BY CORY NIDOH
Asst. Sports Editor
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object?
Super Bowl XLVIII may produce a litmus test for that scenario which fans have been awaiting for two weeks.
The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are getting ready to play in the biggest game of the season when they suit up and step on the gridiron come Sunday.
Super Bowl XLVII will be the first Super Bowl to be played in a cold-weather stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and features a matchup between the two top seeds in both conferences.
Denver, who represents the AFC, comes in with a blazing offense and leads in almost all offensive categories.
Whereas Seattle, the representatives from the NFC, may have the best secondary the game has seen in recent years along with being one of the stingiest defenses.
This matchup has everything a fan is looking for.
Seattle’s dual threat quarterback, Russell Wilson has made it to the Super Bowl in just his sophomore campaign while 5x AP NFL MVP, Peyton Manning, faces arguably the biggest game of his career—many analysts claiming his legacy is on the line due to his inability to win multiple NFL championships.
Manning will be challenged on his right side by the self-proclaimed best cornerback in the league, Richard Sherman who grew up in Compton, graduated from Stanford, and is compared to Muhammad Ali.
The weather could potentially have a drastic effect on the game as well.
When asked about his legacy, Manning somewhat adverted the question and went into discussing his career—post four neck surgeries—that had many around the league questioning if he was even healthy enough to put on pads again.
“I’m down the homestretch of my career,” said Manning on Tuesday at Media Day. “I’m still in it and it’s still playing out. It’s the second chapter, an exciting chapter, and I am so excited to be back at the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos.”
Manning silenced all his critics this year by having the best regular season of any quarterback.
The 16-year veteran who led an offensive juggernaut that is armed with Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker, threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes, both breaking NFL regular season records that were held by Drew Brees and Tom Brady respectively.
Manning, who is the only player entering the game with a ring, said that he has tried to help the young players on his team with managing their emotions throughout the hectic week where the players will get bombarded with a firestorm questions from the media.
Decker, one of the numerous targets for Manning said, “You need to stay away from distractions. For me, I try to do the same thing throughout the week and maintain my routine. Concentrate on what we came here to do—which is to play football.”
Staying focused throughout the week that has festivities going on in Newark, NJ and New York City will be the biggest distraction leading up to the game most of the players said.
On the Seahawks side, the one factor for them is experience, or the lack thereof.
They aren’t in the comfort of CenturyLink Field, not only their home field but also where the twelfth man comes to a deafening and thunderous roar when their defense is creating havoc on the field.
Also the team doesn’t have any players on their roster with Super Bowl experience. That’s right—none.
The biggest question leading up to the game will be how the Seahawks defense, who allowed the least yardage and amount of points, can handle Manning and the offense of the Broncos. Sherman, who coined the name “Legion of Boom” back in 2012 for the Seahawks secondary was looking forward to facing such an elite offense.
“We are really excited for the matchup. We are competitive and we want to face the best. They are the best out there right now and it’s everything we dreamed of,” said Sherman.
Come kickoff, the consensus is that the Broncos are the favorite in this year’s big game. Even Regis Philbin, who made an appearance at Media Day on Tuesday, has the Broncos winning 21-17. But do not discount the Seahawks.
They may not have the most exciting, star-powered, and high-octane offense as the Broncos do.
Nonetheless, Seattle knows how to play old-fashion football and pound the ball with their running back Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson can make plays with his feet if need be.
Will Manning silence his critics once and for all and win his second Super Bowl to be put on the same list as Montana, Bradshaw, and Brady?
Will the Seahawks defense stop the most explosive offense since the 2007 Patriots?
Will the Broncos offense find the end zone in under a minute or will the Seahawks for turnovers at a premium?
The unstoppable force in the Denver Broncos offense and the unmovable object in the Seattle Seahawks defense are set to battle in the cold, wintry weather of New Jersey.
They are doing it all in pursuit of hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy and being crowned Super Bowl Champions this coming Sunday, February 2, 2014.
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