Super Bowl XLVIII: Finally, we get the best two teams

While Dick Sherman was screaming, I was smiling, because we finally get a Super Bowl that features the two best teams in the National Football League.

It was even the case in the conference championship games – the two best teams in each conference survived the first two rounds of the playoffs to get there. That’s what the fans truly should want, though we often pull for the Cinderella story and hope the lowest-seeded team goes all the way.

The Denver Broncos have the league’s top scoring offense, and the Seattle Seahawks are the highest-ranked defense in the NFL. Seems like a fun battle will be had at MetLife Stadium in two weeks, no?

(Also read: Two reasons why Atlanta could soon be much prettier)

Here’s what we know: Per ESPN Stats and Info, the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense have only faced off four other times in a Super Bowl since the merger in 1970. And when the top offense faces the top defense in the Big Game, the team with the premier defense has won three of those four matchups.

Advantage, Seahawks.

But it’s not a foregone conclusion that Seattle will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy two Sundays from now. I mean, have you seen the way Peyton Manning has thrown the ball this season? His 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns in the regular season are both new NFL records.

Manning seems to be getting better as he gets older, which isn’t something a 37-year-old should do, let alone a guy who had to have his neck pieced back together just a few years ago. If you watch the way he operates an offense, you’d have faith that this wizard will best even the highest-ranked defense in the league.

On the other hand, it’s an unmistakable fact that defense usually wins these kinds of battles. Seattle’s D gets stronger as each game goes on, and like a heavyweight boxer, it wears offenses down until it can take the big knockout swing. Manning mostly sticks to short passes, so I expect the Seahawks’ fearless secondary will be able to take more risks in jumping routes.

A couple of turnovers could swing the balance of the game, and Seattle’s defense might finish in New York City what they started years ago. Then again, that legend wearing No. 18 on the other side wants another championship before he rides off into the sunset in a couple of years, and he’s pretty good at taking what he wants.

This should be one for the ages.

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