Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It's happened more than once in the Super Bowl.
Player A and Player B enter the Super Bowl riding on a cloud of hype. Player C is all anyone can talk about.
Then the game ends and Player D heads to the podium for his MVP award and Disney World spot.
This year, that player will be Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.
For all the talk of Sherman and Manning, of the titanic matchup looming between Denver's offensive juggernaut and Seattle's defensive behemoth, the biggest mismatch in Super Bowl XLVIII remains Wilson and the Seattle passing game against Denver's 27th-ranked pass defense.
Granted, Seattle didn't light it up through the air this year, ranking 26th at just over 202 yards a game. However, when Wilson did take to the air he was efficient, throwing 26 touchdown passes against nine interceptions while posting his second straight year with a passer rating over 100.
It doesn't hurt that Wilson will have his top receiver (in theory) back just in time for the biggest game of the year.
Wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has missed nearly the entire 2013 season, will not only play next Sunday but will "do everything we want him to do," according to what head coach Pete Carroll told KJR-AM's Curtis Crabtree.
As Dan Hanzus of NFL.com reports, the news was not as well received in Denver by cornerback Champ Bailey:
That's a dangerous man right there. He can change the game if you allow him to. I don't know how they're going to use him. We don't have a lot of tape on him -- if any. But they're going to use him. You don't have a weapon like that and not use him.
In Harvin, NFC Championship Game hero Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate, the Seahawks now have a trio of wide receivers capable of hurting a shaky Denver secondary over the top.
Add in Wilson's ability to extend plays with his legs, and the table is set for some big plays through the air in a Seattle win.
Prediction: Wilson is named Super Bowl MVP after throwing for two touchdowns and running for a third in a 31-27 Seahawks victory.