After six months, the NFL season comes to a close tonight when the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks face off in Super Bowl XLVIII. Of course, we have everything you need to know about tonight's game, and we will have a live thread for all the discussion during the game. Before we get to the pertinent information for tonight, however, let's take a brief look at how the two teams reached tonight's contest.
Denver started the season like no one expected, with Peyton Manning putting up seven of his NFL single season record 55 touchdown passes against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. That game set the stage for the Broncos to roll through the first 11 weeks of the season, losing just once, Week 7 in Manning's return to Indianapolis. Over the last six weeks, Denver would lose twice more, but would claim the AFC's top playoff seed with a 13-3 record.
The Broncos would set NFL team records for touchdowns score and points score in a single season during the year. Manning would also record single season records in touchdown passes and passing yards, in route to the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award and his fifth MVP.
During the season, Denver spent four weeks without their head coach, John Fox, who had to have heart surgery. Defensive coordinator John Fox served as the interim head coach during the period, going 3-1.
After the first round bye to start the NFL Playoffs, the Broncos welcomed the San Diego Chargers to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, dispatching their AFC West divisional rivals 24-17, a month after having lost to the eventual sixth seed in Denver during the regular season's Week 15. The next week saw Tom Brady and the New England Patriots head into Denver, attempting to continue Brady's success over Manning in the postseason. However, the Broncos would beat the Patriots 26-16 and set up Manning's third trip to the title game.
For the second time in team history, the Seahawks head to the Super Bowl after steamrolling their way through the NFC. Just like the Broncos, Seattle would go the first 11 weeks losing just one game, also at the Indianapolis Colts, in this case in Week 5. Over the final six weeks, the team would drop two more contests to finish the year 13-3, and in first place in the NFC.
Where Denver led the league in offense, the Seahawks were the top ranked defense in the league. Seattle finished the year number one in pass defense and in scoring defense. Cornerback Richard Sherman led the league with eight interceptions, while safety Earl Thomas was tied for fifth in the NFL with five.
Following the first round bye, the Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round 23-15, six weeks after having done the same thing 34-7 in Week 13. Seattle then welcomed the San Francisco 49ers into CenturyLink Field, beating their NFC West rival 23-17 in the NFC Championship game, preventing the 49ers from winning their second straight NFC title.
With both the Seahawks and the Broncos winning, it marks the first Super Bowl in twenty years, and the second ever, in which the two number one seeds from each conference will meet.
Super Bowl XLVIII
Date: Sunday, February 2, 2014
Kickoff time: 6:25 EST / 5:25 CST
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Super Bowl score by quarter: Live SB Nation scoreboard
Live stream: FOX Sports Go (Sign-in is not required during the Super Bowl TV broadcast)
TV channel: FOX (A full list of international broadcasters is available here)
Radio: NFL on Westwood One (Choose your station here), with Kevin Harlan as the play-by-play announcer
Announcers: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman; Pam Oliver and Erin Andrews are sideline reporters
Officials: Terry McAulay and his crew
Current odds: Broncos by 2-1/2| O/U: 48
Halftime show performance: Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers
National anthem: Renee Fleming
Current ticket prices: TicketMaster.com