Super Bowl XLVIII pits the old guard against the new guard when it comes to the quarterback matchup.
Peyton Manning came into the league seemingly a lifetime ago with all the expectations in the world. He has delivered on that promise over the years, including leading the Indianapolis Colts to a victory in Super Bowl XLI.
He has had plenty of success with the Denver Broncos, including setting NFL records with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. He is basically an offensive coordinator on the field. He always seems to be a step ahead of the defense.
Even the high stakes of the playoffs didn't slow him as he averaged 315 yards and a pair of touchdowns in wins over the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots.
Seattle can get pressure up front and has a talented, physical secondary that can challenge Denver's receivers. One of their biggest strengths is their ability to tackle. They don't allow teams to pile up a lot of yards after the catch.
Seattle led the league in passing defense with 172 yards per game allowed. Only the Tennessee Titans (15) allowed fewer than Denver's 16 passing touchdowns.
While Manning may not have a monster day, I just can't go against him in this historic year.
Meanwhile, Russell Wilson is the new breed of quarterback who can do damage with his arm and his feet. He was a third-round pick who was a bit of a surprise last year as he won the starting job over Matt Flynn.
He averaged 209.8 passing yards, 1.6 passing touchdowns and 33.7 rushing yards. He hasn't been asked to do much in two playoff wins as he has averaged just 159 passing yards, 0.5 passing touchdowns and eight rushing yards.
Seattle has relied on its defense and a strong rushing attack featuring Marshawn Lynch.
Against Denver, things are likely to change. The Broncos are going to put points on the board. As good as Seattle is on defense, I can't see the Seahawks shutting down Denver's high-powered offense.
Wilson is going to have to put the Seahawks on his back and make plays with his arm. Denver allowed 254.4 passing yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game during the regular season.
The return of Percy Harvin should help Wilson. He gives them a dynamic that they have lacked all season. While his weapons aren't nearly on par with Denver's, they play with a chip on their shoulder.
While Manning will have the better day, Wilson will put up decent numbers as well.
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