By Bryan Stauffer
There are plenty of storylines heading into Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks.
How will the offensive juggernaut of Denver fare against the league’s No. 1 scoring defense?
Can second-year phenom Russel Wilson outplay the veteran mastermind Peyton Manning?
Who will be leaned on more in their respective secondaries, the NFL interception leader Richard Sherman or Champ Bailey, who is playing in his first Super Bowl in his 15-year career – think he’s amped?
It’s hard to find one area that will truly determine the outcome of this game, but it is highly possible that none of the aforementioned storylines end up being what leads to the crowning of the champion.
Perhaps the running games end up being what carries the winner to championship glory, especially given the snowy conditions that are expected at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Perhaps it’s whoever wins the turnover battle and commits the fewest amount of mistakes. Team’s don’t care how pretty a win is in the postseason, they just want to win.
Regardless of how and who wins the big game, here are a few fun facts and things that could come into play on Feb. 2:
Seattle faced Denver in the preseason, beating them 40-10. The two Super Bowl representatives have met six times in the preseason since 1994 and the winner has won five of those six Super Bowls.
Manning is 0-4 in playoff games with a kickoff temperature of 40 degrees. Wilson won his only game in sub-40 weather at MetLife earlier this season.
Manning and Wilson will set a record when they start against each other on Feb. 2. Their age difference of 12 years, 250 days will be the largest ever between opposing Super Bowl starting quarterbacks.
Denver’s offense scored 606 points this season, the most in one season in NFL history, while Seattle’s defense allowed just 231 points this year. The difference between Denver’s points scored and Seattle’s points allowed is the largest gap between two Super Bowl teams.
Sherman has been targeted just twice this postseason and hasn’t allowed a completion. He can expect to be targeted a bit more in Super Bowl XLVIII, as he will be lined up against one of Manning’s favorite targets, Demaryius Thomas.
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