The two teams have finally been decided for the biggest event in American sports. Super Bowl XLVIII will feature Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos and Russell Wilson's Seattle Seahawks.
In the third "Manning-Brady Bowl," Peyton Manning took home a comfortable AFC championship win, throwing for 400 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Jeffrey Beall)
The final score was 26 to 16, but most would argue Denver was in control all four quarters, getting up by 20 at one point and never letting New England within 10 points of the lead after halftime. (Via ESPN)
Manning and his Broncos have had a historic season, breaking records and looking Super Bowl-bound the whole time. A writer for Sporting News says that kind of season just has to be rewarded with a trip to the Super Bowl.
"The Denver Broncos could not afford to lose on Sunday. They would never have lived down breaking the record for the most points in a single season in NFL history, then losing a game short of the Super Bowl — to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, of all people."
If Manning can pull out a victory he would be the first quarterback in NFL history to win two Super Bowls with two different teams.
The NFC championship between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks was a much different story, staying close all the way to the end.
Which, one Wall Street Journal writer points out, was to be expected from two very good and very similar teams.
"NFC West rivals each anchored by a stellar defense, grounded with a solid running game and led by a dynamic sophomore quarterback — familiarity breeds contempt, and these teams have plenty of both."
Despite the 49ers being the more experienced team, having made an unsuccessful trip to last year's Super Bowl, San Francisco's turnovers seemed to play the largest role down the stretch.
Seattle forced two interceptions and one fumble on the 49ers final three drives. (Via USA Today)
This will be Seattle's second trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history but for everyone on the team and head coach Pete Carroll this will be their first trip to the big dance. (Via YouTube / RealRobReport)
Super Bowl XLVIII is set to take place February 2 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.