about the the season is all about: the Super Bowl.
PH: In the end, do you think a Denver vs. Seattle match-up is what everyone was looking for? Why or why not?
ZF: I'm not sure if Denver-Seattle was the matchup "everyone" wanted to see. There'd likely be more sentiment on the Broncos side, w/"Peytonmania" and all. It's still amazing to see how he's performed after multiple neck surgeries. People would have likely preferred more from the 49ers, with their history and recent renaissance. However, the Seahawks showed home field advantage and a stifling defense are a great recipe for success.
PH: Why do you think Denver deserves to be in the Super Bowl?
ZF: The Broncos deserved to be in the Super Bowl because of: an explosive offense.
Manning had a year for the ages, w/55 TD passes and nearly 5,500 yards, and has been as sharp in the post-season. Peyton could spread the field, as 5 players had at least 60 catches.
After some personal issues, Knowshon Moreno regained personal confidence, as well as Manning's trust, which is SO important!
The defense ranked in the bottom third of league in the regular season. However, the unit, minus star Von Miller, has improved in the post-season, allowing 16 1/2 ppg in two outings and did a great job negating the Patriots ground game in the AFC Championship game, a unit that had been lethal during the last 2 regular season games and their dominant 6 TD performance against the Colts in the Divisional Playoff.
PH: Why do you think Seattle deserves to be in the Super Bowl?
ZF: The Seahawks earned a return trip to The Meadowlands (shut out the Giants 23-0 in week 15) on the strength of the top ranked defense in the league, allowing only 231 points and ranking #1 in fewest yards allowed. Their depth is amazing, with corners Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner suspended, yet, their replacements haven't missed a beat.
His whacked out NFC Championship post-game aside, Richard Sherman is the best corner in the game.
Offensively, Russell Wilson improved on his passing and rushing yardage from his terrific rookie season and continues to conjure up memories of Hall Of Famer Fran Tarkenton. Marshawn Lynch has been "Beastmode" in the post-season w/over 100 ypg in 2 contests. T
The receivers aren't flashy, but make plays. Percy Harvin will play in SB 48, cleared from his concussion.
PH: What are going to be some of the big match-ups to watch in this tilt? Why?
ZF: The biggest match-up to me is the Broncos pass game against that Seahawks secondary. Denver averaged nearly 38 points and 430 yards per game.
With Demariyus Thomas and Eric Decker, the outside is tough. Factor in Wes Welker in the slot, that puts more stress on Sherman, Earl Thomas and the rest of the Seattle secondary. Just for laughs, 6'5" Julius Thomas is a matchup nightmare for any team.
Conversely, can the Broncos keep Wilson in the pocket? If he's allowed to be Tarkenton like, that frees up Russell's ability to throw on the run & can loosen up the defense on gives to Lynch as well.
PH: What does Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson need to do in this game to be successful?
ZF: See the last two lines to answer four. Ends Malik Jackson and Shaun Phillips, who also sees action as LB, will try their darndest to keep Russell in the pocket.
Wilson is averaging less than 160 yards passing in the two playoff wins and has been a bit up and down, but, having a couple weeks of preparation figure to assist him a lot.
PH: Lastly, if you had a crystal ball, how do you see the game playing out? What will be the final score? Who will be the bog players, etc.?
ZF: I see this game being tight throughout. You'll see both teams flash prowess offensively.
However, I still believe defense wins championships. Seattle's is superior to Denver's. Manning got over the hump of getting to this point.
However, Peyton's not been a great cold weather QB in his career and the Seahawks will force the future HOF'er into a couple key mistakes. Seahawks 24 - Broncos 21.