But one of the biggest storylines leading up to the biggest game of the season is what the weather will be on the day of the game and how that will change the outcome.
Luckily, it appears the forecast is looking much improved from the original predictions that the two teams could be playing in sub-freezing temperatures and possibly even snow storms that are common in East Rutherford, N.J.
According to The Weather Channel, the forecast for Sunday is now sitting at a high of 46 degrees and a low of 26 at night. Not exactly perfect conditions for the Super Bowl, but they are temperatures that could be categorized as "football weather."
With the largest spectacle in all of sports on the horizon, here is a breakdown of how the new weather forecast could impact the play on the field between the Seahawks and Broncos.
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. EST
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Spread: Denver (-3) according to Bovada
Analyzing How Updated Weather Forecast Will Impact Super Bowl
The first thing that any die-hard football fan knows about poor weather is the fact that the passing game for both teams typically takes the hardest hit. But for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, crisp passes aren't a huge part of their success this season, at least not according to Richard Sherman.
In a column written by Sherman on MMQB.com at the beginning of January, the Seahawks' corner called Manning the smartest quarterback in the game. He also followed that up with a comment that somewhat takes away from Manning's passing ability:
Nobody else has both the authority to do that within their offense and the understanding to know when it’s appropriate.
His arm, however, is another story. His passes will be accurate and on time, but he throws ducks.
While some might believe Sherman's comments were out of taste, Manning agreed with his evaluation and said he's throwing some of the best ducks of any quarterback in the league, according to the NFL's official Twitter account:
Who does the updated forecast benefit more?
So what does this all have to do with the weather in the game? With the forecast not predicting any real threat of snow or ridiculous temperatures in the single digits, Manning's ducks might now be even more accurate and have a better chance of being caught.
As for the receiver that Manning will be looking to the most throughout the game, Demaryius Thomas will be matched up with Sherman and try to get open looks. With his combination of size and speed, Thomas has been one of the best postseason receivers with 104.4 yards per game in his five career playoff appearances.
Other than Thomas, Pro Football Focus points out that another receiver might just be equally as effective when the game kicks off:
In 2013, Peyton Manning had a QB Rating of 124.4 and 113.4 when throwing to Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker respectively.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 23, 2014
The updated forecast also helps the Seahawks, who will have Percy Harvin on the field after two separate injuries kept him out of all but two games this season. Russell Wilson will now have a much more dynamic receiving corps and should have no worries about the weather impacting his throws.
Manning is perhaps more experienced in clutch situations, but ESPN Stats and Info notes that Wilson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the last two seasons when the game is on the line:
Most Game-Winning Drives, Last 2 Seasons- Andrew Luck 11, Russell Wilson 10, Tony Romo 9— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 28, 2014
One aspect of the game that will definitely play a huge part in who wins will be the running game, but the impact in the passing game and special teams that the weather now opens up is huge for both teams.
Marshawn Lynch and Knowshon Moreno will both face great running defenses, but the swing in weather turns the game back to the passing game. While Manning and the Broncos could see that as a huge benefit, Sherman and the Seahawks secondary are ready to prove them wrong.
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