Analysis: Denver and Seattle on Super Bowl collision course

Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:14pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - If styles make fights, as they used to say in the heyday of world championship boxing, Sunday's Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks would be billed as the "Fight of the Century."

Call it the Irresistible Force vs the Immovable Object as Peyton Manning and the National Football League's top-ranked Denver offense go toe-to-toe against Richard Sherman and the number one rated Seattle defense in an East Rutherford, New Jersey, winter setting at MetLife Stadium.

Manning, in the argument as professional football's greatest quarterback, set NFL records for most passing yards and most touchdown passes in a season for the 13-3 Broncos, who averaged 38 points a game.

Sherman, the trash-talking cornerback who led the NFL in interceptions, is the face of a supremely effective Seattle defense that limited opposition offenses to a mere 14 points a game in the Seahawks' 13-3 campaign.

The points margin is the widest in 48 Super Bowls and fuels speculation on whether either team can impose their will.

Profiles of those impressive opposing units set up a fascinating study of strength against strength in a game where Denver is rated a slight favorite.

Gunning to become the first starting quarterback to win Super Bowl titles with two different teams, following an NFL title with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning has a brilliant quartet of receivers to throw to.

The cerebral quarterback, renowned for figuring out the best options against a defense in the moments prior to the snap, has been an equal opportunity thrower.   Continued...

A fan of Seattle Seahawks (R) jokes with a fan of Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz