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updated: 1/30/2014 9:52 PM

Breaking down the big game

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  • Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch (24) breaks away from San Francisco 49ers' Tramaine Brock (26) for a touch-down run during the second half of the NFL football NFC Championship game, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Seattle.

      Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch (24) breaks away from San Francisco 49ers' Tramaine Brock (26) for a touch-down run during the second half of the NFL football NFC Championship game, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Seattle.

  • Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman motions to fans after intercepting in the end zone against the San Francisco 49ers in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 42-13.

      Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman motions to fans after intercepting in the end zone against the San Francisco 49ers in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 42-13.

  • Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman jumps over San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree as Sherman celebrates his interception in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Seattle.

      Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman jumps over San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree as Sherman celebrates his interception in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Seattle.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18)passes the ball during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL playoff football game against the New England Patriots in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014.

      Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18)passes the ball during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL playoff football game against the New England Patriots in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014.

 
 

While everyone wants to talk about the weather, there are plenty of other talking points regarding Sunday's game between the Broncos and Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in Newark, N.J.

Here's a glance at some key numbers, key players, the marquee matchup and more, with a little forecast for the outdoor game and a prediction.

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By the numbers

The Broncos' offense was No. 1 in points (37.9 per game), total yards (457.3) and passing yards (340.3) by a wide margin while Seattle's defense was No. 1 in fewest total yards (273.6), passing yards (172) and points allowed (14.4).

• Seattle led the NFL with 39 takeaways, 28 interceptions and a plus-20 turnover differential, and the Broncos' defense was tied for No. 7 in run defense, allowing just 101.6 yards per game.

• The Seahawks' offense was No. 4 in rushing yards (136.8), and the Broncos' offense was 15th in rushing yards (117.1 yards per game), while Seattle's defense tied at No. 7 with Denver, allowing 101.6 yards per game.

• Both teams were 6-2 on the road and both lost by 6 points to the Colts in Indianapolis. The Broncos were beaten 39-33 in Week 7, just two weeks after the Seahawks lost 34-28 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

• In six career playoff games, Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch has 6 rushing TDs and four 100-yard games. He has scored at least once in his past four playoff games and has 249 rushing yards in the previous two playoff games.

• This is the Broncos' seventh Super Bowl, tying the Patriots for third all time. The Steelers and Cowboys both have eight appearances.

• Broncos QB Peyton Manning, who set NFL regular-season records in 2013 with 55 TD passes and 5,477 yards, has thrown 79 passes in this postseason without being sacked. ... The Seahawks tied for eighth in sacks with 44.

• Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is the only player in NFL history with a passer rating of over 100.0 in each of his first two seasons, and his 24 victories in two seasons are more than any QB since 1950. The Seahawks have averaged just 148 passing yards per game in the postseason, the fewest by a Super Bowl team since the 2000 Ravens.

Players to watch

In what almost everyone believes will be an evenly matched game, special teams could be the difference. Both teams possess impact players.

The Seahawks will have wide receiver Percy Harvin back after an injury-plagued year that almost completely wiped out his regular season (1 catch, 17 yards). He also missed the NFC title game with a concussion. But in the previous four years with the Vikings, Harvin had 5 kickoff-return TDs while averaging 27.9 yards per attempt. His only kickoff return in 2013 went for 58 yards.

The Broncos counter with big-play, bad-play return specialist Trindon Holliday, who can score from anywhere on the field but is also prone to losing fumbles. The 5-foot-5, 170-pound Holliday runs the 40 in the 4.3s and averaged 27.7 yards on kickoff returns, including a 105-yard TD. He averaged 8.5 yards on punt returns, but he also fumbled five times.

Best local angle:

Seahawks 6-foot-4, 271-pound DE Michael Bennett is the older brother of Bears TE Martellus Bennett. Michael has 2 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles and 1 sacks in 2 postseason wins. He had 8 sacks in the regular season, and 9 the previous season with the Bucs and can become a free agent on March 11, which should interest the Bears, who tied for last in the league with 30 sacks.

"I'm trying to get him here as well," Martellus said after the Bears' season ended. "Hopefully when (free agency) starts, I get to go upstairs and talk to some people about that."

Marquee matchup

The Seahawks' 6-foot-3, 195-pound Richard Sherman, the self-proclaimed "best cornerback in the league," vs. the Broncos' 6-foot-3, 229-pound WR Demaryius Thomas.

Since he entered the league in 2011, Sherman leads the NFL with 20 interceptions (8 this season). Thomas has 4 TDs in five career postseason games. He had 7 catches for 134 yards (19.1-yard average) with a TD in AFC title game. He has back-to-back seasons with at least 90 catches and more than 1,400 yards.

Weather or not

In the first-ever outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city, the forecast is for highs in the low-40s and lows in the upper 20s with a slight chance of rain and/or snow and moderate winds. The coldest ever game-time temperature was 39 degrees for Super Bowl VI at New Orleans' Tulane Stadium.

LeGere's pick:

Broncos 23, Seahawks 20.

On the season:

Straight up: 166-96-1

Vs. the spread: 131-125-7

Super Bowl XLVIII

Denver Broncos (15-3) vs. Seattle Seahawks (15-3)

When: 5:25 p.m. Sunday (FOX TV)

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

Line: Broncos by 2.

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