Super Bowl XLVIII is now officially just one short week away, and it's shaping up to be a great one.
Ideally, you get the two best teams in their respective conferences facing off in the Super Bowl, but that doesn't always happen. This is the third time since 1993 that the two No. 1 seeds from the AFC and NFC have made it all the way to the big game.
Even more impressive is that the Denver Broncos boast the best scoring offense in the league, while the Seattle Seahawks counter with the best scoring defense. It's only the fifth time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 that that's been the case, per ESPN Stats and Info.
You couldn't ask for any more as a fan.
Here's a quick preview of Super Bowl XLVIII with all of the pertinent info you'll need heading into the game.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
TV Info: Fox
Live Stream: Fox Sports GO
Spread: Denver by 3, according to Bovada
Key Storyline: How Will Weather Affect the Game?
The NFL raised a few eyebrows when it named MetLife Stadium as host of Super Bowl XLVIII. Playing in an open-air stadium in New Jersey in February is a bit of a risk, and you're seeing exactly why.
The specter of snowfall has lingered for the past few weeks, especially after the New York area recently got hammered by Mother Nature. Luckily, the league already has contingency plans in place should Sunday prove a problem. The game would be moved back to Monday or Tuesday.
It would appear that the worst-case scenarios will only remain hypothetical. The Weather Channel is predicting temperatures possibly in the 30s or 40s and no sort of heavy storm that would force a delay of the Super Bowl.
Even if the game goes on as planned on Sunday, you wonder how much the game might be affected by the weather. Will the quarterbacks be hindered? Will the scores remain low?
We've practiced in this and had to play in these types of conditions at different points in the year. So any time you can have a similar situation you can simulate during practice which it might be during a game, it always is a good thing.
Many will remember Super Bowl XLI in Miami between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts. Heavy rainfall gave fans what was one of the ugliest Super Bowls in recent memory. Both teams combined to have eight turnovers.
Only Colts fans remember that game fondly.
It also goes to show that bad weather in February isn't unique to the Northeast.
Key Matchup: Peyton Manning versus Richard Sherman
Love him or hate him, you have to acknowledge that Richard Sherman is one of the best cornerbacks in the league. This isn't Freddie Mitchell celebrating one of the few big plays in his career by flashing a title belt.
When Sherman says he's the best corner, even those who aren't fans have to begrudgingly shrug their shoulders and nod their heads in agreement.
It will be fascinating to see how Sherman performs against Denver's loaded group of receivers. You'd have to believe he'll be lined up against Demaryius Thomas for most of the game, but occasionally it could be Wes Welker or Eric Decker.
Even more interesting is how much Manning will throw his way. Sherman is so adept at jumping routes and reading the quarterback's eyes.
In the event the game is cold and windy, Manning's passes may flutter a bit because he doesn't have a great arm. That would mean more ducks, which would look like beach balls to somebody as good as Sherman.
As they say, good defense beats good offense.
While that axiom is losing some of its truth as the NFL looks to make the game safer, it will still hold true on Super Bowl Sunday. The Seahawks defense, especially the secondary, is absolutely loaded. Seattle will find the answer for the prolific Denver offense.
In those aforementioned four times the No. 1 scoring defense and No. 1 scoring offense have faced off, the defense has won three out of four.
Even if it doesn't snow, the weather will play into the game and limit Manning's effectiveness should the temperature hover around the 20s or 30s. Think back to the Broncos' Week 12 loss to the New England Patriots, when he struggled dealing with the chilly, windy conditions in Gillette Stadium.
Denver will be forced to rely more on the running game, which will play right into the hands of the Seahawks.
If this game becomes a physical battle won or lost in the trenches, you'd back Seattle. Marshawn Lynch is one of the best running backs in the league, and Russell Wilson will be able to limit the turnovers.
Final Score: Seattle 21, Denver 17
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