It’s not often that the two best teams from the regular season meet in the Super Bowl. However, that is the case this year as the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are set to battle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The Broncos dominated the AFC with a 13-3 record. Seattle finished with the same record and didn’t lose their second game until Week 14.
The trip to the big game is the first in quite some time for both clubs. The Broncos haven't been there in 15 years during John Elway’s final season, as the club beat the Atlanta Falcons for their second straight title. The Seahawks last made it to the Super Bowl in 2006 when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was the franchise’s only ever appearance.
Denver and Seattle were not only dominant in terms of their records, but they put up some of the best statistics in the NFL. The Broncos set an all-time record by scoring 37.9 points per game, registering six 40-point games in the process. Seattle will look to combat Denver’s offense with the league’s best defense. They surrendered just 14.4 points per game, as well as a meager 172 passer yards per contest. It’s the first time since 1990 that the league’s top offense will face the No.1 defense in the Super Bowl.
Peyton Manning will be playing in his third ever Super Bowl. In 2007 with the Indianapolis Colts, he defeated the Chicago Bears. Three years later he lost to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Russell Wilson is in just his second season and lost in the divisional round last year.
Richard Sherman has been in the news not only for his play, but also his trash talking. He leads the league in the past two seasons with 16 total interceptions. Despite his confidence, the cornerback knows it won’t be easy for Seattle to come out on the winning end.
“The Broncos stand in our way, and it's a large obstacle,” Sherman wrote in his blog for Sports Illustrated. “They've got the smartest quarterback in football and receivers who are large (mostly), explosive with the football and run great routes. Wes Welker is quick and elusive, Eric Decker is a great receiver with hands and speed, and Demaryius Thomas is as strong as they come. And Peyton knows how to get each of them in spots.”
With the two best teams going up against each other, the betting line is relative small. The Broncos are favored by 2.5 points at most Las Vegas casinos. The point spread shifted significantly after both teams advanced on Sunday. Before the AFC and NFC Championship Games were played, the Seahawks were the favorites to win Super Bowl XLVIII. However, the betting public has been on the side of Denver, since seeing them dominate New England.
Manning completely outplayed Tom Brady in Sunday’s victory, throwing for 400 yards in a 26-16 win. It wasn’t as easy for the Seahawks, who trailed the San Francisco 49ers for much of the way, but went on to win by six points.
Betting Odds: Denver -2.5, 48
Prediction: Denver 23, Seattle 20