By The Numbers: Super Bowl XLVIII Could Be Epic

by Mike Lucas 2-1-14

© Tim Clayton/TIM CLAYTON/Corbis

© Tim Clayton/TIM CLAYTON/Corbis


Numbers can be deceiving, or numbers can tell a lot about an upcoming event.

The statistical numbers for the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks fall in the latter category. If the statistics for these two teams are any indication of Super Bowl XLVIII, the game could be one for the ages.

It’s not often the number one seed in both the AFC and the NFC reach the Super Bowl. In fact, it had only happened twice since 1993 before this season.

Having two one-seeds in the Super Bowl is rare, but it isn’t the most unique statistical match up of this game. The Broncos finished the regular season with the number one offensive unit in the league, and the Seahawks finished the year with the number one defensive unit in the league. This is the fifth time that the top rated offense and the top rated defense will face off in the Super Bowl. It’s the first time since 1990, when the Bills (top offense) took on the Giants (top defense). The top defensive team has won three of the first meetings.

The quarterback matchup is a passing of the torch. It’s the wily-veteran MVP Peyton Manning against the up-and-coming third round draft pick Russell Wilson. Wilson’s passing statistic don’t come close to Manning’s, but the Seahawks and Broncos play very different styles of football. Manning had a historic season passing the ball, and now he’s the fourth quarterback to reach the Super Bowl after leading the league in passing yards AND touchdowns. The other three to do it – Dan Marino, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady – all lost in the Super Bowl. If Manning can pull off the win, he’ll become the first quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two different teams.

Russell Wilson is the sixth quarterback to start a Super Bowl in his first or second year in the league. The previous five quarterbacks to do so went 3-2 in their appearances. If the Seahawks win, they’ll break the NFC West’s four game losing streak in the Super Bowl.

Whether the Broncos or the Seahawks win, it will be the first team in the Pacific/Western Time zone to win a Super Bowl since the Broncos did it in 1998.

If these numbers stay true, fans will be in for a treat with Super Bowl XLVIII.