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February 1, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Super Bowl: National media make some last-minute predictions

The Seattle Times reporters and columnists have made their Super Bowl predictions. Here they are, along with some other national media picks.

The Seattle Times

Six of six pick the Seahawks.

Bob Condotta: Seahawks, 24-21

Seahawks could have an edge if Marshawn Lynch can run effectively and keep Peyton Manning and the Denver offense off the field.

Woody Paige, Denver Post

Forty-eight points will be scored in Super Bowl 48, and the Broncos will win 28-20.

Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times

Denver’s defense improved as the season went along, but the unit still appears overmatched by the youthful and exciting Seattle offense. With a little help from his friends on defense, Wilson could easily turn the discussion of Manning’s legacy into one about his own.

Pick: Seahawks

Hank Gola, New York Daily News

Seahawks 24, Broncos 21: It sets up to be as good a Super Bowl as we have ever seen. The Seahawks narrowly win the battle of matchups. Does Manning hold the trump card? Not against this defense.

Five of eight pick the Broncos

Gregg Doyel: The Seahawks’ offense is good, and the Denver defense isn’t great, but Seattle can’t keep up with Denver’s production. Blasphemy, you say, given the saltiness of the Seahawks’ defense? I hear you. The Seahawks’ defense is awfully good… but the Denver offense is historically good. And with the weather cooperating, I see Peyton Manning throwing for a ton of yards for a close, high-scoring victory — say, 35-31 — and his second Super Bowl MVP.

Chicago Tribune

Five of six picked the Broncos.

Brad Biggs: Broncos 27, Seahawks 20: Away from home, the Seahawks faced one elite quarterback from a good team, and Andrew Luck and the Colts scored 34 points.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

Manning has been spectacular this season, and it looks as if the weather won’t be an impediment to his passing game. But this is the toughest defense he’s faced, and the Seahawks can afford to be more aggressive on that side of the ball with the incredibly rangy Earl Thomas playing center field at safety. No one has sacked Manning this postseason, so the Seahawks will have to hit home with some blitzes. Seattle’s best defense will be a clock-control offense, led by Lynch, which will keep the Broncos quarterback watching from the sideline. In this showdown between Denver’s No. 1 offense and Seattle’s No. 1 defense, it’s defense that wins the day. SEAHAWKS 28, BRONCOS 24

Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group

History favors Richard Sherman and the Seattle defense, and I try never to argue with either history or Sherman.

Seahawks 24, Broncos 21

Zuri Berry, Boston Globe/

I also expect Wilson to make a few plays with his feet, a possible weakness for the Broncos. So I think you get the drift where I’m headed. And yes, there’s still quite a bit of chest beating to be done.

My pick: Seahawks

Detroit News

Two of four pick the Seahawks.

Dave Birkett: It’s the best defense in the NFL (Seattle) versus the best offense (Denver), and it should make for an entertaining Super Bowl. The Broncos are bound to put up some points today — they scored an NFL-record 606 of them this year — so it’s imperative for the Seahawks to grind out drives on offense and get to Manning on defense. Denver hasn’t allowed a sack this postseason, but it hasn’t faced a pass rush like Seattle’s. Manning is secure with the ball and precise with his passes, and if the Broncos get a defensive effort anything like they’ve had in recent weeks, he should win his second Super Bowl ring.

Pick: Broncos 28, Seahawks 21

Earlier Super Bowl predictions link.

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