That's the choice word linebacker Danny Trevathan uses to describe the Broncos' opponent in Super Bowl XLVIII.
That would be the Seattle Seahawks, a team featuring a brash, punishing defense, an efficient and at times explosive offense, and a swagger that's impossible to ignore.
"Their defense is live. Their offense is live," Trevathan said Monday, a day after the Broncos defeated New England 26-16 in the AFC championship game. "They can get going anytime. We've got to prepare for everything. It's going to be a good Super Bowl."
The Broncos have emerged as slight, early favorites for the Feb. 2 game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Seattle (15-3) was the top playoff seed in the NFC, Denver (15-3) the top seed in the AFC. The Seahawks were ranked first in the 32-team NFL in pass defense, total defense and scoring defense during the regular season. The Broncos were first in pass offense, total offense and scoring offense.
The Seahawks, who led the league with 28 interceptions, have the most talented and deepest secondary in pro football. "The Legion of Boom" is led by boastful cornerback Richard Sherman, who made headlines Sunday night with a postgame rant in which he repeatedly taunted San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree, calling him "mediocre."
Yes, Sherman talks a lot, but he backs it up.
"He's not an all-pro cornerback for no reason," said Broncos tight end Julius Thomas.
Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell has played like a Pro Bowler since replacing the suspended Brandon Browner. Safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas are fast and physical.
Seattle's offense is nowhere near as proficient as the one Peyton Manning directs for Denver, but it can be explosive. Running back Marshawn Lynch ran for 109 yards on 22 carries against the 49ers. His 40-yard touchdown run in the third quarter tied the score 10-10 and lifted the Seahawks when young quarterback Russell Wilson was struggling.
Asked what first sprang to his mind when he thought about facing the Seahawks, Trevethan quickly said: "Marshawn Lynch. That was the first person that came to my mind. I grew up watching him. (Their offense) is athletic all the way around. If they get their running game going, they can be really strong."
Denver coach John Fox praised the Seahawks, who throttled the Broncos 40-10 in a preseason game. But Fox didn't talk specifics Sunday.
"I know they're a great football team," he said. "I think (coach) Pete Carroll and his staff have done a terrific job. They've been the No. 1 seed all through the NFC for at least the last six, eight weeks.
"I know they got after us pretty good when we were out there in the preseason. We haven't dug into them too in-depth yet, but any time you reach a championship game — the world championship game — usually the opponent is pretty good."
In the case of the Seahawks, pretty good would be a major understatement.
Patrick Saunders breaks down five keys for the Broncos to win Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2:
1) Protect the football. Seattle led the NFL with a plus-20 turnover margin and picked off 28 passes.
2) Protect Peyton Manning and give him a fighting chance against Seattle's vaunted secondary.
3) Contain powerful running back Marshawn Lynch, who has averaged 5 yards per carry in two playoff wins.
4) Force second-year quarterback Russell Wilson into mistakes. Wilson is a smart, tough leader, but far from a polished quarterback.
5) Match Seattle's intensity, but stay cool in the face of the Seahawks' trash talking.
Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post
Eye on ... The Seahawks
Seattle vs. Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII, 4:30 p.m. Feb. 2, KDVR-Channel 31
For the record: Seattle is 15-3 (13-3 regular season).
Streaking: The Seahawks have won six straight, including a 23- 17 victory over San Francisco in Sunday's NFC championship game.
Who's hot: Safety Kam Chancellor, who is 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, made a huge hit on San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis and picked off a pass thrown by quarterback Colin Kaepernick late in the game. The interception led to a Seahawks field goal to extend their lead to 23-17.
Who's not: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson struggled down the stretch, especially throwing the ball down the field. He averaged only 13.6 completions on 24 attempts for 157.6 yards in the Seahawks' previous five games. He was better against the 49ers, going 16-of-25 for 215 yards. However, he was sacked four times and often had to throw on the run.
Key stat: This will be only the second Super Bowl since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger that features the No. 1 team in total offense (Denver) vs. the No. 1 team in total defense ( Seattle). The first was Super Bowl XXXVII, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 1 defense) beat the Oakland Raiders (No. 1 offense).
FYI: Seattle beat Denver 40-10 in the preseason. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had a strong showing in a short stint by completing 11-of-16 passes for 163 yards.
Coachspeak: "It's an extraordinary opportunity to go against a guy (Manning) who set all the records in the history of the game, and the incredible production that they put up this year," Seattle's Pete Carroll said. "What a great challenge. (Manning) deserves to be there because of what he's done this year with his team and that whole club, but we're not going to take the challenge lightly. We're going to go after this thing."
Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post