Super Bowl Sunday open thread
posted at 2:01 pm on February 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
Ed: Ah, Super Bowl Sunday has arrived, which means it’s the end of the NFL season and the end of cheap, easy posts on Sunday for another seven months. Thanks to a two-week run of perfect predictions, I get to start off the last post of the 2013 season. Thank goodness that Team Rice went for two points at the end of the Pointless Bowl, eh? And by the way, that actually turned out to be a fun game to watch. Too bad I was the only one watching it.
Jazz: Did you say an easy post? Heck, I squeezed two out of it this weekend before the clock runs out. As to the Pointless Bowl and Ed’s bragging rights… fair enough. Congrats. I had to find out whether I won or not the following morning since there was a re-run of Ancient Aliens which I’d only seen twice at the same time. Congrats to Team Rice. Hope you enjoyed your free trip to Hawaii.
Ed: All right, let’s get to the big game itself. This year we don’t have the super-hot wild-card team coming out of nowhere to contend for the championship, but two solid division winners who beat tough rivals to make it to the final dance. Denver’s known for its top-ranked explosive pass offense, and Seattle’s defense is top-ranked against the pass. It’s the ultimate unstoppable force meets immovable object clash.
Jazz: I’m with Ed in looking forward to this game in terms of seeing two teams who legitimately earned their spots, not just in the playoffs, but with full seasons of solid play. I love a good underdog story as much as the next guy, (particularly if it involves the Jets) but it’s refreshing to see a real battle of the Titans. (With all due apologies to Tennessee fans.) There are sentimental stories on both sides, with Peyton ostensibly “on his way out” and wanting one more trip to the winner’s circle to put some icing on the cake of his career. But you’ve got to love the attitude of a – ahem – certain defensive player with the Seahawks who is looking for additional vindication. Defensive powerhouses do tend to do better in the Big Game, but that’s not the only deciding factor. There’s no home field advantage, but one of these teams is known for doing better in a loud environment. They may not be at home, but in New Jersey you should be able to generate those levels of noise just from the locals yelling, “YOU TALKIN’ TO ME???”
Ed: Richard Sherman may be looking for more vindication, but some Denver receivers probably plan on talking with their play today, too. ESPN does note that big-scoring offenses tend to do poorly in Super Bowls, but this year will be different for a couple of reasons. First, Denver’s peaking again in the playoffs. They dominated the Pats two weeks ago, which you don’t usually see with the Belichick/Brady combination. Seattle barely got past the wild-card 49ers two weeks ago in a sloppy game from both sides. Peyton Manning has tons of experience playing at this level, while it’s going to be very new to Russell Wilson and most of the marquee players on the other sideline. This should be a great game to watch, but I’ve got to go with Manning and Denver by six, 33-27.
Jazz: Much as with the last two weeks, I don’t have any real personal investment in either of these teams and will really just be watching for the entertainment value of a (hopefully) great game. But I’m taking the traditional side of the better defense carrying the day. Also, while it may have had a couple of misfires, the majority of the time this season has shown that one of the most reliable predictors for a team’s imminent downfall on any given week is Ed Morrissey picking them to win. I’ll take the Seahawks in a somewhat lower scoring war in the trenches, 24-13.
Ed: By the way, I put the over-under on so-weird-they’re-controversial Super Bowl commercials at four.
Jazz: I’m predicting no real surprises or majorly hyped controversies from the commercials, simply because they’ve been leaking them out ahead of time. What fresh hell is this? Now we’re watching commercials for commercials? Seriously?