Super Bowl 48 Preview

The Super Bowl. The showcase game in all of American football; the winning team receives the most prestigious award in the sport. The most sought after award in the game today is the Vince Lombardi trophy. Every team’s goal, every team’s dream, every player’s dream is getting to the Super Bowl and hoisting up the Lombardi trophy when all is said and done. Two teams make it all the way to the game and only one comes out on top. Afterwards known as the best team in the league until a team proves otherwise the next season. The high octane record setting number 1 AFC seed, Broncos offense against the number 1 NFC seed, the impenetrable Seahawks defense.

No 2013-14 NFL team is more complete than the 13-3 Seattle Seahawks. With what may be the best secondary in football headlined by free safety Earl Thomas and shut down cornerback Richard Sherman, a deep and athletic front seven, a battering ram running back in Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson under center. A threatening offense and destructive defense, the Seahawks are equally matched up against the Broncos, but there is one problem. Figuring out which of 4 highly productive Broncos receivers Sherman needs to cover and take out of the game.

No other team matches the Seahawks quite as well as the favored Super Bowl winner, the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have arguably the best receiving core in the league with 4 receivers with double digit touchdowns and the best quarterback in the league in Manning who set a record 55 touchdown passes and 5,467 passing yards. The only downside to the Broncos is their defense which lost arguably the best defensive player on the team, linebacker Von Miller to an ACL tear in week 16.

Wildly different but basically the same, the two quarterbacks couldn’t be much more physically different, but as passers they’re remarkably similar. Manning has a slight edge in career completion rate, at 65.5 percent to Wilson’s 63.6 percent. Of course, Wilson’s rushing-yards-per-game average is over 11 times that of Manning: 32.1 yards per game versus Manning’s 2.9. This season, Manning had 659 pass attempts compared to Wilson’s 407; that’s 61.9 percent more attempts. Manning threw for 342.3 yards per game in 2013, 63.2 percent more than Wilson’s 209.8. So if you’re following the math, you likely realize the two quarterbacks averaged nearly the same number of average yards per attempt. Manning’s 8.31 barely edges Wilson’s 8.25. They finished second and third in the NFL this season, respectively.

The Broncos are favored to win the Super Bowl bye a -2.5 margin over Seattle. But scaringly the underdogs are 5-1 against the spread in the past six Super Bowls, and they have won outright in four of those games. For the first time since the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts met in Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, the NFL’s top two seeds will clash in the Super Bowl this year.

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