Official Player Websites Subscribe - Free Newsletter

Sports News First

Super Bowl shapes as a clash of eras

By AAP .
3 February 2014 03:34AM EST

THE Seattle Seahawks hope to take the Denver Broncos back to school Sunday in the Super Bowl.

Back to an old school.

The Seahawks play the same game that won Super Bowls for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s and the Bears, Giants and Redskins in the 1980s.

The Seahawks run the ball and play defence. Old school football. They are a physical team that beats up its foe on offence and defence. Might makes right in the Pacific Northwest.

And that's out of character in today's NFL, where the forward pass has been dictating the tempo for almost three decades now. That's the new school ball that the Broncos play. Denver has Peyton Manning and the desire to throw 40 times per game.

Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger have done their best in the last decade to transform the NFL into a pass-every-down league. They have combined to win eight of the last 12 Super Bowls.

But the pendulum has been swinging back the other way in recent seasons. The Seahawks hope to give it a final shove Sunday.

"We don't believe this is an offensive league," Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton said. "We're stubborn. We think it's a defensive league, and we're a defensive team."

Each of the last two seasons, the NFC has sent its best defensive team to the Super Bowl. The 49ers went in 2013 and came within 5 yards of winning a Lombardi Trophy.

A victory by the Seahawks over the mighty Broncos could push the needle even further in the direction of defence.

"It would help if we play very well in this game and show that the old adage, 'Defence wins championships,' still holds true," said Norton, who was the leading tackler on a No. 1-ranked Dallas defence that won a Super Bowl in 1992.

Manning could become the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams, having led Indianapolis to the crown in 2007 and lost to New Orleans with the Colts three years later.

Manning guides a record-setting Denver offence that scored a one-season NFL record 606 points.

He set new pass records with 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards, but he does so without studying opposing team videos until the early hours of the morning.

"I don't stay up as late. I need to get my rest more," he said.

But he still studies plenty and he's done plenty of work on NFL's top-rated defence.

"Unity. That's one word that jumps out. That is a close-knit bunch of guys from what I see on film," Manning said.

"They are constantly high-fiving each other, picking each other up off a pile. I see them constantly communicating. You can just tell they are a close-knit unit. That's a big part of their success."

Seattle has their own way of describing their "close-knit unit" - the Legion of Boom.

"The Legion of Boom is a legacy!" outspoken corner Richard Sherman proclaimed.

"It's a group, it's a legion, it's a vast army of individuals and we have countless bodies behind us that are more than capable of doing the job."

Your view first

Add your comment... Comments (0)