JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The Seattle Seahawks boast one of the most daunting secondaries of the Super Bowl era, leading the league in total defense, turnovers forced, interceptions and pass yards allowed.
"It don't bother me," wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said Monday. "I like getting hit. That's why I play the game."
The Broncos are the first team in NFL history to send four players into double digits in touchdowns (they have five). That embarrassment of riches means Defensive Player of the Year candidates Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas can't concentrate on stopping Manning's first option.
If Seattle tries to take away Thomas and Eric Decker downfield, Manning is perfectly capable of leading a "death by a thousand paper cuts" offense with Wes Welker and Julius Thomas exploiting single coverage underneath.
"We understand it's going to be a physical game and we have to match their intensity and their physicality," Julius Thomas said. " ... You can't come out and get pushed around. That's not something you can do if you're going to win a football game."
Which unit has the advantage -- Seattle's bruising secondary or Manning's pick-your-poison offense?
It's perhaps the most fascinating matchup in Super Bowl history. As well as Manning has translated opposing defenses' intentions before the snap over the past month, it wouldn't surprise us if he becomes just the third quarterback this season to surpass 300 passing yards and 400 total yards against the Seahawks.