Who's It Gonna Be?



Mazzeo By Mike Mazzeo

Two years ago, Eli Manning captured the Lombardi Trophy in Peyton Manning's house.

This time, Big Brother is going to return the favor.

Peyton Manning had the best regular season of any quarterback in NFL history in 2013, breaking single-season records for both touchdowns (55) and passing yards (5,477).

And with the dazzling array of dynamic offensive weapons he has around him -- Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas and Knowshon Moreno -- Peyton Manning will capture his second Super Bowl title at MetLife Stadium when it's all said and done, tying Eli Manning for the most NFL championships won by a son of Archie Manning.

Peyton Manning has done it all in his career, but his playoff record (10-11) certainly isn't as good as it could be. And you wonder if he still loses sleep at night over that Tracy Porter interception he threw in Super Bowl XLIV.

All that has to motivate him.

Peyton Manning is just 4-10 all-time against Tom Brady, but that will change Sunday afternoon.

And two weeks later, Peyton Manning and the Broncos will take down the San Francisco 49ers, solidifying his place as one of -- if not the -- greatest signal-callers ever.

Then, who knows, maybe Peyton Manning will have to hang it up. ESPN.com reported that he will have to undergo an exam on his surgically repaired neck after the season.

In the unfortunate event that he can't play anymore, at least Peyton Manning, 37, will be able to say he went out on top. He'll be able to eat all the Papa John's and drink all the Miller Lite he wants.

And, maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to find out what Omaha really means.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com


Darcy By Kieran Darcy

Many people are complaining about the first cold-weather game in Super Bowl history.

Not the Seattle Seahawks. It gives them the best chance to win the Lombardi Trophy.

First of all, Seattle has the best home-field advantage in the NFL, giving them a big edge in the NFC Championship Game. And the Seahawks played at MetLife Stadium just one month ago, against the Giants, so they'll be in very familiar confines come Feb. 2.

They say defense wins championships, and that rings even truer in harsh conditions. Seattle boasts the best defense in the NFL, both in terms of yards allowed per game (273.6) and points allowed (14.4).

The Broncos and Patriots both rely on prolific offenses to put up big points. That would be a tall order against the Seahawks even on a summer day.

Seattle is no slouch on offense, either. The Seahawks are fourth in the NFL in rushing, averaging 136.8 yards per game. Marshawn Lynch finished sixth in the league with 1,257 yards -- the best total of any running back still active in the playoffs.

The colder it is, the more important the running game becomes. And don't forget about the wind at the Meadowlands, and the chance for precipitation.

Advantage Seahawks, yet again.

Yes, Russell Wilson doesn't have the track record of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. But he's a rising star, and one who makes very few mistakes. He threw fewer interceptions than both Manning and Brady this season. And he's much better at making plays with his feet.

Add it all up, and it's hard not to like Seattle's chances.

It'll be the first cold-weather Super Bowl, and would be the Seahawks' first championship. Sounds like a fairy-tale ending.

Kieran Darcy is a staff writer at ESPNNewYork.com


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