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Super Bowl XLVIII preview

Super Bowl XLVIII will kick off at 6:30 p.m. at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. and looks to be one of the most anticipated games in recent memory. The Denver Broncos bring the NFL’s best passing attack while the Seattle Seahawks boast arguably the best pass defense in the league. Neither team was a surprise to make it this far; both were heavy favorites in the preseason and each team earned the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences for the playoffs. 

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning looks to cement his legacy as one of the greatest signal callers to ever play the game. A second Super Bowl victory would be the perfect way for Manning to cap the greatest regular season by a quarterback in league history where he broke the records for both passing touchdowns with 55 and passing yards with 5,477. 

Manning has had a dark cloud hanging over his career due to the fact that many people believe he cannot win the big game. He has posted an incredible 167-73 regular season record as a starter but in the playoffs is a mere 12-11. With the end of an illustrious career rapidly approaching for the 37 year old, a win in Super Bowl XLVIII may be his final opportunity to prove he belongs in the conversation of greatest of all time. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Seattle Seahawks. This team is young, with their average player just 26.4 years old, and is built to win for years to come. The offense is led by 25 year old Cincinnati native Russell Wilson, who threw for 3,357 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2013. Joining him in the backfield is the man they call Beast Mode, 27 year old stud Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns during the Seahawks 2013 campaign. 

Making headlines on the defensive side of the ball is standout cornerback Richard Sherman. The Stanford grad made headlines following the NFC championship game in which he voiced his opinion about San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, calling him “mediocre at best,” while proclaiming himself as “the best corner in the game.” Sherman backs up his claims, however, snagging eight interceptions this season. The rest of the Seahawks secondary is young, fast and smart. The battle of wits between the Seattle secondary and Peyton Manning could decide the outcome of this contest. 

Denver X Factor: With the weather posing a potential hazard for the pass heavy Denver offense look for running back Knowshon Moreno to make an impact. While his full impact was limited this season due to the offensive scheme of the Broncos, Moreno still managed to rush for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns, both career highs. 

Seattle X Factor: One of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL missed almost all of the 2013 season due to injury, playing fewer than 40 snaps on offense. Percy Harvin is slated to return to the lineup for the Super Bowl. Dating back to his college days at Florida, football fans know that when the ball is in Harvin’s hands he is a threat to score from anywhere on the field, and in a hurry, as he ran a 4.41 second 40-yard dash during his NFL combine testing. 

Prediction: The cold, wet and windy weather will wreak havoc on the Broncos passing game, putting extra pressure on Knowshon Moreno. In the battle of the running backs Marshawn Lynch is clearly the better back, giving the advantage to the Seahawks. Seattle wins 17-14 in a low scoring defensive battle. 

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