January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) before the game against the New England Patriots in the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl XLVIII Preview: Searching for the Hidden Advantages

The Super Bowl has been examined from just about every angle imaginable.  That’s not going to stop me from delving a little deeper into the matchup and try to determine which team really has the advantage in Sunday’s game.  I’m going to examine a few factors that most pundits may have overlooked up until now.

Backup Quarterbacks

aka Which Team is More Screwed if their Starting Quarterback Gets Injured

If there’s anyone in America who doesn’t know who Peyton Manning is, I have yet to meet them, nor do I think I would want to. I’m also pretty sure that most casual fans can say with some certainty that the Seahawks’ starting quarterback is Russell Wilson.

Aug 6, 2013; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tavaris Jackson (7) throws a pass at training camp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

But how about the men who serve as backups to those stars?  Most people aren’t quite as familiar with them.  For instance, I imagine that most Americans couldn’t tell you that the Seahawks’ backup is Tavaris Jackson.  And even the most dedicated football fans would probably have to think a bit before they came up with the name of Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler.  Honestly, Brock Osweiler sounds like a made up name.

So which man is better?  Jackson has more NFL experience, having 34 starts in his career, while Osweiler has never started a game in his two seasons, and only thrown 20 passes.  (On the bright side, he has never thrown an interception!)

I have to give the edge to the Seahawks here.  Jackson wasn’t especially good in his tenure as a starter, but he is at least mobile and might be able to make some plays with his legs.  Besides, the Seahawks have a strong rushing game, and Jackson can probably adequately hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch. On the other hand, if Manning goes down, I’m pretty sure the Broncos aren’t winning the game.

Edge: Seahawks

Ex-Eagle Factor

Dec 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (45) before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks only have one ex-Eagle on their roster: Chris Clemons.  The formerly mediocre Eagles’ lineman has been a strong pass rushing presence for the Seahawks since joining them.

The Broncos have two former Eagles suiting up for them: Offensive lineman Winston Justice and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.  Neither player is remembered especially fondly by Eagles fans.

Based solely on their play with the Eagles, I’m giving the advantage to the Seahawks.  Clemons didn’t do all that much in Philadelphia, but he wasn’t horrible.  On the other hand, Justice and DRC were both major disappointments.  Justice never lived up to his status as a second round draft pick, and DRC was a huge part of the defensive collapses of 2011 and 2012.

Edge: Seahawks

Most Annoying Player

It seemed like Richard Sherman was going to run away with the “Freddie Mitchell Most Annoying Player Leading Up to the Super Bowl Award,” but he’s been relatively quiet lately.  It’s like he got it all out of his system in the NFC Championship Game. He’s been so quiet that Wes Welker has managed to quietly surpass him.  First, he makes a questionable block in the AFC Championship Game, and then he was especially surly during this interview:

It makes this scene seem that much funnier:

Edge: Seahawks

Feel Good Story

The Broncos gave up any right to have a feel good story when they got rid of Tim Tebow.  Besides, it wasn’t like they were going to beat this touching scene:

Edge: Seahawks

Final Tally

And it’s a clean sweep for the Seahawks!  Considering that they’re getting three points in Vegas, I think they might be a very smart bet.

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl

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