Julio Cortez / AP

A football with the Super Bowl XLVIII logo is set on a mound of snow as an for an NFL photographer to make photos of it as workers shovel snow off the seating area at MetLife Stadium as crews removed snow ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII following a snow storm, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. Super Bowl XLVIII, which will be played between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 2, will be the first NFL title game held outdoors in a city where it snows. (AP Photo/ Julio Cortez)


Who will win Super Bowl XLVIII?

Leading Off: Super Bowl truly is a super matchup

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 - 6:47 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 - 7:51 pm

When (if?) 49ers fans get over their bitterness and anger over Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game, they can look ahead to the Super Bowl and, like NFL fans in the rest of the country, realize what a great matchup it should be.

Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks. (Yes, we know, it hurts).

It’s the NFL’s top-rated passing offense vs. the top-rated passing defense.

So what wins a championship, offense or defense? It’s a great debate in sports, especially in the NFL.

During the regular season, the Broncos averaged 340.2 passing yards (457.3 total yards) , and the Seahawks allowed 172 passing yards (273.6 total yards). En route to their 13-3 record, the Broncos scored 71 touchdowns (55 receiving) and 606 points (37.9 per game). The Seahawks, also 13-3, allowed 20 touchdowns (16 receiving) and 231 points (14.4 per game).

Can Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning put up points as he did during the regular season, or will Richard Sherman – enemy No. 1 of 49ers fans – and his Seahawks teammates shut him down?

The Broncos led the league in average scoring margin (12.4 points) and Seattle was second (11.1); they were the only two teams to top 10 points.

Oddsmakers have the Broncos favored by 21/2 points and the over/under is 48. Neither of last weekend’s championships exceeded 42 points.

If there are fewer than 42 points, figure the Seahawks win. If it’s a shootout – something we’d love to see – it should go the Broncos’ way.

Today’s poll

Who will win Super


•  Denver Broncos

•  Seattle Seahawks

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday’s results

What should the NFL do about the point-after-touchdown kick?

• Leave it as it is: 53%

• Abolish it and award

seven points for

touchdowns: 18%

• Move the ball back to the 20-yard line: 29%

Total votes: 200

Read more articles by Tom Couzens

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