The 48th edition of the NFL’s Super Bowl features two dynamic teams with clashing strengths as the Denver Broncos (13-3) go to war with the Seattle Seahawks (13-3).
With the top seed in the AFC going head-to-head against the best team in the NFC, the focus has shifted to the individual matchups that will ultimately decide which team takes home the Lombardi Trophy.
Here is all the vital viewing information for Super Bowl XLVIII and the best battles in the championship game between the Broncos and Seahawks.
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Spread: Broncos -3, via Bovada.lv
Peyton Manning vs. Seattle’s Secondary
Peyton Manning is the biggest key to Denver’s success. Plain and simple. When these teams hit the field, the most pivotal matchup will be how Manning handles the Seahawks' vaunted secondary.
Seattle allowed a league-low 172 yards passing per game during the regular season and managed to hold San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick to 153 yards passing in the NFC Championship. While the secondary did allow Drew Brees to throw for 309 yards in the divisional round, the Seahawks stiffened when needed and only allowed one passing touchdown to New Orleans.
Who has the edge?
Lucky for the veteran quarterback and the Broncos, the team boasts the most talented offensive unit in the NFL. Using wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker, tight end Julius Thomas and running back Knowshon Moreno to his advantage, Manning will utilize every player on the offense in the championship.
Seattle may boast the most talented defense in the league, but there is only so long a defender can stay in coverage before a member of Denver’s offense gets into open space.
With Manning preparing for this matchup extensively over the past two weeks, the Broncos will have a one-of-a-kind game plan that leaves the Seahawks guessing all day.
Expect more "Omaha" calls, plenty of audibles at the line of scrimmage and another surgical performance from the legendary signal-caller.
Manning’s Predicted Stat Line: 30-of-40 for 400 yards and three touchdowns.
Marshawn Lynch vs. Denver’s Front Seven
The Seahawks are a run-first offense that will not abandon the game plan if it doesn’t work right away. The team understands that continuously running the ball with a bruising back like Marshawn Lynch will wear defenders down.
Once a defense is gassed, that’s when Lynch enters "beast mode."
Who has the edge?
As well as the 49ers played against the run, the Broncos' front seven has been equally impressive thus far in the postseason. After allowing only 65 yards on the ground to San Diego in the divisional round, Denver allowed just 64 yards to New England in the AFC Championship.
While there is no doubt that Lynch is the toughest running back Denver's front seven has contended against during the playoffs, the attitude the defense carried against the Patriots should indicate that the Seahawks star RB is in for a long day.
Lynch will get his touchdown and keep drives going, but he won’t find the success needed to lead his team to a victory.
Lynch’s Predicted Stat Line: 20 carries for 85 yards and one touchdown.
*Stats via NFL.com.