Super Bowl 2014: Seahawks linebackers must be 'on top of their game'

Tom Szczerbowski

Seattle has the league's best defense and will need to show it early and often on Sunday.

On Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the Seattle Seahawks will be looking for their first championship in franchise history. To earn it, their stingy defense will need to lead the charge.

All season, the Seahawks have employed the best defense the game has to offer along with an offense that grinds teams to a fine powder behind the tough running of Marshawn Lynch. Against Peyton Manning and his throng of receivers, that isn't likely to change.

While much of the attention is paid to the men on the outside of the numbers in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, Seattle needs to be concerned about the entirety of the field.

Over at Field Gulls, Thomas Beekers writes about the importance of controlling the flats when facing the Broncos:

Playing as they have been for the past two games, and with KJ Wright back at full speed, I feel pretty confident our linebackers (Deathbacker included) are up to the challenge, which doesn't mean they won't allow any short gains. The Pete Carroll defense is built to lure offenses into taking the most attractive option, which is to try and dink and dunk downfield, eventually holding on a third down or forcing a turnover by forcing a fumble or picking off a pass. And make them pay them for every reception they do make.

That's the ideal way for it to go, but for it to work, for us not to be effectively dink-and-dunked to death again this great offense, we are asking this group to be at the absolute top of their game. Anything less and we're likely going to be in trouble.

With Wes Welker on the field, it is all about limiting the run after the catch and punishing at the point of attack. It's a matchup featuring both teams' strengths, making it all the more intriguing.

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