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Media prognosticators split heading into Super Bowl

01.31.14 at 1:56 pm ET
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What happens when the best defense in the league faces off against the best offense? Even media prognosticators aren’t too sure.

ESPN‘€™s group of 13 analysts heavily favor the Broncos, with nine leaning toward Denver and just three favoring Seattle. Eric Allen, Merril Hoge, Ron Jaworski, KC Joyner, Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, Mark Schlereth, Tom Jackson, and Mike Ditka all believe that the Broncos will take the Super Bowl title. Meanwhile, Seth Wickersham, Keyshawn Johnson and Cris Carter project the Seahawks will take home the trophy. Mike Golic did not choose a team.

Who wins Sunday's Super Bowl?

  • Seahawks in a close game in regulation (63%, 275 Votes)
  • Broncos in a close game in regulation (20%, 86 Votes)
  • Seahawks in a rout (9%, 38 Votes)
  • Broncos in a rout (7%, 30 Votes)
  • Seahawks in overtime (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Broncos in overtime (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 434

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The prognosticators at SB Nation gave the advantage to Seattle. Ryan Van Bibbler, Joel Thorman, Jason Chilton and Matt Ufford went with the Seahawks, while Stephen White and David Fucillo say the Broncos will win it.

Meanwhile, the CBS Sports panel came out completely split. Pete Prisco, Will Brinson, Josh Katzowitz and Jamey Eisenberg think Denver will win, whereas Jason La Canfora, Ryan Wilson, John Breech and Dave Richard favor Seattle.

Sports Illustrated’s panel was also split as Don Banks, Chris Burke, and Jim Trotter predicted the Broncos and Austin Murphy, Tom Mantzouranis and Doug Farrar went with the Seahawks.

Following are more predictions from around the country.

Elliot Harrison, NFL.com, Broncos 27, Seahawks 23: “The weather won’€™t be bad enough to slow [Peyton Manning‘€™s] air game drastically. If Seattle is to have a chance, [Russell Wilson] and the ‘€˜Hawks will have to get it together in the air to make it close at the end. Ultimately, though, given how the Broncos€™ defense has played of late, I feel that Denver will win Super Bowl XLVIII.”

Don Banks, Sports Illustrated, Broncos 24, Seahawks 20: “Elite defense usually trumps elite offense in Super Bowl showdowns of this ilk, and sometimes in blowout fashion (think Tampa Bay over Oakland from 11 years ago). But not this time. I can’t shake the feeling that it’s Peyton Manning‘s year and the rest of us are just along for the ride. Even the much-discussed weather will wind up breaking right for the Denver passing game on Sunday in the Meadowlands.”

Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk.com, Seahawks 23, Broncos 20: “I’€™m picking Seattle, basically for two reasons. The first is that if there’€™s ever been a defense that’€™s perfectly constructed to stop what Denver does on offense, it’€™s this Seattle defense. The Seahawks secondary is so good that even with Peyton Manning and all the Broncos’ weapons, I think Denver will struggle to sustain long drives. The second reason is that Seattle is a lot better than Denver on special teams. This feels like the kind of close game that could turn on a few big plays in the kicking game, and I expect Seattle to make those plays.”

Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com, Seahawks 24, Broncos 20: “Yes, there’€™s a chance the Seahawks aren’t properly preparing to face Manning, with portions of the first-team defensive reps used not against a scout team but against the Seattle starting offense — and with defensive players not spending every waking moment in the days preceding the ultimate final exam cramming for it by trying to crack the code of Peyton’€™s pre-snap histrionics. There’€™s an even better chance they’€™re already good enough to do enough to give the Seattle offense enough of a chance to outscore Peyton.”

Greg Cote, Miami Herald, Broncos 24, Seahawks 20: “[The] real question is simply this: how much do you trust Peyton Manning? How much do you believe in him? Him against maybe the best defense he has ever faced. Him against the bitter cold. Him against the pressure of the stage and all the ‘€œlegacy’€ talk. And the answer is, I trust him. Forgot to last week, but I’€™m a fast learner. It is Peyton’€™s time. His year. His season. His Sunday.”

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News, Seahawks 27, Broncos 24: “A quarterback will turn in a winning MVP performance in Super Bowl XLVIII; it just won’€™t be Manning. While he’€™s looking for the storybook ending to a great comeback and record-breaking season, Wilson, after some support from Seattle’€™s defense will raise the Lombardi Trophy.”

Nate Silver of ESPN’s Five-Thirty-Eight blog, said on The Colbert Report that he believes Seattle will win: “This is only the eighth time that the two best teams have actually met in the Super Bowl. Usually someone gets upset along the away, so that makes my job really tough. … The numbers say it’€™s going to be a tie … but a year ago I predicted Seattle would win the Super Bowl and I’€™m going to stick with that.”

Read More: Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson,
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