Comprehensive Super Bowl XLVIII Preview

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.
  • Then take a look back at the 2013-2014 season, courtesy of the folks at Bad Lip Reading:

  • 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:

Media day really is the media’s day, isn’t it? Who cares about the players or the game? (And while Marshawn Lynch makes headlines by being quiet, he’s no Duane Thomas. HT: Laura)

  • 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.

  • 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.


7 thoughts on “Comprehensive Super Bowl XLVIII Preview

  1. When to go to the bathroom during the game (get more dip, whatever). I feel like this is one of the most important parts of any Super Bowl preview that is rarely discussed. I plan on taking bathroom breaks during Seattle on offense. It has to be sometime and can’t be during the commercials. That combined with the facts that based on sports websites Denver only has an offense and Seattle only has a defense means I shouldn’t miss anything on the other side of the ball.

    As for the math puzzle, without looking at the solution, I do the following:

    Note that 3*N for any integer N can be scored (that is, 3,6,9,12,15,…). The question is what about the numbers in between? 3*N+1 (1,4,7,10,13,…) and 3*N+2 (2,5,8,11,14,17,…)? Once we get to one of them then we can keep adding 3’s to get the whole rest of the sequence. The only tool we have to get to 3*N+1 or 3*N+2 is with the 7. One 7 plus some number of 3s puts us along the 3*N+1 line (7,10,13,16,..). Next, two 7s puts us at 14 on the 3*N+2 line.

    The only numbers not accounted for are 1,2,4,5,8,11. So 11 is the biggest number that cannot be made of an integer number of 3s and 7s. (For the mathletes among our readership (other than me) this is easier to think of in the context of modular arithmetic.)

    • It sounds like you’re looking for a for a yet-unbroadcast live event. My advice is to hold it until halftime if you can. Beginning at that point, you have a few options:

      1) Go during the halftime show. As Brendan and Marcus explained on the podcast, this year’s halftime performance already is guaranteed to underwhelm. (As a counterargument, I last used this approach ten years ago and missed probably the most culturally important SB halftime ever.)

      2) Go right after the halftime show. As I recall, the commercial break after the halftime musical performance usually has some generic local spots you’ve seen before. For the commercially oriented, these are as missable as they come.

      3) Go during the second commercial break of the third quarter. In recent years, it seems like they run out of new ads sometime in the third quarter. You’ve seen everything there is to see by that point.

      Thankfully ALDLAND readers can find all the sports news they need right here and need not turn to other sports websites for oversimplified information and generic analysis.

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