Super Bowl XLVIII is a battle of strengths on the field as much as it is a battle of wills both mentally and physically thanks to potential harsh weather at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford when the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks.
The bout between two evenly matched teams set to battle in unpredictable conditions makes it almost impossible for the odds to set on anything near attractive in the eyes of bettors.
Whether it is the continued emergence of new storylines or simply the latest forecast, the factors surrounding the season's premier event have created an environment for perhaps the most intriguing Super Bowl in recent history.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:25 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Live Stream: FoxSports.com
|Seattle Seahawks||+3||+115||47 (-105)o|
|Denver Broncos||-3||-135||47 (-115)u|
The Weather Conundrum on Tickets and Players
It means little that the No. 1 offense is set to take on the No. 1 defense in the Super Bowl if the weather may make for an uncomfortable environment for fans and if the ever-improving television experience is a cheaper option.
As CBS Sports' Will Brinson reports, the forecast for the big day is still a black eye on the event as of Jan. 25:
This in turn has caused a dip in ticket prices on secondary markets, per ESPN's Darren Rovell, who says that outside of the torrid weather conditions, the respective distances the two teams have to travel is a major issue, too:
Distance is also an issue. It might be the 48th Super Bowl game, but it's only the fifth time the two teams have had to travel more than 4,000 miles combined to get to their Super Bowl destination.
While the forecast is bad news for fans, the players do not seem to mind, and some believe the cold will not give an advantage to either side. Broncos safety Mike Adams is one such player, as captured by the Associated Press, via the Indy Star:
We're talking about the Super Bowl. I'm not worried about the cold, I promise you that. Weren't we practicing in like minus-3 degree weather here? So I'm definitely not worried about any cold weather. If anything, I'm worrying about them cancelling the game.
Good news for Adams—the Super Bowl will not be canceled. But as the report goes on to state, the league can reschedule the game for anywhere between Friday, Jan. 31, to Monday, Feb. 3. Stay tuned.
Peyton Manning vs. Richard Sherman...Possibly
The two biggest names in the Super Bowl more than deserve the spotlight.
For Manning, the reasons are well known. But in the long crawl to the big game, his name continues to pop up right along with the weather reports because his career has been marred by a narrative that suggests he struggles outside of perfect conditions.
Remember, Manning threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns in a victory in harsh conditions over the Tennessee Titans in Week 14 and had this to say about his critics, per Andy Lindahl of KOA Radio:
Meanwhile, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has thrust himself into the spotlight thanks to his post-game antics after the NFC Championship Game.
The two are headed for a fateful matchup. Well, maybe, as Sherman only occupies one side of the field. Manning is perhaps the smartest signal-caller to ever buckle a chinstrap, so he will know to avoid Sherman's side of the field for two reasons.
For one, Sherman is an elite player. Two, Sherman's side is the one area Manning consistently struggled this season, as ESPN illustrates:
Peyton Manning has been red hot all over the field this season...except the area Richard Sherman patrols the most. pic.twitter.com/kWJ0R0NCt5— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 22, 2014
If Manning does elect to pull a Colin Kaepernick and go at Sherman outside of the consequences shown in the NFC title game, NFL.com's Elliot Harrison has a few numbers to show what may await Manning:
Here's your 3:18 PST stat of the day... Richard Sherman unofficially thrown at 59 times, allowed QB's a 48.37 passer rating...lowest in NFL— Elliot Harrison (@Harrison_NFL) January 24, 2014
Expect to hear a lot more about this epic matchup as the week drags on, but understand that the wait will be well worth it. Two legacies may be defined in the outcome of the showdown—rain, sleet, snow or whatever else Mother Nature decides to throw out there.