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Manning and Lynch to decide outcome of Super Bowl XLVIII
AFC Champions the Denver Broncos and NFC Champions the Seattle Seahawks will do battle on Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey home of the NY Giants.
Conditions are expected to be the coldest ever for a Super Bowl however the battle for MVP between Peyton Manning and Marshawn Lynch is sure to get temperatures rising.
Broncos quarterback Manning and Seahawks running back Lynch have been the outstanding performers for their teams during the regular season however both have underlined their temperaments for the big occasion by upping their games during the play-offs and without question their individual performances on game day will have a say in who will ultimately be crowned Super Bowl Champions.
The debate rages on about weather Manning has just produced the greatest regular season by a quarterback in National Football League history, a discussion that will and should be put to rest if he can lead the Broncos to a third NFL Championship come Sunday.
By leading Denver to their first AFC Championship since 1998, one thing Manning has certainly done is to silence any doubters about the Broncos signing the injury prone veteran at the beginning of last season for $96 million over 5 years.
Manning will be taking to the field for his third Super Bowl on Sunday and is previously an MVP and Championship winner with the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI so there is no doubt he will understand the task at hand and deal with the huge pressure of delivering what Broncos fans crave the most, a third championship.
The veteran will know that his regular and post season form will be crucial for just one more game and on the biggest stage of them all if he is to deliver.
Manning was instrumental in getting the Broncos into the play-offs with a 68% pass completion, 5477 yards, 55 touch downs and only 10 interceptions. However it is his post season statistics that has shown he is a match winner on the biggest stage. His pass completion is higher at 72% for 630 yards, 4 touch downs and has been picked off only once.
Opposite number Russell Wilson on the other hand has proved too inconsistent and his stats certainly have left a lot to be desired. Wilson has completed only 58% of his passes for a paltry 318 yards and 1 touch down. The Broncos defensive unit will pick up on the standout statistic of being sacked on 7 occasions during the play-offs alone and one they will look to capitalise on. This will also be the first Super Bowl for the young talented quarterback, will the pressure of the occasion get to him? Only time will tell.
On this evidence alone one might be forgiven for thinking that there will only be one outcome, a Broncos win?….. Marshawn Lynch might have something to say about that come the final whistle on Sunday.
The 27 year old has reinforced his reputation as one of the most feared running backs in the National Football League with a stellar regular and post season. The 49ers found that out last week when they were on the receiving end of a match winning performance by the hard man which included a 40 yard touch down run.
Lynch rushed for 1257 yards at an average of 78 per game including 12 touch downs during the regular season however his temperament for the big occasion has come to the fore during the post season with 249 yards at an average of 124.5 yards per game with 3 touch downs.
Wilson will know Lynch is the match winner and game plan for the Seahawks and without question this will be their main play offensively.
If Lynch can produce one more top shelf performance matching his statistics then Peyton Manning and the Broncos will have to wait another year for that third NFL Championship.
All things considered it is going to be an electric occasion as the greatest show on earth always is however I expect the Broncos led by the Manning destiny will enjoy Super Bowl XLVIII the most.