The Super Bowl matchup is set, and we couldn’t have gotten a better matchup, with the league’s best offense going up against the league’s best defense. Of course, we have to wait two full weeks to see it, which leaves a lot of time for talking between now and then. Here are a few of the storylines people will be talking about that you should probably get ready to hear all about leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII.
PEYTON MANNING’S LEGACY
Is Manning the best quarterback of all time? Does he need a second Super Bowl ring to solidify that? Is he even the best quarterback in his family if he doesn’t win a second Super Bowl to match his brother? Get ready, because these questions are going to be posed non-stop all the way until kickoff next Sunday. It’s a ridiculous notion, but somehow Manning’s entire legacy comes down to this one game. Adding to this plot line is the fact that everybody knows about Manning’s upcoming doctor’s appointment in March, which at least lays out the possibility that this could be his last game, which only adds to the pressure on him to win. This is bound to get tiresome at some point leading up to the game, but Manning is the pre-eminent figure in this year’s Super Bowl and one of the greatest of all time, so it’s mandatory that most of the focus be on him.
WHAT WILL RICHARD SHERMAN SAY NEXT?
Sherman’s postgame tirade when viral in a hurry Sunday night, and now everybody’s just sitting back and waiting to see what he’s going to do as an encore. Sherman is no stranger to controversy and he’s not afraid to open his mouth, so he’s not going to be shy about stirring the pot leading up to the Super Bowl, especially with two weeks before the game and the entire world focusing on Manning, which he’ll probably view as a sign of “disrespect” towards him and the Seahawks. Whoever holds the current record for most media members surrounding him on media day of Super Bowl week should feel threatened, because Sherman is coming for the record. Oh, there’s also the little matter of his matchup against Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who happens to be one of the top receivers in the NFL after being selected to back-to-back Pro Bowls.
CHAMP BAILEY FINALLY GETS A CHANCE AT A SUPER BOWL
Yes, he is a shadow of his former self, but Bailey was the best cornerback in the NFL for a significant chunk of his 15-year career and he’s never been to a Super Bowl before now. Not only is Bailey finally going to a Super Bowl, but also with the recent injury to Chris Harris he’s going to have play a far bigger role in the game than he’s played in any other game all season. He’s going to end up being a key player in the game, and his performance could go a long way towards determining whether the Broncos win or not; and with the season he’s had you have to wonder if he can make it through one more game without injury and whether he’ll be able to play the way he did in his prime in order to help secure a Super Bowl ring in what may be his one and only chance to get one.
POCKET PASSER VS. MOBILE QUARTERBACK
We went through this last year with Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick, and we have another matchup this year between a traditional pocket passer in Manning and a mobile dual-threat quarterback in Russell Wilson. Mobile quarterbacks have taken the league by storm over the past few seasons, but pocket passers keep on winning the Super Bowl, and so a mobile quarterback like Wilson needs to win a Super Bowl to add some legitimacy to this growing trend. Of course, Manning is the ideal pocket passer with great height but little mobility, while Wilson is a short scrambler who represents everything the league didn’t want at quarterback just a few years ago, which sets up the ultimate clash of cultures at the quarterback position in this year’s Super Bowl.
Rarely are there daily updates on the weather forecast for a Super Bowl, but that could very well happen this year after so much has been made about the game being held in a cold weather city. What makes the weather all the more important is the fact that poor weather conditions would obviously put the Broncos at a disadvantage, while rain and wind is exactly what the Seahawks are used to playing in at home in Seattle, making poor weather conditions advantageous to their cause. As it stands now, picking this game is a tough call, but as we get closer to the game and the forecast begins to take shape, it could have an impact on which team is viewed as the favorite to win.