Super Bowl XLVIII: Five things to watch

Posted Saturday, Feb. 01, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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1Peyton Manning’s

third Super Bowl

Manning is 1-1 in previous Super Bowl appearances. He has completed 56 of 83 passes for 580 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in those two games.

2No. 1 offense

vs. No. 1 defense

For the first time since the 1990 season, the top defense is meeting the top offense in the Super Bowl. Seattle had the league’s No. 1 defense in scoring (14.4), yards allowed (273.6), passing yards allowed (172.0) and total interceptions (28). The Broncos set an NFL record for points (37.9 per game) and led the league in total offense (457.3), and Peyton Manning set NFL records for passing yards (5,477) and touchdown passes (55).

3Broncos’ run defense

The Seahawks’ offense is built around the hard-nosed running of Marshawn Lynch, who has averaged 93.3 yards in six postseason games. The Broncos have shut down the run this postseason, allowing the San Diego Chargers only 65 yards and the New England Patriots only 64. Denver is tough between the tackles, where Lynch does the most damage, clogging the middle with 330-pound defensive tackle Terrance Knighton.

4Seahawks’ sluggish offense

The Seahawks have averaged 272.8 yards and 20.5 points per game the past six games, including the postseason. Russell Wilson has averaged only 167.2 passing yards in those six games, and he has five touchdowns and three interceptions.

5Percy Harvin as

the X factor

The receiver/returner signed a six-year, $67 million deal with the Seahawks during the off-season, but hip surgery Aug. 1 limited him to 19 plays in the regular season. He made one catch for 17 yards and returned a kickoff 58 yards against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings. He played 19 plays against New Orleans in the divisional playoff round but suffered a concussion after three catches for 21 yards and missed the NFC Championship Game. Receivers coach Kippy Brown said Harvin could play more plays in the Super Bowl than he has in his other two games this season combined. — Charean Williams

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