NFL Nation: 2014 Super Bowl Quick Take

Quick Take: Broncos vs. Seahawks

January, 19, 2014
1/19/14
11:38
PM ET
SEATTLE -- Five nuggets of knowledge about Super Bowl XLVIII, in which the Denver Broncos face the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 2:

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.

Quick Take: Broncos vs. Seahawks

January, 19, 2014
1/19/14
10:40
PM ET
DENVER -- Five nuggets of knowledge about Super Bowl XLVIII, in which the Denver Broncos face the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 2:

1. Find some room: Against the Seahawks' “Legion of Boom'' secondary, the Broncos' pass-catchers will have to win some physical one-on-one matchups and be aggressive to the ball. Earlier in the regular season, the Colts, Patriots and Chargers all had limited success with the rough stuff against the Broncos' wideouts, in particular. Against the Seahawks, the Broncos' receivers have to get off the jam and give themselves a chance to get into the route and not disrupt quarterback Peyton Manning's timing -- particularly Broncos tight end Julius Thomas against the Seahawks' safety tandem of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.

2. Tame the Beast: Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is a fierce yards-after-contact runner who saves some of his best performances for the postseason. The Broncos have been more effective down the stretch out of their base defense against the run, holding the New England Patriots to 64 yards on 16 carries Sunday. The Broncos will need another quality outing from defensive tackle Terrance Knighton to keep the Seahawks from setting the tempo on offense with Lynch.

3. Make Wilson uncomfortable: When the Broncos had Russell Wilson in for a visit leading up to the 2012 draft, Broncos officials loved his confidence, his composure and his potential leadership abilities. And now Wilson will become just the sixth quarterback to start a Super Bowl in either his rookie or second season. Wilson will hold the ball at times to try to make a play, but he is accurate on the move and the Seahawks are comfortable having him throw after dropping back or playing him out of an option look. The Broncos will have to be disciplined in the rush and find a way to create more pressure than they did against Tom Brady on Sunday.

4. Hold the edge: The Seahawks have the kind of inside-outside combination in the defensive front to get after Manning. The Broncos prefer to work out of the three-wide-receiver set because it gives defenses the most difficulty. Their feeling is when they spread the field, they get some of the potential rushers out of the middle of the defensive formation as well. But it also leaves the Broncos' five offensive linemen fending for themselves much of the time. Manning needs room to step and move his lower body into throws. The Broncos have to maintain the integrity of the pocket to give him that room.

5. Get Ball and Moreno going: The Broncos will need to get running backs Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno into a rhythm to keep the Seahawks from settling into a get-after-Manning mode. The 49ers rushed for 161 yards against Seattle in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, but 130 of that came from 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Broncos are not built that way and are going to have to carve out some running room in more traditional ways. San Francisco's running backs had just 31 yards rushing in the game.

SPONSORED HEADLINES