NFL: Seattle Seahawks to face Denver Broncos in Super Bowl

Seattle holds on to beat the San Francisco 49ers while the Broncos beat the New England Patriots to set up Super Bowl XLVIII

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The Independent Online

The Seattle Seahawks will face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks held on to beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in a thrilling game that  secured their spot in next months Super Bowl in New York. The Broncos, led by 4 time league MVP quarterback  Peyton Manning, defeated the New England Patriots 26-16to claim the AFC title and advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1998 season.

In the NFC Championship game, the Seahawks beat the 49ers in one of the most physical games of the season, that provided a highlight reel of big defensive hits as well as spectacular offensive performances. In front of Seattle's world famous 12th man support, injuries and questionable officiating calls would play a part in how the game played out, but it was the fact that both teams were evenly matched throughout that kept the game close all the way to the final 20 seconds. It would eventually be Seattle's Defence that would win them the game, forcing three turnovers in the 4th quarter that would prove the difference. Seattle held off a late surge by the 49ers in the dying minutes of the game, intercepting Colin Kaepernick's throw in the end zone to secure their spot in the Super Bowl.The Seahawks will feature in their first Super Bowl since 2006 where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10. The organisation has yet to win a Championship and will be hoping that their young Quarterback and stout Defence will bring the Lombardi Trophy to the streets of Seattle for the first time. 

In the first conference championship game of the evening, the Denver Broncos produced a commanding all round performance, recording 507 total yards and two touchdowns to beat the Patriots. It was their ability to control the clock, keeping Tom Brady and the New England Patriots offence off the field, that allowed the Broncos to establish an early lead, something the Pats were unable to recover from. Denver's defence, the weakest aspect of the team throughout the season, significantly stepped up as they managed to hold  the Patriots to just one touchdown in the game.  Tom Brady has now lost his third consecutive AFC championship game and will miss out on yet another chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Peyton Manning will be playing in his third Super Bowl.  Manning won his first ring in 2007 with the Indianapolis Colts. The last time he played in the big game was in 2010, where the New Orleans Saints beat his Colts 31-17. 

The Super Bowl will be a highly anticipated matchup between the top ranked offence in the league and the top ranked defence. Both clubs were the top two seeded teams going into the playoffs. The game contains two quarterbacks that represent the changing nature of the NFL. Peyton Manning, an experienced, more traditional quarterback who relies on his throwing ability to beat opposing defences; and Russell Wilson, a young, more athletic QB who uses his legs as well as his arm to win.

New York hosts the Super Bowl for the first time on 2nd February. Traditionally the Championship game has been held in either a warm weather climate or in a domed stadium to ensure a high quality game, not hindered by the weather.