Best of the best
This will be the fifth time since the AFL and NFL merged that the league’s top-scoring offense played the top-scoring defense in the Super Bowl, the first since the Buffalo Bills(top offense) and New York Giants(top defense) met to close the 1990 season.
The top defensive team has won three of the previous four matchups. The lone win by the top-scoring team in those games was by the 1989 San Francisco 49ers against the Broncos.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that this will be the second Super Bowl since the merger featuring the No. 1 total offense (yards gained) versus the No. 1 total defense (yards allowed). The first was Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002 season, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 1 in yards allowed) beat the Oakland Raiders (No. 1 in yards gained).
This is the 19th time that a regular-season scoring champ has reached the Super Bowl. The previous 18 teams were 10-8 in the title game
This is the 16th time that the defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL has made the Super Bowl since the merger. The previous 15 teams went 12-3 in those Super Bowls.
This is the second Super Bowl between No. 1 seeds in last 20 seasons. The other was Super Bowl XLIV between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts following 2009 season. The Saints won that game, 31-17.
Peyton Manning is the fourth quarterback to reach the Super Bowl after leading the NFL in both passing yardage and touchdown passes. The other three- Dan Marino, Kurt Warner and Tom Brady- all lost in that Super Bowl appearance.
Manning will also try to be the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl for two different teams.
Russell Wilson will be the sixth quarterback to start in a Super Bowl in either his first or second season in the league. The previous five went 3-2, with wins by Kurt Warner, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger.
The NFC West will get a chance to snap a four game losing streak in the Super Bowl, with each of the division's four teams losing in their last trip to the big game.
This will be the third Super Bowl between two teams located in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. San Francisco won the two previous such games in blowouts. Whoever wins will be the first Super Bowl-winning team from outside the Eastern/Central time zones since the 1998 Broncos.