Now, as we close in on the big game, let's sift through the madness and turn our attention to what will happen on the field, Schein Nine-style.
1) Seattle's pass rush will be everything
The "Legion of Boom" secondary is fantastic and has a catchy nickname, but make no mistake: The Seahawks' pass rush is a gigantic part of Seattle's success. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, great free-agent pickups by general manager John Schneider, have really delivered, combining for 16.5 sacks and six forced fumbles during the regular season.
Of course, getting pressure on Peyton Manning is a Herculean task. The Broncos quarterback is so smart, and he gets the ball out quickly. Plus, Denver's offensive line has been nothing short of sensational this season. (Shame on me -- I thought the unit would suffer after Ryan Clady was lost for the season with a Lisfranc sprain.) It's no coincidence that the Broncos gave up a league-low 20 sacks. Ultimately, though, I think Avril, Bennett and Bruce Irvin will be physical enough with Manning and his protectors to force a turnover.
2) We might not hear much more from Richard Sherman
Sherman is the best -- which means I would be stunned if Manning attempted numerous passes in Sherman's direction. Why would he?
3) Wes Welker will have a big Big game ...
I love Seattle's defensive backfield -- but Welker running crossing routes is unstoppable.
Who ya got? XLVIII analyst picks
Enough with the ancillary analysis already! Who's going to win the game: Seattle or Denver? Our analysts weigh in. READ
4) ... and Julius Thomas won't
5) Adam Gase will look to run early
I think the world of Gase, the Broncos' young, bright and innovative offensive coordinator. He has really helped Manning and is well-respected around the NFL. For all of the talk about Manning's legacy, he can't do it alone; Peyton needs some balance and help. Running back Knowshon Moreno, who rushed for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns in a solid season, is a big key to what the Broncos try to establish. Bobby Wagner and the rest of the Seahawks' linebackers had better be ready.
6) Marshawn Lynch will be the most important player in the Super Bowl
7) Russell Wilson will make three game-changing plays
Wilson averaged just 209.8 passing yards per game this season, an anemic, stunningly low number for a quarterback in today's pass-heavy league.
But who cares? The Seahawks' signal-caller is a winner. Some quarterbacks hate that line of thinking, but I use the label as the ultimate compliment.
Think of Seattle's playoff victories over the New Orleans Saintsand San Francisco 49ers. Witness Wilson's gorgeous touchdown toss to Jermaine Kearse in the NFC title match. When Wilson gets out of the pocket, he's dangerous. He has a knack, as Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma accurately put it on our "Schein on Sports" SiriusXM Radio show this week.
8) Percy Harvin won't make a difference ...
Here's the deal: The talented Harvin has immense playmaking potential, but the Seahawks' offensive weapon just can't stay healthy, missing almost the entire 2013 campaign. Until he does, why should I believe he can get through a game and maximize his skill set?
9) ... but the weather will
I love it. This is how football is supposed to be played.
Manning, in particular, has a history of struggling in chilly weather -- a storyline he loves to shoot down. Remember when he torched the Tennessee Titans in below-freezing temperatures and told his critics to "shove that (narrative) where the sun don't shine"? That was awesome.