SEATTLE – For all the praise that the Denver Broncos high-powered offense gets, the less-than heralded run defense must find a way to stop Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch, the bruising and versatile running back of the Seattle Seahawks, rushed for 109 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown in a 23-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, leads the fourth-best rushing attack in the NFL into Super Bowl XLVIII against a team that allows 101.6
Thanks to Peyton Manning having arguably the greatest regular season by a quarterback in NFL history, Denver’s run defense has largely flown under the radar, as the Broncos have often been able to outscore their opponents—and mask their weakness against the run.
Coming into Super Bowl XLVIII, The Broncos have the 19th overall defense, in surrendering 1,626 yards and 24.9 points per game, are tied with the Seahawks for seventh in rushing defense. The Broncos, who went 4-1 against top ten rushing offenses in beating AFC West rival Kansas City twice(No.10), Washington (No.5) and the top-rushing team in Philadelphia, face a unique challenge in trying to contain Lynch, who averaged 4.2 yards a carry en route to rushing for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Broncos will also have to contend with Seattle’s read-option with second-year quarterback Russell Wilson.
During the post-season, Lynch has averaged 5.0 yards a carry on 50 attempts for 249 yards and three touchdowns. if Seattle hopes to hoist their first Vince Lombardi and prevent the Broncos from claiming their third, expect to see Lynch—early and often.
If Lynch is able to continue his strong play in the post-season and manage to keep Peyton off the field with long time-consuming drives, Seattle’s chances of winning in Met Life are as good as any.