First of all, I should start off by saying this: We should love our odds and we should love how we matchup against Denver. Physically and schematically, there are few teams that can go head to head with us. There are very few teams (if any) this year that I look at and say, "Wow they match up very well against us and we should be terrified of playing them." The two teams worth mentioning are San Francisco and Carolina. Why these teams? Because they are set up very similarly to us, and that is why these two teams gave us fits this season. You may point to the Texans and Colts games, but I truly feel the Colts game was simply calls not going our way, and the blocked field goal taken back for a FG. That can happen on any given Sunday, and we shouldn't have been so close in the first place. I feel it was a fluke.
According to Football Outsiders, the Seahawks are favored to win the Super Bowl and our odds are listed at 58.3% to Denver’s 41.7% as of 1/19. Per RJ Bell, the Broncos are favored virtually everywhere else. Bias aside, I think that’s really wrong. The gap between the weighted DVOA of Denver and Seattle through week 20 is jaw dropping. Seattle stands at a 46.4% DVOA, with Denver coming in at a healthy 28.2%. For perspective, the difference between their DVOA is .2% away from the 18.0% DVOA Cincinnati ended their season with. Put plainly, the Seahawks have been far and away the best team this season....... statistically, that is.
How do the teams stack up?
Both teams have been stout against the run as of late, and that’s where their similarities end, really. It’s pretty obvious that the Broncos are going to pass, and it’s also very obvious that the Seahawks are good at stopping the pass. They’ve both been historically good. That’s the whole ESPN narrative of the game. Knowshon Moreno has quietly had a solid year, while Marshawn Lynch has not so quietly had a solid year as well. Including the postseason, Moreno has rushed for 100 yards one time against the Patriots for 224 yards in a loss. Once. He’s been held under 50 yards eight times. On the flip side, Lynch has ran for 100 yards five times, and been held to under 50 yards four times.
In a year where Wilson has averaged 209 yards a game, we don’t need to see anything special from him. He was 8 for 19 in a blowout win against the 49ers in week 2. The game where he threw for the most yards was tied for the closest game of the season, versus Carolina. That’s not to criticize Wilson, he has shown he can come back from a deficit (Tampa Bay, Atlanta last year) and he’s shown he can win in clutch situations in the fourth quarter and overtime. But this game is going to be on the defense. We know they're going to throw, and we know it's going to be tough to slow down Manning. Manning has only had more passes attempted once before, and his TD-INT ratio is better than ever before.
Seattle's defense is good. Really good. Historically good. Denver's defense is pretty average, and they've lost CB Chris Harris Jr. and OLB Von Miller notably, who are both very good players. Seattle is only gaining players at this point, like a fully healthy K.J. Wright and Jordan Hill. They are also without Brandon Browner, but Maxwell has been an absolute stud in his place. Some may argue swapping Browner for Maxwell has been addition by subtraction. The defense this year has been the seventh best defense from 1989-2013 (while the Denver offense owns the sixth best offense from 1989-2013), according to Football Outsiders.
I have all of the confidence in the world in our squad. The offense has seemingly sputtered some, but we've faced some very, very good defensive teams. You look at these two teams and on paper, which doesn't always transfer onto the field (see: 2012 Philadelphia Eagles), we feel better. We feel more well rounded. Believe me when I say this: Our players are not going to let us down. Nine days from now, I'll be watching the Seahawks game in my Earl Thomas jersey and we'll be flying around the field ballin' out.