The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks clinch their conferences and will face off in New Jersey on February 2, 2014.
The road to the Super Bowl narrowed even more as four teams turned into two in a matter of hours. Sunday featured two critical games; games that determined who would play in the Super Bowl and who would begin their off-season. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks dominated their games and will have two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. This match up, considered one of the best ever, features the number one offense playing the number one defense. The Broncos, known for their high scoring games, will face a tough Seattle defense that leads the league in fewest points allowed.[one_third]
The Broncos dominated on both sides of the ball, helping them to clinch the AFC and win a trip to play in the Super Bowl.[/one_third]
Leading up to this match up, the Broncos played the New England Patriots in Denver on January 19. The Broncos showed why they are the number one seed in the AFC. They dominated in both offense and defense, helping them to gain a 13-3 lead at halftime. As the third quarter progressed, the Broncos took a commanding 20-3 lead with a Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas touchdown. Even though the Patriots went on to narrow their deficit by 10 points, their fate was sealed as the Broncos kept the offense on the field while converting two critical third downs. Going into the match, many believed the Patriots would win with a dominating running game, replicating last week’s win over the Indianapolis Colts when they rushed for over 200 yards. However, the Broncos defense stepped up, eliminated the run, turning the Patriots into a one dimensional team and holding them to just 64 yards rushing. While the defense did their job, Manning put on a clinic as he threw for two touchdowns and gained 400 yards in the air. The Broncos dominated on both sides of the ball, helping them to clinch the AFC and win a trip to play in the Super Bowl.
Following the Broncos-Patriots game, San Francisco and Seattle squared in Seattle to see who would play Denver in the Super Bowl. Not only was this the NFC championship game, this was also a rivalry that has gone back many years. Both teams play in very similar ways; neither team has ever put up 50-plus points in a game, but relies on their defense to win games. On the first play of the game, 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith stripped quarterback Russell Wilson, helping the 49ers catch a quick 3-0 lead. After an Anthony Dixon touchdown, 49ers led 10-3 at halftime. Coming out of the locker room, the Seahawks gained new inspiration; proving why they are the number one seed in the NFC. In the third quarter, running back Marshawn Lynch scored a 40-yard touchdown, helping the Seahawks close the gap. Going into the fourth quarter, the 49ers held a slim lead, 17-13. Two minutes into the fourth, Wilson connects with wideout Jermaine Kearse for 6 and the lead. From this point on, the Seahawks emphasized why their defense is called the “Legion of Boom,” no team would be able to gain a touchdown against a tough, physical secondary. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had three minutes to take his team down the field and score a touchdown, but the Seahawks remained strong. They weren’t going to let anyone get past their secondary as Seattle intercepted Kaepernick in the final minute of the game, helping them win a trip to play in the Super Bowl.[one_third]
Seahawks emphasized why their defense is called the “Legion of Boom,”[/one_third]
On other football news, Hawaii will host the first ever unconferenced Pro Bowl on January 26, 2014. Instead of the usual AFC vs. NFC Pro Bowl, team captains Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice will pick players, regardless of conference. Sanders and Rice picked players on January 21 & 22. To create more excitement, Rice and Sanders picked defensive players over offensive players on the first day. On the second day, quarterback Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts was selected first overall by Team Sanders, followed by New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. The game will be played at Aloha Stadium and kickoff is scheduled for 2:30. It will be televised on NBC.