Here is a roundup of what the national media are saying as kickoff for the Super Bowl approaches:
I can’t imagine what life in the NFL would be like for me if he hadn’t used a third-day pick on a still-raw cornerback. I get texts from guys across the league which remind me how good we’ve got it in Seattle. They ask, “Is he really as cool as he seems?” and “I hear you guys have fun at practice?” Yes and yes. All he asks is that we be ourselves and protect the team’s reputation by not saying anything controversial.
Now Sherman has to actually play the game, cover the guys Peyton will run at him, show that he and not Kam Chancellor or Earl Thomas is the best Seattle has in the defensive backfield. All that. On the kind of stage he has always wanted, and believes his talent and his personality deserve.
This year’s N.F.L. playoffs have been a study in hypocrisy. Not from the N.F.L. — which is clear about the violence and mayhem it packages and sells — but from those of us who fight our battles with pens and pads, microphones and cameras. We have been pushed by technology — and vanity — to want it both ways: We capitalize on noise, and we capitalize on silence, and yet we complain about both.
The reaction to Seattle’s Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch has been a classic example.
At the 1moment, vindication is not on Carroll’s mind. Instead, he seems giddily preoccupied with excitement about a more important aspect of his Super Bowl experience.
“The grandkids are coming in on Friday,” he says.
And then there are the Seattle Seahawks. Their movie is little more edgy, and if Marshawn Lynch’s iTunes account provides the soundtrack, it’s X-rated. They are a collection of undrafted, overlooked reclamation projects.
They play angry. They play with a foot on the pedal. All red line, all the time. “The Fast and the Physical.”
The Broncos arrived at the Super Bowl as a family: 53 players, one goal. Quarterback Peyton Manning, running back Knowshon Moreno and linebacker Wesley Woodyard will stand together for the national anthem before kickoff in MetLife Stadium, eyeing the Seattle Seahawks, united in orange.
But, win or lose, when Super Bowl XLVIII is done, this family will break up. This is one last chance for this specific group of Broncos to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and grab a little piece of football immortality.
Broncos 34, Seahawks 17
Peyton Manning will deliver the signature game of his career.
He’ll chip away at Seattle’s brash-and-smash defense, finding receivers underneath coverage and in the space where Colin Kaepernick ran the ball. Four TD passes and 300-plus yards get Manning his second ring.
Defense wins championships.
No real distractions, a week of preparation outside the Times Square Super Bowl bubble and an uncanny ability to prove doubters wrong — whether it be once, twice, three times or four. This team has what it takes.
With my last “cheat sheet” pick of the season, I’m going with Seattle.
Final score: Seahawks 31, Broncos 23