Posted: 2:01 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014
By Mark Sandritter
Although Denver is the betting favorite, SB Nation's NFL experts are on Seattle's side.
Super Bowl XLVIII is still a week and a half away, but early predictions are beginning to roll in. As you can imagine, prognosticators are divided, with some favoring the Denver Broncos and their No. 1 offense and others siding with with the Seattle Seahawks and their No. 1 defense.
SB Nation's NFL experts are slightly in favor of Seattle, with four of the six picking the Seahawks. Peyton Manning and the Denver offense aren't a great matchup for any defense, but Matt Ufford said the Seahawks' secondary depth makes them the only team capable of covering all of Denver's weapons. Jason Chilton also cited Seattle's defensive ability as a key in picking the Seahawks.
"Seattle's linebackers can cut the short crossing routes that are Denver's lifeblood," Chilton said, "and Manning's vertical zip is no longer sufficient to beat a player of Earl Thomas' caliber."
While the Seahawks may have success slowing Denver down, they are unlikely to shut out the Broncos entirely. That means the Seattle offense will need to score some points of its own. Stephen White is among those who don't think Seattle can score enough. White also believes the Denver running game will be a factor.
"The Broncos just have too much offensive firepower, including a running game that can grind out yardage with two different backs when need be," White said. "The Seahawks will make it close, but in the end I just don't have confidence that they will be able to score enough points to keep up, even if the elements are a factor."
We still don't know what weather conditions will be like during the game. The chance of snow and a potentially sloppy field did have an impact on some of the picks, including Ufford's. He said adverse conditions would give Seattle and it's run-first, physical style, an advantage.
Here is a closer look at SB Nation's Super Bowl picks:
|Ryan Van Bibber||Joel Thorman||Jason Chilton||Stephen White||David Fucillo||Matt Ufford|
Our panel consists of: David Fucillo, SB Nation's fantasy guru; Stephen White, retired NFL defensive end and SB Nation NFL contributor; Jason Chilton, SB Nation NFL contributor; Joel Thorman, manager of SB Nation NFL blogs; Ryan Van Bibber, SB Nation's NFL editor; and Matt Ufford, editorial producer, SB Nation studios.