- Terry Blount, ESPN Staff Writer
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1. The best vs. the best: This game matches the Seahawks' No. 1 defense against the Broncos' No. 1 offense. Seattle allowed the fewest yards (273.6 per game) and fewest points (14.4) in the regular season while the Broncos had the most yards (457.3) and the most points (37.9) per game.
2. It has been a while: Excluding the preseason, these two teams haven’t faced each other in more than three years. The Broncos won the last meeting in Denver, 31-14, on Sept. 19, 2010. That was Pete Carroll’s second game as the Seattle coach, and from a personnel standpoint, neither team has much resemblance now to what they were then. They did face each other in a playoff game 30 years ago when the Seahawks won 31-7 in the Kingdome in an AFC wild-card game.
3. More than 14 years since a Manning vs. Carroll game: The last time Denver quarterback Peyton Manning faced a team coached by Carroll was Manning’s second NFL season in 1999, when Carroll was the head coach of the New England Patriots. The Colts and Patriots split those two games and Carroll was fired after going 8-8 that year. He became the USC head coach in 2001. Excluding preseason, Manning hasn’t faced the Seahawks since 2009 at Indianapolis when the Colts won 34-17. Manning passed for two touchdowns along with 353 yards. It was his fourth consecutive 300-yard passing game that season, a franchise record. Manning won his fourth MVP award that season and led the Colts to the Super Bowl, losing to the New Orleans Saints.
4. Been there, done that: Both teams won earlier this season at MetLife Stadium, the site of this Super Bowl. Denver defeated the New York Giants 41-23 on Sept. 15 and the Seahawks defeated the Giants 23-0 on Dec. 15.
5. The 'Marijuana Bowl': “That’s what some pot advocates are calling this Super Bowl matchup since it’s between the two states that recently voted to legalize marijuana. But there is a serious element to it. The National Organization to the Reform of Marijuana Laws is using this game as a message to the NFL to stop promoting alcohol and beer commercials as the safe choice over smoking weed.