A Super Bowl 2014 date is set featuring the Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks. The two teams have both been in the Super Bowl before, but only one of the two franchises has won it. It will mark a return trip for star quarterback Peyton Manning, although this time he's playing for a different team. It will also make for the first appearance for young quarterback Russell Wilson and one of the NFL's best defenses in the past season, against one of the game's premier passers.
A USA Today report from Sunday, Jan. 19 indicates that the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship over the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 23-17. The deciding play saw Richard Sherman deflect a touchdown pass attempt from Colin Kaepernick to receiver Michael Crabtree in the end zone. The tipped pass resulted in a key interception for Malcolm Smith, who quickly fell to the ground to halt any notion of a 49ers' repeat visit to the big game. Seattle trailed this one at the half 10-3, but was able to get back into things in the second half behind a huge Marshawn Lynch rushing play down the field for a touchdown to even things up.
Earlier in the day, it was Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos simply overwhelming the New England Patriots 26-16. Manning racked up 400 yards and 2 touchdowns, with DeMaryius Thomas catching 7 of those passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. The Broncos led the game 20-3 in the third quarter, with Brady and company attempting a comeback but it was too little, too late. A failed two-point conversion after a touchdown drive signaled to Brady and the Patriots' faithful that this game was pretty much done in the fourth quarter. Tom Brady finished with 277 yards and a touchdown on 24-of-38 passes for the game, while New England's rushing unit was rendered ineffective by the Broncos' defense in the AFC Championship game.
The two teams have never met in the Super Bowl, although both have played there. The Seahawks were there in 2005, but came up short in their only appearance, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10 at Ford Field. The Denver Broncos have been in the game six times before with a win-loss total of 2-4 all-time. Their back-to-back Lombardi Trophy victories came behind Broncos quarterback-turned-VP John Elway in 1998 and 1999, with wins over the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons.
In terms of head-to-head team history, these two teams have played 52 times over their football history, with the Broncos going 18-34. The two teams last played in Sept. 2010 with the Broncos winning 31-14. In the previous meeting on Dec. 3, 2006, it was the Seahawks winning a close game 23-20. However, the personnel has certainly changed for both teams leading the way to a riveting Super Bowl XLVIII matchup between the NFL's No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense.
The two teams met in the 2013-14 NFL preseason back on Aug. 17 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle with the Seahawks crushing the Broncos 40-10. In that game, there was a 107-yard kickoff return from wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a 106-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Brandon Browner. Both plays helped the Seahawks in their rout of the opposition, even if it was a preseason game. The two teams will now meet on a neutral field in the first "cold outdoor environment" Super Bowl ever.
The 2014 Super Bowl date will be Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Game time is set for approximately 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, with kick off to be announced. The Super Bowl will be televised on FOX and local affiliate stations around the country with plenty of pre-game coverage on the big day and throughout the week leading up to it.