I’d like to thank my friends and colleagues who worked or have Hudson Valley broadcast ties for offering their Super Bowl predictions. Here’s what they have to say about Sunday’s big game:
Rob Adams, former Mount Saint Mary basketball radio analyst: I think that defense and a strong running game will be enough for the Seahawks. This way it takes the pressure out of the hands of Russell Wilson. Reminds me of the Steelers team that beat the ‘Hawks in Super Bowl XL. I’ll take the Seahawks, 30-24.
Jason Barrett, former WALL/WEOK sports talk show host: Peyton Manning has enjoyed one of the finest years of his storied career, and the question marks about his legacy and where he belongs amongst the greatest quarterbacks of all time will fade to the background after he leads Denver to a 27-20 Super Bowl victory.
Bob Beretta, former Army basketball radio analyst: Denver 28, Seattle 24. Hard to imagine any defense shutting down Peyton Manning with all those weapons and two weeks to prepare. Peyton caps a record-breaking season in fitting style.
Geoff Brault, Marist women’s basketball radio analyst: Seattle 27, Denver 24. Defense over offense. And someone said recently that Richard Sherman is the best corner in the game, so that should help.
Charlie Cornacchio, former Cablevision and Sports 1 anchor: First meeting between these two teams. The Seahawks have not allowed a quarterback to throw more than two touchdowns in a game, but don’t have the luxury of worrying about just one or two wide outs. Denver has so many weapons it will be hard to focus on all three receivers AND not have the run game kill you. Denver 30, Seattle 23. Unless someone else does something really spectacular, Peyton is the Super Bowl MVP before fans turn off their tailgating grills.
Charles Davis, New Paltz native, Fox Sports and NFL Network analyst: I’m sorry, but I’m doing the World Feed of the game for NFL Films with Bob Papa (voice of the Giants) so if I’m calling a game, no prediction. Three notes: 1) When the NFL’s number one offense meets its top defense in the title game, defense has often been the winner (total D and scoring categories – Bills/Giants? Bucs/Raiders? Just a couple of examples); and, 2) Any team that has scored 540 points or more in a season has NOT won the Super Bowl. Broncos scored an NFL record 606 points in 2013. Rams scored 526 points when they beat Tennessee. Since 2000, only New Orleans led the league in scoring AND won the Super Bowl (2009); 3) Finally, the kickoff temperature is expected to be warm enough to eliminate the “Peyton Manning freezes under 40 degrees” story … Good!
Rich DeMarco, Army sports play-by-play voice: Seattle 29, Denver 19. The Seahawks defense will do enough to contain Peyton Manning, while the key for Seattle will be Marshawn Lynch. Lynch will run for 100-plus yards and Russell Wilson will make enough clutch plays to lead the Seahawks to the win.
Mike Ferraro, occasional Marist football and basketball radio analyst: Denver 27, Seattle 20. Admittedly biased and admittedly proud as a Broncos fan to see them in this game for the sixth time in my life. I think it’s an awesome match-up; strength vs. strength all the way around. But the biggest change I’ve noticed in this Broncos team since mid-December is its ability to win in all phases of the game. The ability to limit Lynch and the Seattle running game, and use Moreno/Ball to get yardage on the ground will be as important as what Manning does through the air.
Jack George, former Cable 6 anchor, local radio DJ: Denver 24, Seattle 21. Seattle’s defense hasn’t seen the offense Denver is going to put out. Richard Sherman may be able to shut down one receiver but Peyton Manning has other targets. The key to Denver winning is to limit Marshawn Lynch to under 100 yards rushing and obviously no touchdowns.
Chris Spatola, former Army basketball standout, cable TV analyst: Seattle 24, Denver 20. Marshawn Lynch erupts in post-game interview on the field shouting that he is the best running back in the game and Nate Irving is a “sorry excuse” for a linebacker.
J.W. Stewart, former Sports 1 and ESPNews anchor, weekend anchor on WVIT-30 in Hartford: I think Denver will win, 21-20. As good as that Seahawks defense is, I think Peyton Manning will find a way in the fourth quarter. Broncos defensive tackle Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton is from Connecticut, so we’ve featured him quite a bit this week. I think he will play a huge role in containing Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. So I guess I’m opting for “Pot Roast” over “Skittles.”
Keith Strudler, Marist communications professor, WGNY and public radio sports talk show host: So going with my head over my heart, I’m picking Denver, 31-17. It should be noted I’m rarely right, so this is clearly for entertainment purposes only. I’m just hoping we don’t go into overtime, since I don’t know that we’ll have enough food at our party to last an extra period. And there’s nothing worse than angry Super Bowl party guests.
Rick Zolzer, WPDH sports host: This is the first Super Bowl where the key to the game is not a player or a coach – it is Mother Nature. If she cooperates, Denver will win. If she is upset, Seattle will win. So since every day since Monday the forecast has gotten better … Denver 27-21.