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Denver Broncos Seattle Seahawks: 2014 NFL Championship Weekend Review

The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will battle in Super Bowl XLVIII, Sunday, February 3 in MetLife Stadium, New York, New York. The game will be covered by Fox Sports with kickoff at approximately 6:30pm ET.

The Broncos (AFC) and Seahawks (NFC) both enter the game as the number one seed from the respective American Football Conference and National Football Conferences, and both come into the game as the best at what they do: the Broncos are the top scoring offence in the NFL, while the Seahawks are the league’s top defence. Come Super Bowl Sunday, one of those will have to give in.

So how did the teams get this far. Here is a quick review:

The Denver Broncos finished first in the AFC West with a 13-3 record, edging out the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) for the division crown. The Broncos then faced the San Diego Chargers (9-7) in the Divisional Playoff round, winning that game by 24-17 score.

In the AFC Championship game, the Broncos met their old nemesis in the New England Patriots, who were led by Tom Brady. The Broncos jumped out to a quick 13-3 lead at the half, then extended that to 20-3 heading into the final 15 minute segment, before closing out the 26-16 win. Denver was now heading to the franchises’ 6th Super Bowl, having won twice in back to back wins in 1997 and 1998, led by QB John Elway, who is now the club’s President.

The Seattle Seahawks also finished first in the NFC West with a 13-3 record, squeezing by the defending NFC Champs San Francisco 49ers (12-4) for the divisional crown. In the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the Hawks met up with the New Orleans Saints, who were led by quarterback Drew Brees, prevailing 23-15.

In the NFC Championship game, the Seahawks met up with divisional rival 49ers, who jumped out to a 10-0 first half lead. The Hawks then cut into the lead for a 10-3 halftime deficit. Marshawn Lynch then rumbled for a 40-yard touchdown run to knot the game at 10-10 midway through the 3rd quarter. After some back and forth scoring, the Hawks then led 23-17 as the Niners marched in the final minute for the winning score. But an interception in the endzone ended San Fran’s thoughts of a comeback win, and Seattle was on its way to the team’s second-ever Super Bowl. The last time they were in the big game was in 2006 in Detroit, dropping a 21-10 decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Seattle Seahawks Battle the San Francisco 49ers for 2014 NFC Championship

The San Francisco 49ers visit Seattle to tackle the Seahawks in the National Football Conference’s Championship this coming Sunday, January 19 at Century Link Field. Kickoff is at 6:30pm ET, with the game being show nationally on the Fox Sports network.

The winner of the NFC Championship game will meet the winner of the AFC Championship game between the number one seeded Denver Broncos and the number two seed New England Patriots. The two winners will play Sunday, Feb 2nd in the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, New York. It will also mark the very first ‘cold’ weather game to played outdoors in Super Bowl history.

Bookmakers see this game as a virtual toss-up, with the Hawks being made a 3-point favorite because of the home field advantage, while all expect the game to be very low scoring as the Total for this NFC Championship is set at 39.

On Sunday, the Niners and Hawks will be meeting as virtual mirror images of each other: both having very strong defences, strong running attacks (Niners’ Frank Gore and the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch) and young athletic quarterbacks (Niners Colin Kaepernick and the Hawks Russell Wilson). And both are led by their coaches who both were in the Pac 10 just four years ago.

The 49ers are led by Jim Harbaugh, while the Seahawks have Pete Carroll leading the way. Both teams flat out hate each other, as do both coaches, who’ve both had personal run-ins with each other over the years, in both the Pac 10 and in the NFL.

Head to head this year, the two teams split the two games, each winning in their home parks. The Seahawks thumped the Niners 27-3 back in week 2, while the Niners squeaked out a 19-17 win just four weeks ago, the gaming winning field goal booted with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Both teams are both going into the game quite healthy, with the biggest name in question being Seattle Wideout Percy Harvin, who is listed as questionable because of the NFL-mandated concussion protocol, as Harvin missed the second half of last week’s game against the New Orleans Saints with a concussion.

San Francisco, the number 5 seed in the NFC, has made it to the big NFC game by virtue of a 12-4 regular season record, and road playoff wins over both Green Bay and Carolina. Seattle had a 13-3 regular season mark, giving it the number 1 seed in the NFC. Last week the Hawks squeezed by the visiting New Orleans Saints by a 23-15 count.

Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears: NFC Divisional Playoffs Sunday

While this one looks like it should be an easy win for the Bears, that is what everyone said last week when the huge underdog Seahawks tackled the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, winning by a 41-36 count.

Also, the Hawks defeated the Bears 23-20 back in October at Soldier Field. So anything is possible in this contest. Another advantage for Seattle is having a veteran quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck, who has also appeared in a Super Bowl. The Bears will have Jay Cutler behind center, who will be making his playoff debut. But the Bears have one of the best defences in football, while the Seahawks struggle against both the run and the pass, so this game could be a close win for the Bears or Seahawks, or a blowout for Chicago. Just don’t see a big Seattle win.

Seattle Seahawks (8-9) @ Chicago Bears (11-5)

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks Wildcard Weekend Game

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks Wildcard Weekend Game: The Seattle Seahawks play host to this weekend’s initial Wild Card Weekend NFL playoff game with the ugly tag of having the worst record ever, as it hosts the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

In most people’s eyes, this game should just be mailed in, and the bookmakers agree, making the Drew Brees-led Saints an 11-point road favorite, which is simply unheard of in the bookmaking realm. Why is this?

One of the biggest reasons is the Quarterback position, as no one seems to know which QB is going to start. Is it the incumbent started, Matt Hasselbeck, or is it going to be Charlie Whitehurst, who guided the Seahawks to last weekend’s big win over the visiting St. Louis Rams to capture the NFC West title. If Hasselbeck is healthy, it gives Seattle a big boost, but if the Hawks have to go with Whitehurst, the team’s prospects look bleak.

We are also talking about the defending Super Bowl champs, who have Drew Brees leading the way at QB. However, the Saints have lost two of its last three games. Also, the Seahawks were 5-3 at home this year, and Qwest Field remains one of the toughest places for a visiting team to play. Also, the Saints have never won a road playoff game. Is this the year it begins?