- Associated Press
Monday, January 20, 2014


Sunday, Feb. 2

Seattle vs. Denver, 6:30 p.m. Russell Wilson’s Seahawks (15-3) take on Peyton Manning’s Broncos (15-3) for the NFL title at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The two conference champs had the best records in the league this year, the second time the top seeds have gotten to the Super Bowl in 20 seasons. It’s also a classic matchup of Denver’s record-setting offense against the NFL’s stingiest defense. Denver opened as a one-point favorite over Seattle on the Glantz-Culver Line.




- Peyton Manning, Broncos, was 32 of 43 for 400 yards and two touchdowns and Denver advanced to the Super Bowl with a 26-16 victory over the New England Patriots.

- Russell Wilson, Seahawks, completed 16 of 25 passes for 215 yards and a score - a 35-yarder on fourth down in the fourth quarter - in Seattle’s NFC championship game-clinching 23-17 win over San Francisco.



- Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in Seattle’s 23-17 victory over San Francisco.

- Colin Kaepernick, 49ers, had 130 yards rushing, the second-most in a playoff game by a quarterback, on 11 carries but San Francisco lost 23-17 at Seattle.



- Demaryius Thomas, Broncos, caught seven passes for 134 yards and a TD in Denver’s 26-16 win over New England.

- Julius Thomas, Broncos, had eight receptions for 85 yards to help Denver top New England 26-16.

- Julian Edelman, Patriots, caught 10 passes for 89 yards and a score in a losing cause and New England fell to Denver 26-16.

- Doug Baldwin, Seahawks, had 106 yards receiving on six receptions in Seattle’s 23-17 win over San Francisco.


Special Teams

- Matt Prater, Broncos, kicked four field goals, including a 54-yarder in the fourth quarter, in Denver’s 26-16 victory over New England.

- Steven Hauschka, Seahawks, had three field goals in Seattle’s 23-17 victory over San Francisco.



- Malcolm Smith, Seahawks, intercepted a pass off a tip from teammate Richard Sherman in the end zone to seal Seattle’s 23-17 victory over San Francisco.

- Terrance Knighton, Broncos, sacked Tom Brady on a fourth-down play in the third quarter to stop a drive by New England in Denver’s 26-16 win.

- Aldon Smith, 49ers, had a fumble recovery on Seattle’s first snap, leading to a field goal in San Francisco’s 23-17 loss.



The Super Bowl matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos marks the second time in 20 seasons - Indianapolis and New Orleans in 2010 - that the top seeds have gotten to the big game. Denver’s record-setting offense will face Seattle’s No. 1-ranked defense, and the Broncos opened as an early one-point favorite.



Denver’s Peyton Manning will try to become the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams when the Broncos play at the Meadowlands on Feb. 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. Manning led Indianapolis to a Super Bowl victory against Chicago in the 2007 game.



Peyton Manning improved to 5-10 in his career against Tom Brady, but is now 2-1 in AFC title game matchups after Denver topped New England 26-16 on Sunday.



San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick ran for 130 yards in the 49ers’ 23-17 loss to Seattle on Sunday, rushing for the second-most yards by a quarterback in a playoff game. No. 1 is also Kaepernick, who had 181 yards rushing last year against Green Bay in the NFC divisional round. He also had 98 in the wild-card round against Green Bay two weeks ago, giving him three of the top seven performances by QBs in playoff history.



San Francisco All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman suffered what is believed to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which could require reconstructive surgery this offseason. “Preliminary it looks like an ACL,” coach Jim Harbaugh said following a 23-17 loss to the Seahawks in the NFC championship game. “Tough break for NaVorro.” The 49ers also lost starting left guard Mike Iupati to what the 49ers believe is a fractured ankle. … New England cornerback Aqib Talib left the Patriots’ 26-16 loss to Denver with a knee injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s AFC championship game. The Patriots first announced Talib left with a rib ailment, but changed it to a knee after halftime.



“I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get. Don’t you ever talk about me!” - Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman’s postgame rant about San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree to Fox reporter Erin Andrews after the Seahawks’ 23-17 win.


“Just standing here feels pretty good because I almost wasn’t.” - Denver coach John Fox, who missed several weeks of the season after needing heart surgery but returned to lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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