It's been 23 years since the No. 1-ranked offense met the No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL championship game, but the drought comes to an end with Super Bowl 48: Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks on , at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
So who will deliver when it matters most? We can answer that for you right here.
If you're wondering what makes us -- and by us I mean myself, The General, and Thomas Myers, ol Tommy Gun, qualified to make a prediction on a football game when our primary expertise is MMA, well, allow me to take you back to the NFC Championship Game that saw the Seahawks defeat the San Francisco 49ers by a final score of 23-17.
A game like this feels like it will come down to that one big mistake. If I have to bet on who is going to make that mistake, I'm thinking it will be someone playing for the team in white and gold.
Pick: Seahawks 23, 49ers, 17
Kaepernick is certainly rough around the edges, but he has more "big game" experience, better talent around him and is, well, a more physically gifted quarterback. I like Seattle's "D" and I like Wilson, but I like 49ers "D" and Kaepernick just a little bit more.
Pick: 49ers 24, Seahawks 23
Not to toot my own horn too hard, but the game did, in fact, come down to that one big mistake and a player wearing the white and gold, Colin Kaepernick, made that mistake. The score was dead on the money.
But, let's put Tommy over, too, because had Kaepernick not made the mistake I predicted, the 49ers end up winning by the exact score he said they would.
Enough with the credentials and on to our predictions for Super Bowl 48: Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks.
Prediction from The General:
You would think a quarterback like Peyton Manning is a sure bet in a match-up like this given the fact that he's been given two weeks to prepare and boasts an offense loaded with weapons all over the field. Denver fielded a team that had five different players score double digit touchdowns while throwing for 340 yards PER GAME.
Here's the thing about that: the Broncos had a cake walk for a schedule when it comes to the level of competition in opposing defenses. They were torching teams because they were playing teams primed to be torched.
Seattle, meanwhile, gave up just 172 yards per game through the air. They also led the league in turnovers with a physical style that betrays the finesse the secondary, led by Richard Sherman and his league leading 8 interceptions, plays with. Pressure up front helps create openings on the back end and they take advantage better than any team in the league.
They'll do the same thing here.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say Marshawn Lynch breaks the rushing yardage record for a Super Bowl (the current mark is 204 yards, set by Timmy Smith of the Washington Redskins) en route to Seattle scoring a close victory.
Pick: Seahawks 21, Broncos 19
Prediction from Tommy Gun:
Way back when, I picked Kurt Warner and the "Greatest Show on Turf" to eviscerate the talented New England Patriots defense and its young upstart on offense, Tom Brady.
That didn't go too well.
The next year, I was rather certain the Los Angeles Raiders, and its gun-slinger, Rich Gannon, would wipe the floor with the non-descript, but very stout, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That didn't go too well, either.
I'm no historian, but my own personal experiences trying to predict Super Bowl winners tell me that great defense almost always trumps high-powered offense. Mix in the wintery weather at the Meadowlands, which will probably keep both teams stiff all night, as well as a rushing attack with Marshawn Lynch that will be geared toward keeping Peyton Manning off the field, and you have a recipe for Seahawks soup.
Problem is, I'm just not buying it. Call me a glutton for punishment, or a fool for ignoring my mind, but my gut tells me the Broncos, more specifically, Manning, find a way to score points early. Manning has had more than two weeks to dissect Richard Sherman's Army, gameplan, disguise and create something the Seahawks just won't expect.
I envision the Broncos coming out of the gate strong, perhaps with a two-touchdown lead going into halftime. In quarters three and four, however, Manning and Co. will find the sledding much tougher, while the Seahawks will creep back into the game with a big play on defense and/or special teams.
But, it will be too little, too late, because Russell Wilson will be unable to mount a late-game comeback. The deficit will be just to deep to overcome, with Manning and the Broncos preserving their lead and bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Colorado.
Make no mistake, Seahawks clearly have a great defense. But, Manning is just a different breed of winner. His preparation, short drops, quick release and no huddle formation, will ensure this game gets away from the Seahawks and the Pete Carroll-led team will adjust too late.
History be damned.
Pick: Broncos 27, Seahawks 23
Be sure to keep it locked here all Sunday afternoon because we will have complete Broncos vs. Seahawks results, including quarter-by-quarter, play-by-play updates, from kickoff to final whistle RIGHT HERE.