Broncos dominate Patriots, 26-16
Peyton Manning's got your legacy right here. A mistake-free, 400-yard performance from the eventual league MVP led the Broncos to a two-score victory over New England, and the Broncos are going to the Super Bowl!
Denver handled business at home yesterday, controlling play throughout in a 26-16 win over the New England Patriots. Peyton Manning was surgical, completing 32-of-43 passes for 400 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, while its defense held Tom Brady and the Patriots out of the end zone until the fourth quarter, and to just 331 yards of offense.
In the nightcap, the Seahawks came back from an early 10-0 deficit to score the game's final 13 points in a 23-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Former Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch supplied 109 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 carries to key Seattle's offense, but it was the defense that turned in the key plays, recovering a Colin Kaepernick fumble and intercepting two passes - one in the final minute on a potential go-ahead score - to seal the victory.
The 2014 Super Bowl will feature the NFL's highest-scoring offense by a wide margin (Denver, at 37.9 points per game) against the league's stingiest scoring defense (Seattle, giving up a paltry 14.4 points per game), a rarity in the big game. Manning and Denver's elite quartet of receivers (Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and tight end Julius Thomas) will try to solve Seattle's so-called "Legion of Boom" defense, spearheaded by a great pass rush and its league-best secondary (Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell at cornerback, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor at safety). It is a fascinating matchup, and one that will be highly anticipated over the next two weeks.
One way or another, a former Bill will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy this year - whether it be Lynch (as well as backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and assistant line coach Pat Ruel) in Seattle, or assistant coaches Eric Studesville (running backs) and Tyke Tolbert (wide receivers). Who do you think ends up winning it?
- Who: Denver Broncos (15-3) vs. Seattle Seahawks (15-3)
- What: Super Bowl XLVIII
- Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
- When: Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:25PM ET
- TV: FOX (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver, Erin Andrews)
- Online: FOXSports.com
- Halftime show: Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Odds: Seattle favored early, but barely
- Broncos blog: Mile High Report
- Seahawks blog: Field Gulls