Much has been made of the possible severe weather conditions this coming Sunday for the Super Bowl. Forecasters have talked about wind, cold and snow for the game, and there is no doubt that will play a part in the outcome.
It will be interesting to see how the top-ranked offense in pro football in the Denver Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, will match up against the top-ranked Seattle defense, led by cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas.
I spoke to former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert and got his take on what kind of impact the weather will have on the game.
“No doubt it will play a factor. It hurts more to get hit in that type of weather and it is really mind over matter. The snow might affect ball security some and how ballcarriers carry the ball in traffic, but I know from having played in those conditions what really affects anything is the wind.
It affects the timing of passes and Peyton Manning, whose game is built on making those throws, it will affect your game, along with that heavy pass rush of the Seahawks,” Hebert said. “You throw footballs in that wind and it either sails on you or it just drops the ball like it weighs 15 pounds more than it should. It’s tough to throw those timing routes in that weather. You can say ‘throw the short stuff,’ but with Seattle’s secondary you can’t get into your routes quick enough for Manning to make those throws.”
The other factor is how the referees call this game.
All season long we have seen referees allow defensive backs and linebackers to grab, pull and tug wide receivers and tight ends well past the five-yard area that is allowable.
No team pulls, grabs and tugs at those offensive playmakers more than Seattle and the “Legion of Boom.”
Again, it comes down to playing against the strength of Manning and his ability to hit those timing routes when receivers are getting delayed at the line of scrimmage due to the physical play of the Seattle secondary.
My heart pulls for Manning, knowing what he went through to come back and play after a severe neck injury. He could also become the first quarterback in NFL history to lead two different teams to a Super Bowl title.
However, due to the weather and the way the game is called today, I believe the Seahawks will win, 24-20.