Seahawks’ Top Defense Has Upper Hand Over Broncos’ Top Offense

Patriots Broncos FootballNew England Patriots fans are well aware that having a record-setting offense means squat in terms of winning the Super Bowl. New England scored a record 589 points in its unbeaten 2007 regular season and was the only club to average more than 30 points per game (36.8). The Patriots faced a New York Giants defense in the Super Bowl that ranked 17th in points allowed at 21.9 points per game, and the Giants upset the Patriots 17-14, holding them to 274 total yards.

That’s a warning sign for backers of the Denver Broncos for Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks. Denver broke New England’s record with 606 points this season and was the only club to score more than 30 points per game (37.9). The Broncos will be the 19th team to reach the Super Bowl after leading the NFL in scoring. The previous 18 have won only 10 times.

The Seahawks led the league in scoring defense during the regular season as the only team to allow fewer than 15 points per game (14.4). Seattle will be the 16th team since the merger to reach the Super Bowl after leading the NFL in scoring defense. The previous 15 went a whopping 12-3.

This will be the fifth time since the merger that the top scoring offense and defense will face off. The defensive team is 3-1. The last matchup was Super Bowl XXV following the 1990 season, when high-scoring Buffalo lost 20-19 to the Giants in Tampa on Scott Norwood‘s missed kick. The Bills were touchdown favorites. The only offense to win was in Super Bowl XXIV the next year, when San Francisco crushed Denver 55-10 as 12-point favorites. In the past 12 Super Bowls to feature a top-five offense and a top-five defense, the defense is 9-3.

The Bovada total for this game is at 47, and the early action is leaning toward the under, which has shifted it slightly down. The early lean is heavily on Denver, moving the Broncos to -3. Seattle has an over/under of 23 points in the game and Denver 25. The Seahawks were held under 23 five times in the regular season and have landed right on that number in both playoff games. The Broncos were held under 30 three times during the regular season and below 25 once (only home loss). Denver is averaging 25.0 points a game in the playoffs.

The Seahawks and Broncos played five common opponents during the season. They each beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and the Giants. They both lost close games against the Indianapolis Colts.

The quarterback matchup between Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson seems lopsided. However, Manning is looking to become the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl after leading the league in touchdowns and passing yards. The three others lost in the Super Bowl (including the Patriots’ Tom Brady). Meanwhile, five previous quarterbacks have started a Super Bowl in their first or second season in the NFL like Wilson. Three of the previous five have won, including Brady.

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