With the game set, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will battle for the 2014 Super Bowl title on Feb. 2, 2014, at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Unlike previous years, the 2014 Super Bowl game will be played in an outdoor arena during the brunt of winter, begging the question: will it snow?
Although the home of the Broncos receives approximately 54 inches of snow per winter, while Seattle receives a mere 7 inches, snowfall at the SuperBowl game could give the Seahawks an edge, according to Senior Writer for ESPN John Clayton.
"On a neutral field, in a dome, Denver would have a better chance, but the weather conditions, I do think, are going to affect them," Clayton said.
@GatoradeMVP tweeted: "If Super Bowl XLVIII were to be played today in snow, the #Seahawks would benefit! Peyton would throw 3 or 4 INTs (2 by Sherman) #SB48"
More snow and colder air will actually help Seattle, according to Clayton, due to the fact that lower temperatures and snow can alter a player's abilities to throw and catch the ball, especially Peyton Manning's.
"If it is going to be anywhere between 19 and 25 degrees, the colder it gets, the tougher it gets because gripping the football can become a problem," Clayton said. "If it's going to be sleety or rainy, that's going to be a problem that he (Manning) is going to have and that will definitely have an impact on the game."
While Manning stole the show at the AFC Championship game between the Broncos and the New England Patriots on Sunday, Jan. 19, in Denver, the air temperature in the city was approximately 60 degrees at kickoff, which is close to 30 degrees higher than the current forecasts for the Super Bowl's temperature.
"The big problem is that he is not as strong now throwing the football, as he was at a younger age," Clayton said. "Look at all four playoff games that have been below 40 degrees, the interception numbers go up, the completion percentage goes down, and that will definitely be a problem."
Despite being one of the greatest quarterbacks the game of football has seen, Manning will have issues throwing the ball far distances at the Super Bowl due to the colder weather, which in turn could result in a few interceptions and ultimately turn the game around, according to Clayton.
In addition to the challenges that wintry weather will bring Manning, he will also be challenged by Seattle's Quarterback Russell Wilson.
With big hands, Russell Wilson is able to grip the football no matter whether it's wet, rainy or slick, and he can grab it, throw it and keep it down the field, according to Clayton.
In addition to the abilities of the quarterbacks in subpar football weather, another big factor that will come into play will be the defense.
"There can be higher scoring games with weather conditions, but also a team that can run the ball, have a balanced attack and make some play action passes can do pretty well in weather conditions," Clayton said.
When the Seahawks played the Broncos during the pre-season, the game was dominated by Seattle's ability to move the football on the Bronco's defense, and this ability could allow the Seahawks to gain the upper hand at the Super Bowl.
"They are better able to run the football and they are not as reliant on passing the football, because even though you can have success passing the ball in bad weather, the elements can definitely affect that," Clayton said. "Seattle, if it's going to be away from home, would have a better chance in colder weather than the Denver Broncos, just by the way they are constructed."
While both teams' players will be adequately prepared for play in the snow, the key to the 2014 Super Bowl game will be simple play execution, regardless of the weather conditions.
To stay updated on the latest weather predictions and snow forecasts for the big game, visit willitsnow.com.
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