David White: Seattle to remind Denver of why old-school still plays well in NFL

Special to The BeeFebruary 1, 2014 

Who wants this guy running their way? Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch figures to be a handful for Denver to deal with in Sunday's Super Bowl.

JOHN FROSCHAUER — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Grab a '60s peace sign, a '70s disco ball and an '80s Chia pet, because the Seattle Seahawks are about to take Super Bowl XLVIII back in time.

You remember those good old NFL days, when championships were won with broken-nosed running backs and nose-breaking defenses, long before pass-happy offenses took over the football landscape in a hail of spirals.

Not Sunday, not in New York (also known, for game purposes, as New Jersey).

Seahawks v. Broncos is the game that will help everyone remember that the oldest form of NFL offense never actually got old. Overshadowed in the 21st century, perhaps, but never obsolete.

For every Drew Brees winning a ring with the aerial-minded Saints, there's a Ben Roethlisberger leaning on a heavy run game for two titles in Pittsburgh.

We point to Tom Brady and his three spread-offense rings, then remember the Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl in nine years.

And, of course, we have Peyton Manning's lone championship in Indianapolis, which was won by ... running back Dominic Rhodes in the Miami slop.

Which brings us to Sunday's Super Bowl, featuring Manning and the shotgun-formationed Broncos against a Seattle offense that hurls Marshawn Lynch down the bowling lane, and let the pins break their ankles where they may.

Sunday's game will be played in the cold outdoors, the way football is supposed to be played. It will be played in the Meadowlands winds, which make Candlestick Park feel no gustier than a local movie theater.

The Seahawks are going to win because they're going to run a style of offense that predates the Madden video game era.

Lynch will go Beast Mode through the Broncos' defensive front like Miami's Larry Csonka of the '70s, only quicker. He will stiff-arm his way through the second level like Washington's John Riggins of the '80s, only stronger.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said last week the only way to beat Manning is to keep him off the field. His Patriots lacked the run game to do it in the playoffs. These Seahawks have no such worries.

This is a Seattle offense that rammed Lynch down the 49ers' throat for 109 yards, and another 140 the week before that against the Saints. The Man has run for triple digits in five of six playoff games where he wasn't hurt.

And be sure, it is Lynch who will do all the hurting Sunday. His pad levels are that low, his nose for contact is that defined, his hand to the face mask is that violent.

He will wear down the Broncos' defense on 6-minute drives, while Manning sits on the aluminum and gets a pedicure. Or tapes a Saturday Night Live skit (Port-a-let!).

Lynch will find his way into the end zone by the sixes. Manning will find himself stalled in the end zone for threes, because Seattle's defense is unbreachable with fewer than 20 yards of grass to defend.

Just ask 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, he of the game-ending interception in the end zone two weeks back. Or any of the teams that combined to throw eight red-zone interceptions against Seattle.

Passing teams still win division titles. Power run games and livid defenses still win championships, and that's a fact that simply never grows old in the NFL.

The columnist can be reached at bydw@sbcglobal.net or @bydavidwhite on Twitter.

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