Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 1, 2014

Does defense win championships?

-- — That old maxim about defenses winning championships was being spread on pretty heavily during Super Bowl week.

By the Broncos, of all teams.

Yes, the very same AFC champions who tore up the league with a record 606 points, 55 touchdowns coming off Peyton Manning's arm, have been touting how strong their defense has become.

Measure it against Seattle's unit, which allowed a very miserly 231 points and ranked first against the pass and in overall D, and the Broncos would seem to be whistling a hollow tune.

But linebacker Danny Trevathan, a breakout player in his second NFL season, sees plenty of greatness in his defense, too.

"Oh yeah. You are supposed to have that attitude," Trevathan said. "On defense you're not supposed to let guys push you over. You are supposed to be the aggressor on defense and you are supposed to have that attitude. I think that is what makes playing defense so passionate to me.

"I think this game was meant for tough guys. You can't be soft out here."

No one is soft on either of these teams, of course. On the contrary, it's only the second time in 20 years that the top seed in each conference got this far.

It's also that classic matchup that so excites fans, media and, yes, players. The Seahawks can't wait for the chance to test themselves against Manning, seeking his second ring in an almost-certain Hall of Fame career.

"It's going to be a great challenge," middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "They're talented all across the board. They protect Peyton well and they run the ball well. He's definitely passed the ball well. It's up to us to do our jobs and make sure that we come ready to play."

Expect both sides to be very ready. Denver (15-3, No. 2 in the AP Pro32) is a 2 1-2-point favorite over Seattle (also 15-3, but top-ranked in the AP Pro32).

The main reason for that spread: In the points-crazed NFL, fans who bet early dive headfirst into the offense. With their wallets open.

Plus, the biggest star in this game, and pretty much any time he is in uniform, is Manning. That draws more support for the Broncos.

But not here.

Pro Picks sees the Seahawks' quick, relentless and heady defense putting more pressure on Manning than he has seen all season. Yes, he's been sacked only 20 times, and he might not go down a whole bunch in the Jersey Meadowlands on Sunday. But he will be forced to throw before he wants to or before his four outstanding receivers — Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker and tight end Julius Thomas — shake free from the tight coverage of the NFL's best secondary led by All-Pros Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.

Seattle also brings the heat with the deepest rotation of linemen in the league, and some savvy, versatile linebackers. The Seahawks don't take their foot off the gas, either.

For the Broncos to prosper, they'll need a huge contribution from Knowshon Moreno and the running game. It could happen, particularly if the Seahawks are overly protective of not letting Manning get on track.

But hardly anyone dominates on the ground against Seattle.

For those who believe the Seahawks will need to light up the scoreboard to beat the Broncos, we think a couple of touchdowns and a few field goals will do the job. Silent man Marshawn Lynch running the ball in Beast Mode, and some improvisation from quarterback Russell Wilson — along with the best defense since the 2000 Ravens — will be enough.

SEAHAWKS, 23-21

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Hall_Maddux.jpg Hall of Braves

    The weird part was that Jeff Idelson didn't take a lot of time to answer.
    "Is there any word or description that unifies this class?" was the query posed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's president.
    "The common thread among the six is profound humility," Idelson said of former managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, and former players Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, all of whom will be inducted into the Hall today. "I don't think I realized that fully until I spent time with them in December. It was uncanny to me, for the cumulative star power in that group, the humility among them. I think that's felt really strongly with baseball fans."

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Hall_Cox.jpg Cox’s willingness to defend players stands out to local coaches

    Bobby Cox will be able to add Hall of Famer to his resume when he is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    But the former Atlanta Braves manager’s legacy will remain the same to area baseball coaches: his willingness to defend his players.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Valwood_Henderson.jpg Area teams hoping to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.
    That’s the task faced by pretty much all 12 area high school football coaches present Saturday at In The Game Magazine’s South Georgia Football media day at the Holiday Inn conference center.
    It’s a task that also has the elite group searching for answers as to how to get past the state championship road block in recent years, aside from Valwood’s GISA Class AA crown in 2012.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS little cats camp 1.jpg Valdosta hosts fundamental camp for ‘Little ’Cats’

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS practice1.jpg Getting Back to Work

    Friday officially began the 2014 season for the Valdosta Wildcats and both the offense and defense came out and made statements.
    After holding spring and summer workouts, the Wildcats will practice four more times without pads before beginning full pad practice next week.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes_Brooks1.jpg Lowndes second-most dominant program in state since 2004

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Falcons_Jones.jpg Falcons open camp with ‘sense of urgency’

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Padres_braves.jpg Padres, Hahn silence Braves

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Blazer Kugbila out for season

    Now, after missing the 2013 season with a knee injury, this signals another hardship for the promising guard.

    July 25, 2014

  • LHS baseball signing Two Lowndes grads sign scholarships

    Lowndes graduates Henry Hoff and Nick Higginbotham decided to take the next step in their respective baseball careers together on Thursday as both signed a letter-of-intent with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More