For only the second time in the last 20 years, we will have the top two seeded teams in football, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, battle it out for Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey.
This will be strength vs. strength as the best offensive team in the NFL will take on the league’s best defence. What will win out in the end, offence or defence?
We will find out in another week.
They really won’t need to build the hype for this game – you truly have this season’s two best teams playing for the Lombardi Trophy.
However, we all know that the huge marketing machine known as the NFL will make sure fans know every detail about both teams will be dissected over and over again.
Finally, the big unknown is the weather as for the first time in Super Bowl history it will be an outdoor cold game. Depending on the weather, the game’s outcome could lean towards one team or the other.
Here are some of the many storylines you will be hearing about as Super Sunday approaches, and some tidbits from the AFC and NFC Championship games:
– Tom Brady uncharacteristically missed a couple of big throws in the first half of the AFC Championship game that could have changed the momentum.
– Everyone knows Wes Welker did not intentionally try to hurt Pats corner Aqib Talib. Every team, regardless of the level, runs pick plays. Even the Summerside Cox and Palmer Spartans’ atom team runs these types of plays.
– Peyton Manning showed once again in good weather conditions, and with no threat of a pass rush, he will pick apart a defence.
– What a physical battle in the NFC Championship, an exciting game that came down to the last drive. Colin Kaepernick really regressed in the fourth quarter, turning the ball over three times that won’t cut against a team like Seattle. He was unstoppable in the first three quarters, but let the team down when it counted.
– The Freak’s wife, Carmen, a longtime 49ers’ fan, was upset with the loss. However, local fans Todd L., Jimmy M., and Dave D. would be taking it much harder.
– Why did Fox keep showing the grotesque replay of Navarro Bowman and his knee buckling? We know it was a big play in the game, but seeing it over and over wasn’t necessary.
– It’s quite clear throughout the season and in this game that the NFL needs replay on every play, including these hit-to-the head penalties that are so hard to judge at the speed the players are running. It cost the 49ers on two plays.
– Many people were turned off by Richard Sherman’s rant with Erin Andrews after the game. You are dealing with a really emotional player who plays with a lot of intensity, and if you make the mistake of interviewing him right after the game this is what happens. However, that being said, you wouldn’t see Peyton Manning say, “I’m the best quarterback in the NFL, and I just picked apart the Pats’ poor secondary!” Many guys have a filter, and then you have the Sherman types.
– Nice to see 15-year veteran Champ Bailey might be able to live up to his first name. He will play in his first Super Bowl.
– Manning is the only player on both teams with a Super Bowl ring. Seattle has no players with any Super Bowl experience.
– There are three Canadians in the game – Denver starting right tackle Orlando Franklin, Seattle rookie tight end Luke Wilson and Seattle punter Jon Ryan.
– Manning will attempt to be the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams. Kurt Warner played with the Rams and the Cardinals, but the Cards lost to the Steelers.
– You know the media will portray “Good (Manning) vs. Evil (Sherman).”
– Both teams are 15-3 (won-lost), best offence vs. best defence, most penalized team (Seattle) vs. second-most penalized team.
– Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns Seattle while Denver owner Pat Bowlen grew up in Calgary, Alta., and still has his Canadian citizenship.
– Seattle traded for Percy Harvin to be a difference maker. He looks healthy and will play in the Super Bowl. He’s dangerous as he can catch the deep ball, balls out of the backfield and can run the “end-round” that will give Denver’s defence lots to think about.
– Seattle would prefer a cold, windy and wet day while Denver would prefer a calm/dry weather. Funny, how they are trying to predict the weather more than a week away from the game. In Vegas, you can bet on the over/under on the opening kickoff temperature!
– Speaking of Vegas, Seattle was made a quick one-point favourite right after the NFC Championship, but so much money was put on Denver that the line changed very quickly to a two-point favourite for the Broncos. The line will go back and forth, and you probably won’t see much Seattle money until it reaches 3.5 to 4 points for Denver.
– Seattle and Denver played in the pre-season, with the ‘Hawks winning. Who cares, it means nothing!
– Do you remember when both Seattle and Denver played in the AFC West?
– Both teams have played at Met Life stadium this season, and both teams blew out The Freak’s Giants. Denver won 41-23 and Seattle’s D shut out Eli (23-0) and the poor Gmen’s offence with four interceptions.
– The Seahawks are using the Giants’ facility for Super Bowl week, and the Broncos are using the Jets. Rex Ryan was really happy Denver won; can you imagine New England using the Jets’ facility?
– If you were in the jungle of Africa for the last three years and weren’t aware of this and you believe in karma, Peyton has the opportunity to win in the stadium his brother Eli plays in, just like Eli did two years ago when he won in Peyton’s old stomping grounds, Indy.
– Do you think Peyton might stay with Eli while in the Big Apple?
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.