Three-And-Out: Super Bowl Predictions

NFL: AFC Championship-New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

EAGLES-RELATED THOUGHT

Kapadia: I think it’s important to realize there is more than one way to build a Super Bowl-caliber team in the NFL.


Every year we look at the teams left standing at the end of the year and try to extract lessons about the correct way to put together a roster, coaching staff, personnel department, etc. But consider the four teams that have made the Super Bowl the last two seasons. The Ravens snuck into the playoffs, their QB got hot, they caught a couple breaks along the way, and they ended up with the Lombardi Trophy.

The Seahawks and 49ers have somewhat similar stories. They built dominant defenses, relied on the run game and asked their young QBs to make plays.

The Broncos, meanwhile, have surrounded one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time with a plethora of weapons and relied on a prolific passing attack to get to the final game.

The point is there is no precise formula. If the Eagles reach the Super Bowl under Chip Kelly, chances are the offense will be the team's strength. But the overall plan is to build the core through the draft, find good fits in free agency, don't get locked into bad contracts, and aim for sustained success.

McManus: I couldn't help but think of the Eagles while reading Andrew Brandt's piece on the keys to the Seahawks' success, and the benefits of having Russell Wilson's salary ($526,000 this year) at such a manageable number for the time being.

There is no greater value from a management perspective: having the team’s franchise player at a fixed (read: cheap) rate for at least one more season allows for that treasured roster flexibility. It is no coincidence the Seahawks were active this past offseason, supplementing an already flush roster with additional talents such as Percy Harvin, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and more. Wilson’s value, from a financial and team-building perspective, cannot be overstated.

Nick Foles was taken by the Eagles 13 picks after Wilson and has similar financial numbers as Seattle's signal-caller. Foles made $500,000 this season and his base goes up to $615,o00 next year. Per the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, players cannot redo their rookie contracts until after their third season in the league. That means Foles, like Wilson, is locked in at a bargain price for at least one more year. That gives their teams some financial wiggle-room in the meanwhile.

So do the Eagles load up? It's not quite that simple. Howie Roseman needs to reserve future funds for not just Foles but other young core players on the roster like Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks that will be up for raises before long. The organization wants to focus the bulk of its resources on homegrown talent as it tries to build a model for sustained success.

Still, these types of situations don't come around every day. The Ravens were able to snare a Super Bowl in the final year of Joe Flacco's rookie deal before committing more than $50 million of guaranteed coin to him, which obviously impacts what Baltimore can and cannot do in other areas. If Foles keeps this up he'll be in line for a big pay day, at which point the overall flexibility just won't be the same. Something to think about.

PROP BET I LIKE

Kapadia: We'll use Bovada's list in case anyone would like to chime in with their own picks in the comments section. Here's mine...

What will be higher - seconds in the National Anthem sung by Renee Fleming (-130) or Peyton Manning passing yards (-110) in the first half?

Gimme seconds in the National Anthem! Bovada lists the over/under there at 145 seconds. I don't see Manning passing for that many yards in the first half against the Seahawks' secondary.

Bet the house, and thank me later.

McManus: Total Tackles & Assists - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DEN) -- 3

Scream it with me, Philadelphia: Take the under!

GAME PREDICTION

Kapadia: I've got Seahawks 27, Broncos 24. I think there will be a give and take between Denver's offense and Seattle's defense. But in the end, I think the Seahawks and their secondary get the best of that battle. They are healthy, have the bodies to match up with Denver's weapons and should be able to get some pressure up front.

On the other side of the ball, don't expect Seattle to stray from what it does best: run the football with Marshawn Lynch and ask Russell Wilson to make a handful of plays.

In the end, I think that'll be enough and the Seahawks take home the Lombardi Trophy.

McManus: I flip and I flop and I flop and I flip. Really the best two teams all season long. Both No. 1 seeds. Top offense in the league against the top defense. Should be a pretty great Super Bowl.

I'm going Broncos 24, Seahawks 20. I'm banking on Manning being able to find a way, even against this downright nasty defense. He has the experience and the weapons on his side. The Broncos 'D' is a bit underrated and will hold Seattle to a field goal when it needs a touchdown.

  • bentheimmigrant

    What are the chances Foles’ multi millionaire family makes him feel like he doesn’t need to milk the Eagles dry when his turn comes up?

    • BleedGreenJames

      I can’t believe Kaep and Cam could be signing 18M/yr deals this offseason…

      Flacco, Ryan, Romo and Cutler ruined the QB market completely.

      • Coatesvillain

        I think it was ruined close to a decade ago when the $100 mil deals started popping up. If we remember Michael Vick signed one a few years before his jail time.

        There’s going to be someone who will have a QB who is good and is due a payday and will part ways. I’m just not sure who has the guts to do that. Even if it’s justified.

        • BleedGreenJames

          It’s just sad to see merely ‘capable’ QBs making franchise-crippling $$$.

          • anon

            Supply. Demand. It’s capitalism.

          • cliff henny

            romo is underpaid. we should chip in and give him more

      • GEAGLE

        Yesterday kAp said he can’t ask for the max cause his teamates have to get locked up longterm

        • anon

          I think he knows his role on that team, thankfully. Flaccos deal makes him look like a terrible person.

    • GEAGLE

      He won’t bleed us…even kAp talked yesterday about needing to leave money on the table to maintain a good team when he signed an extension…FOles will get paid, but he will work with us

      • bentheimmigrant

        I hope. A bit of financial security outside football can’t hurt.

        • GEAGLE

          If we can get him at like 14-15mil per year, it would be huge

          • George

            My dream, and I know this is very far-fetched, is 7 yrs $70m. $10m per year. More than enough for him to get by after football with some money and 3-4 SB RINGS!!

          • GEAGLE

            He would be a god if he were to take that deal…

          • George

            Imagine what we could do with that extra $10-12m that could make life easier for HIM. Better D, more weapons, extra picks that could be allocated to replacing our vets by grooming them. The possibilities are endless…

          • GEAGLE

            That would make a WORLD of a difference…it would be a huge advantage over so many franchises

          • George

            I think that money, with the current model of how teams are building around rookie wage scale, will be the difference between contenders and pretenders in the coming years

          • GEAGLE

            Absolutely…QBs take so much credit and blame that I don’t even understand how they sign these crazy contracts that cripples the teams ability to pay for help..a good QB like FOles could end up making some of that up with endorsements..not to mention, if you are successful and somewhat well spoken there is a media gig waiting for you when you retire…his girlfriend works for nike lol, he can cash in on some “air FOles” team Jordan shoes

          • George

            yeah…the only exeptions are qb’s who make their wrs…rodgers, for instance. All they need is him. Best qb in league

          • anon

            Agents need to make money too.

          • BleedGreenJames

            That really should be the money most QBs get on their second deal. QBs that are franchise guys usually sign 3 contracts. Rookie deal, the ‘ok you are the franchise deal’ and then their prime deal which happens around 30-32ish where they pretty much are entitled to cripple their franchise because they’ve been Brady/Peyton/Rodgers/Brees-esque.

    • devCal

      0.

    • mtn_green

      Foles will make $150 mil. But it’s really a 4 year 18 mil per deal. The new CBA creates these deals. McNabb and Westbrook were signed on team friendly deals early can’t do that now.

  • jabostick

    My favorite bet earlier in the week was Will Moreno cry during the anthem. The Yes bet was like +400. That is the easiest money you’ll win all year. I think it’s gone down since – Shady probably put his signing bonus on it

  • OregonDucker

    Defenses win championships, in part, because they put the hurt on the QB. Seahawks will enjoy sacks, fumbles, and interceptions due to tight coverage and coverage confusion.

    I also believe Lynch will put the hurt on the Denver DL. He is a beast and the DL will wear down.

    • Maggie

      As a West Coast person myself, I have to agree. Go ‘Hawks. For this year anyway.

    • anon

      What makes everyone think Peyton is going to throw the ball 100 times. Their run game os proficient and Seattles run d leaves something to be desired.

  • Token

    Ill take the great QB and offense over the great D.

    I think Denver’s offense scores points.

    I think it comes down to Seattles O vs Denvers D. And I think Denver wins that battle by a decent margin. Wilson wont have a good game. I see Lynch getting 80-100 quiet yards. But SEA will have to end up passing more then they would like to. Thats where they will get into trouble.

    I dont think its as close as most people thing.

    Denver 30
    Seattle – 17

    • GEAGLE

      I hate this SB!!! I can’t win. I want Peyton to win! but I want the legion of Boom to win, but I don’t want to see a young QB win a SB before FOles….

      • UKEagle99

        I’m rooting for Seattles D all the way. I can’t cheer for Peyton e’s too closely related to another Manning I know!

      • Dr Rick

        Relax, Geags. Hawks 38, Broncos 37 Peyton has the game of his life but the HAWKS Win.

        • GEAGLE

          Dont want Russel Wilson winning a SB before FOles but i dont want LOB to lose…I can’t win

          • Weapon Y

            What do you have against Wilson? He seems like a good dude.

      • theedevilsadvocate

        ha i felt the same exact way… lol

    • reb

      I’m with you, but I think it might be an even bigger margin.

    • Mr. Magee

      Agree. I don’t think much of Seattle’s offense.

  • GEAGLE

    GEAGLE EYE: Keep an eye on the Titans kamerian Wimbley. He could very well become a cap casualty of the titans. He had a down year, was benched only playing 360 sacks, but a lot of that had to do with him being a better fit as a 3-4 OLB…If he is cut, he would be the type of mid level signing Howie goes after:
    Barwin
    Wimbley
    Cole
    1st or 2nd round rookie
    now that would be a heckuva an upgrade, and then we can add another youngbuck next year when we cut Cole

    • George

      Love it. I could also see us going for Worldis from Pittsburgh if the price is right

      • GEAGLE

        The only thing with Wimbley is he getting up there in age. 1983 baby. But he didn’t play many snaps plus we got that new age sports science fountain of youth, and I’d be ok signing him to a 3year deal with the ability to get out of it after two…isn’t Worlids much younger?…figure,Cole and Graham will both be gone by the end of next year, Barwin and Wimbley give us two veterans, to ease in two youngbucks

        • George

          Yeah worldis is only 25 or 26, but he played for DICK LEBAU, so he has some seasoning. wouldn’t mind us singing both though

          • GEAGLE

            I’d rather have Worlids, but he is prob the second best OLB on the market, he is young and a team will probably have to pay more than he is worth to win the bidding for his services…but if we believe in his future and Howie feels it’s good value, I’d be down

          • George

            If we do end up getting him, and coaching staff thinks he’s guy, and we also snag byrd/ward/clemons, do you think chip considers A guy like Denard/gilbert? I think That would be great, esp. bc a guy like gilbert could be eased in (still somewhat raw), replace brad or cary in year 2, and could give us instant impact as returner/starter when brad is inevitably hurt

          • GEAGLE

            I would hate to go CB in round, but if we were to add one in round 1, it would be Gilbert, I assume..

            Even with Worlids we could still use a guy like Van Noy who can play OLB and ILB, we could draft a serious WR talent in round 1, heck we could still draft a safety to compete with Wolff, org race back and take a guy like Lamarcus Joyner to back up safety and CB…..you can find good CB in round 4 of this draft, just steal Pete Carroll’s draft board :)

          • George

            I think kvn will be there in rd2, even after interviews, but even if not i could see a rd2 tradeup to snatch him. I see what you mean, but worst case scenario (no evans, barr, mack, benjamin, haha, pryor) i wouldn’t mind a cb to ease in and have an immediate replacement if cary becomes cap casuality or if they don’t resign brad.

          • GEAGLE

            Truth of the matter is we need backups at almost every position. This FO has proven to know what they are doing, if they feel it’s a special CB to good to pass up, I won’t complain. Heck, we have much much bigger needs then CB, so if we were to draft one I’m round 1, I’d prob be real excited because it probably means we think he is a special kid…but I’ll be shocked if one of these 3 aren’t on the board when we pick: Evans,Benjamin or Ebron

          • George

            yeah, but absolute worst case, this wouldn’t bug me. Either that or a trade down

          • GEAGLE

            I’d love to trade back to like #30. Deep,draft, someone I love will still be on the board at 30 and it’s a damn good draft to have extra picks..I could actually see the patriots wanting to trade into our range to snatch up Ebron and start replenishing their TEs

          • George

            I’d tak pats pick and either a 2nd or a 3-4 combo. That’d be great, grab kvn, attabou, or maybe deonne beauchannon, or grab robinson at that range, honestly

          • anon

            I’d say that about any position other than db.

          • Token

            Worilds was basically a failure until this year. Thats why they drafted Jarvis Jones. Then in a contract year hes came to play. That worries me.

    • Maggie

      Only playing 360 sacks? Typo?

    • Token

      hes 31 next year. Never happen.

      • GEAGLE

        Yeah I thought he got drafted in 08 when I wrote it, but it was 06 and he is a 1983 baby..

        • Token

          Why would this team be looking at over 30 players?

          • GEAGLE

            Didn’t they sign soap last year? You can’t get THE ANSWER for the next 5 years at every damn position. Sometimes you need a stop gap for a year or two, in case the kids you draft need time to grow before you can give them a major role..even at 30, Wimbley is MORE OLB than Graham AND Casey Mathews!!!…we ain’t drafting two OLBs, and the OLB we draft has to take Mathews spot because he has to GO!!! The question is Graham. Do we get rid of him now? If so, a stop gap veteran makes sense because there aren’t any promising 25year olds to sign, or we can ride the year out with Graham, but we damn sure ain’t drafting two OLBs…
            ….
            If you are a playoff contender, adding a 30yr old or two can HELP!!! Makes a lot more sense to add a 30yr old THIS YEAR, then to add soap last year coming off a 4-12year

          • Token

            They arent in a position to be locking money up in 31 year olds. I think you know Sopo was the exception to the rule. And you saw how that worked out. The last thing they need is to start collecting old guys. We have enough money locked up in past their prime old guys like Cole and Herremans.

  • reb

    “Scream it with me, Philadelphia: Take the under!”

    Bwa ha ha ha! Loved that, thanks!

  • PaoliBulldog

    I hope DRC retires when the jets fly over NY/NJ. What a gavina he is.

  • Dr Rick

    I roll with Sheil on this one, except I predict Manning will have one of his best ever games and still get beat 38-37.
    What prize do I get when !’m right??

  • GEAGLE

    Maclin tweeted “stay tuned…” Could a deal be announced? Can we extend our guys right now?

    • cliff henny

      cool, any word on contract terms? curious if he’ll get the 1 r prove-it or something more team friendly, 2 or 3 yrs but only 1st yr having guarentees.

      • GEAGLE

        Heard it was for two years actually

        • cliff henny

          bet it looks alot like bradley fletchers. hope he’s healthy and proves self-tacklin maclin is thing of the past.

          • GEAGLE

            Dude John Brandt or whatever his name is! is standing by his report that it’s a two year deal(assuming we can easily get out of it after the first year), but he acknowledged that his timing could be off and it not being announced this weekend..
            ….
            It always thought if you were going to sign him, two years makes much more sense then one..if we have to do him a favor, taking a chance on his knee, then he has to do us a favor and give us the 2nd year option

          • cliff henny

            makes negotiations with Cooper little easier too.

          • GEAGLE

            Yes sir…Ideally we reach an agreement with both before FA, so we don’t have to worry about someone driving up their value…

            Cliff, does all this cap talk, already factor in the money we freed up getting rid of Soap?

          • cliff henny

            yup.

      • mtn_green

        I think it will be identical to Aurelius Benns deal

  • GEAGLE

    Jus did a first pick draft, no trades, got all As lol…could you imagine?
    1) Khalil Mack fell to me at 22
    2) Deonne Buchannon
    3) Jarvis Landry
    4) Lamin barrow
    5) Walt AiKENS CB
    5) Justin Ellis
    7) Josh Huff

    • cliff henny

      if only…

      • GEAGLE

        RIGHT!!! Adding Justin Ellis to the Dline rotation anchoring between Kruger and Curry, with Mack flying off the edge rushing the passer, Barwin doing it all on the other side..Barrow giving Mykal and Meco a Breather, with baby Cam Chancellor Buchanon laying the smack down in center field? That’s a top 10 defense!!!
        ..
        Jordan Mathews,Devante Adams,Desean,Coop,Mac,Celek,Ertz and Lyeria? FOles will be surgical with a cast like that lol….I like this draft class much more then last year! we did pretty darn well last year, so I’m expecting a serious infusion of talent this year!!…

        That silly first pick game always tempts me to take CJ Mosely…wouldnt mind drafting TE Ebron in round 1
        ..
        If Pryor comes off the board in the Dallas range, haha Dix would probably fall to us

        • cliff henny

          wont even need to play ’15 season, just have a 7 month long lombardi parade!

          • GEAGLE

            Right..I don’t know when, but I have a feeling we will be looking at stacked Seahawks/niner type of roster in the not so distant future

          • cliff henny

            Seattle is set, think Eagles can push 9rs next season, pass by in ’15. SF’s last 2 drafts havet been homeruns, and alot of expensive older talent. if we realistically look it, ’14 would be great, but target season is ’15. who’ll be building by then in nfc. carolina is old on offense, NO is in bad cap like Dallas. GB will still be good, Rodgers has plenty of years left. guess Chi, Det or Wash could put something together, but there behind us now, long as Eagles add, no reason to think they overtake them. just have a feeling 2015 will have the 1st TO year feel.

          • GEAGLE

            Def agree but for 15 to be the year, we have to get most of the team in place this offseason. ..we won’t make it to the Super Bowl in 15 if we are counting on 10new players we sign next year. It’s important to get all the major signings done this offseason, so the team can gel, get that “next step in the playoffs” experience together so that 15 can be the year. We won’t go to the SB next year if we are playing too many first year Eagles….get the starting spots filled this year, and next year just put some finishing depth touches, and we should be a force in 15

  • GEAGLE

    Looking at FA list:
    Dline is a position where we are young and could use a veteran. Last year we tried to sign RJF, but settled for stop gap Soap. We still might try to add a veteran this offseason but the emergence of Benny Longan complicates things because I believe our coaches love him and want him as a starter. I would love linval Joseph for

    • GEAGLE

      Basically this years class of free agents sucks!! There really aren’t many sure shots improvements to be bought…I knew who the Bradley Fletcher, Keenan Allen, James Casey types were this time last year, but I’m not seeing many of those types in this market….Worlids is probably the one player who fits last years mold, but the kid still had 8 sacks in only 11′sacks, so I doubt he will be under the radar, and steelers might not let him go..

      After we re sign Mac and coop there just isn’t much else out their, so it’s making it hard for me to play devils advocate and rationalize not going after Byrd/Ward…..and just building thru the draft. Their just isn’t much to do with this money..maybe we add a cheap depth corner like Will Blackmon, but if we don’t add Byrd, I’m not seeing too many other ways of really improving our team in this market Don’t see this being THAT far fetched:
      1)Byrd/Ward
      2) Cooper
      3) Maclin
      4)’Will Blacmon
      5) Terrence Cody
      6) we seem to have an eye for cheap unknown linemen, let’s see if they can pluck another cheap Mathis/Barbre type

      • Token

        You are overvaluing Worlids. He was a bum until this season. Theres a reason they never gave him much of a chance there before now. Not to say its not possible that he just finally “got it” but I dont think hes getting a big contract. Not even close IMO. Orakpo is the top OLB if he hits the market and its not even close. Theres him and then 4 or 5 rungs down there is Worlids.

        Im sure Davis is licking his chops at a chance to get a former Steeler.

        • GEAGLE

          Have a feeling Steelers are keeping Worlids across from Jarvis Jones and cutting Woodley

          • NickS1

            He’s not that good. Have a family of Steelers fans, so I’ve watched him plenty as well as heard the abundant frustration about his average ability. That’s a franchise and fanbase very familiar with great linebackers, and he’s not one. Can’t see Colbert cutting Woodley, a fan favorite who’s got some in the tank. They likely restructure him and cut Taylor. I think they let Worilds test free agency. He’d have to come cheap to interest me. I don’t want to rule out the possibility of him improving, or having finally got it figured out, but, I don’t want to overpay him because he’s the second best on the market because of general lack of talent at FA OLB, not because he’s that good.

  • mtn_green

    I hope Denver loses so badly the team falls apart. It would suck to have the lucky FA sweepstakes winner, win.

    Careful drafting smart FA should win over getting the expensive FA QB.

    Football tries hard to not be NBA where trading for superstar is only way to win championship. Football shouldn’t be about one guy, Denver is.

    • anon

      It’s a qb driven league. Even if they d to a sb and playoffs two straight years just by adding Peyton. Kubiak was fired in no small part bc he picked schaub when he had a chance in the Peyton sweepstakes.

      Luck has a lot of pressure in Indy….cant hate on peyton

  • Chris Jones

    It really is a shame maclins been such a disappointment. I’m willing to hold out hope for one more year because of the new offense and system but I think it speaks volumes that we need to draft kelvin benjamin in the first round. We haven’t had a big vertical threat since TO.

  • GEAGLE

    SERIOUSLY, Howie needs to go to baylors basketball team and steal away Rico gathers. Dude could be the next FREAK TE.. 6’8 270lbs, great hands, agile as all hell, dude just dribbled the ball down court on a fast break and threw it down. This dude, is big, and scary intense…announcers are drooling over his TE potential

  • Max Lightfoot

    I dislike both teams. I wish both could lose. Both are arrogant, both act like they practically invented the game.

    I agree with Tim. No one is talking Broncos D, so I think they will play a big role. Plus the SB experience of Peyton (I kinda hate the guy, great as he is, because he whines a lot to the officials) will be more than Seattle and Wilson can handle. 31-27 Denver.

    • Maggie

      Here is one reason Eagles fans should root for the Seahawks this year.

      I am the Eagle, I live in high country
      In rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky.
      I am the ‘Hawk and there’s blood on my feathers
      But time is still turning, they soon will be dry.
      And all of those who see me, all who believe in me
      Share in the freedom I feel when I fly.

      Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops,
      Sail o’er the canyons and up to the stars.
      And reach for the heavens and HOPE FOR THE FUTURE,
      And ALL THAT WE CAN BE and not what we are.
      This was a John Denver tune.

      • Max Lightfoot

        FWIW, I live more than a mile above sea level in NW New Mexico and see red tail hawks almost every day. I also enjoy watching the colossal ravens out here – they are much bigger than eastern crows. My high school mascot was the falcon, my college mascot was the osprey, and grad school was the owl.

        But I still think the stinkin’ Denver Bongos win today. Go Eags!

        • Maggie

          I wrote a whole long piece about the birds you mentioned, bur Disqus lost it! Also thanks for knowing about the geography of the western half of the continent. If interested, Google ‘O.W.L’. and ‘Brackendale’.

          • Max Lightfoot

            Oh well … I have a record of being spectacularly wrong in my predictions. Yes, I used to live in South Jersey but I like the quiet and relative solitude of life out West in the high deserts of NW New Mexico. Go Eags!

  • theedevilsadvocate

    i wish it would have been as entertaining as you guys thought this game was boring and lop sided…