As you can see from the above graphic, this year’s Super Bowl, already dubbed the Snow & States’ Marketing Rights Bowl, pits New York against New Jersey in a battle for subpar beach superiority. You do not have subpar taste, however, because you’re reading ALDLAND’s Super Bowl preview, the only one you’ll need to prepare yourself for the game on Sunday. What follows is a compilation of the most interesting, entertaining, and essential Super Bowl XLVIII content, concluding with the least interesting, entertaining, and essential Super Bowl XLVIII content, my game prediction:
- First and most important: the game begins at 6:30 Eastern on Fox.
- Second, listen to the Super Bowl edition of the ALDLAND Podcast.
- Then take a look back at the 2013-2014 season, courtesy of the folks at Bad Lip Reading:
- You like to gamble on the Super Bowl? Here’s KSK’s irreverent guide to Super Bowl prop bets. My guess is that Peyton changes his audible signal and never says “Omaha.”
- Last year, I made a big push for a White House petition to make the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday. That petition failed, and thanks to ALDLAND’s
high-tech, fine grainrudimentary analytics, I can tell that none of you jokers even clicked on the link to sign it. In my excitement at the possibility of achieving a lifelong political goal, I was blinded to a much more readily achievable alternative in the form of a private (roughly speaking) action that would have the same result. Luckily for me and you, Kenny Mayne kept his head and stayed the course:
- Nobody loves Super Bowl media day more than the media, and after we reached peak ESPN SportsNation last year, it should be no surprise that we finally have reached peak Super Bowl media day in 2014:
- Do you like movies about gladiators, Joey? What about Super Bowl math puzzles? Here’s one that will entertain your Super Bowl party guests while you finish nuking that five-gallon bucket of your secret bean dip.
- How good was the Denver offense this season? Arguably the best ever, and much better than the rest of the league this year.
Seattle’s defense charts historically too, when looked at through certain metric lenses, but the important thing to keep in mind from a historical statistical perspective for Sunday is that the Denver offense and the Seattle defense faced some relatively weak competition during the regular season.
- Hey Spuds, remember the Bud Bowl? Bud Bowl I was twenty-five years ago. How has it (beechwood) aged?
- Call it the Efficient Breach Bowl. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Seattle defense is so successful against the pass, in part, because they just don’t care about being penalized for pass interference. They know that officials won’t call PI on every single play (and the number of penalties called in the playoffs is significantly lower than during the regular season), so they take their lumps with a few flags over the course of a game, disrupting receiver routes all the while. In a follow-up article in advance of the Super Bowl, the Journal suggests that Denver may look to combat Seattle’s aggressive secondary through so-called “pick plays,” in which receivers run routes designed to shed defenders by drawing them into collisions with another player. Though subject to recent controversy following a play in the AFC Championship game that resulted in a game-ending injury for New England corner Aqib Talib, picks or “rub routes” are not necessarily against the rules. As The MMQB’s Greg Bedard explained, the key question is whether the offensive player initiated the contact or whether the contact was incidental: “within one yard of the line of scrimmage, anything goes . . . but beyond that one-yard buffer it is illegal for an offensive player to initiate contact with a defender.”
- Looking for something good to eat during the game? In addition to the secret bean dip previously referenced (and deployed during the LSU-UGA game back in October), I recommend making fresh guacamole. It’s very easy and very delicious. I use this recipe as a starting point. For hot wings in a pinch, Papa John’s’ are surprisingly good.
My prediction is that the Seahawks will win by a score of 24-17. Denver’s defense has had trouble closing out games this year, and a number of their defensive starters are out with injuries. Seattle’s offense is well-rounded, and their whole team is pretty healthy. Peyton Manning certainly has the ability to pick apart any defense, and he may have the best receiving corps– Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wesley “Darth Helmet” Welker– he’s had in his career, but the combination of the wind and Seattle’s aggressive secondary may be enough to keep the Broncos’ air attack at bay long enough to allow Lynch, whom I’ll take in a head-to-head-to-head matchup against Denver’s Knowshon Moreno and Monte Ball (oh hey Ronnie Hillman). My predictions are usually wrong, but I know that the only other time the top offense and the top defense met in the Super Bowl, SB XXXVII between Oakland and Tampa Bay, the defensive-minded Buccaneers got all over the Raiders, and I lost my first and only Super Bowl wager.