Denver, Seattle kick off Sunday Super

Published 12:01 am Friday, January 31, 2014

New York City and East Rutherford, New Jersey kicked things off for the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII on Monday.

However, the festivities will die down in a couple days as the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks square off in MetLife Stadium for the top prize of the NFL — the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Already this week, there have been headlines that have dominated the newspapers and airwaves, especially the weather, Richard Sherman and Peyton Manning searching for his second championship.

For a while now, forecasts have predicted that both teams will play in severely cold conditions with a chance of snow. Recently, the weather forecast calls for the game to be played in the 30s.

After Sherman’s comments to Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews went viral after the NFC Championship Game, which Seattle won 23-17 over San Francisco, the story now is that he’s a decent guy.

Manning is appearing in his third Super Bowl after defeating New England 26-16 in the AFC title game. Other story lines for Manning have been swirled around his health and if he wins the Super Bowl, will he come back for another year, or retire on top.

A big comparison between both teams is in the quarterback play.

Manning enters the game with 5,477 passing yards, 55 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson — who is playing in his first Super Bowl — has accumulated 3,357 yards and 26 touchdowns, along with nine TDs.

In order for the Seahawks’ physical defense to get a hold of Manning and stop him from making plays — which he does so well — the front line is going to have to dominate and the pass rushers will have to apply pressure throughout the game.

To make Wilson uncomfortable, the Broncos must collapse the pocket at a quick pace and not allow him space outside of the pocket. Wilson is known for keeping the ball alive on a down and can do it at any point during the game.

Gold Tate is one of two of Wilson’s favorite targets. Tate has 898 yards on 64 receptions and five TDs. Fellow receiver Doug Baldwin has 778 yards on 50 receptions and five TDs.

Manning’s targets are Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. Thomas has 1,430 yards on 92 receptions for 14 TDs, and Decker has 1,288 yards on 87 receptions with 11 TDs.

A silent slot receiver for the Broncos is Wes Welker. Welker as amassed 778 on 73 receptions this season.

On the ground for the Seahawks is Marshawn Lynch, who has 1,257 yards on 301 carries. The Broncos will have to get low to contain the “beast.”

Knowshon Moreno for the Broncos has 1,038 yards on 241 carries and 10 TDs. Seattle’s defense must not allow him to run in space.

The top three tacklers for Seattle are Bobby Wagner (120 tackles), Earl Thomas (105 tackles) and Kam Chancellor (99 tackles). Sherman at cornerback has recorded eight interceptions and 16 pass deflections.

The top tacklers for Denver are Danny Tevathan (128 tackles) and Wesley Woodyard (84 tackles). Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a physical player who has recorded three interception catches.

Head to head, the Broncos lead the matchup at 3-2 since 2001.

Both teams are 13-3 entering the game, but there’s only going to be one team who will get a W.

Kick off on Sunday is slated for 5:25 p.m. and will be broadcast on FOX.