Don't expect too much snarkiness coming from this quadrant of the football universe. We really have the best possible matchups determining who goes to the Super Bowl. That rarely happens.
Part of what makes these two contests so tantalizing is that they are so different. In the AFC, obviously, you have the Brady vs. Manning angle, but how about the fact that the last Denver quarterback to host a conference championship game was Jake Plummer -- or that his Broncos were facing the sixth-seeded Steelers?
Yes, the AFC title tilt is a true clash of titans -- but then, so is the NFC Championship Game, for that matter. The two best defensive units in the league are part of the story, as are Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, clearly new-breed leaders who represent the NFL of 2020. Throw in the fact that the 49ers and Seahawks are divisional rivals, that Seattle is the toughest place to play and that San Francisco is arguably the premier road team in the league, and ... well, you get the point.
Excellent podcast from the Daver.
Totally agree, man. We all win.
Awesome question. The answer is the '89 49er team, which put up the most dominant performance in Super Bowl history. The '98 Broncos would not be able to cover Jerry Rice, John Taylor and Brent Jones -- not with Joe Montana slinging it.
Now, let's get to it ...
I spoke with former sack man Shawne "Lights Out" Merriman, and he feels Lynch will be the key to the game. If the 49ers dedicate a safety in the box to stop the running back, Wilson obviously will have some one-on-one matchups to exploit in the secondary. Can the quarterback capitalize? The Seahawks' wide receivers aren't overly scary, especially now that Percy Harvin's been ruled out of this game.
**In defense of the defense ...** Earlier in the season, you heard grumblings about the [49ers](/teams/sanfrancisco49ers/profile?team=SF)' defense not being what it used to be. Well, I think that unit wins this game for San Francisco (along with the Niners' receivers). Vic Fangio's group [allowed 10 points to the Panthers](http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2014011200/2013/POST19/49ers@panthers), [20 to Aaron Rodgers](http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2014010501/2013/POST18/49ers@packers) and [20 to a hot Cardinals team](http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2013122912/2013/REG17/49ers@cardinals) before that ... all on the road. In fact, San Francisco hasn't given up more than 24 [since *Week 3*](http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2013092211/2013/REG3/colts@49ers). The [Seahawks](/teams/seattleseahawks/profile?team=SEA)' offense will have to lean heavily on Wilson's ability to make plays with his feet, which he'll find much tougher to do this week than [last week](http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2014011100/2013/POST19/saints@seahawks) against the [Saints](/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO). I've been [picking the Seahawks to beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII since last spring](http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/0ap2000000168039/Predict-the-Season-Super-Bowl-XLVIII), but I'm honoring updated football intuition here. [#SFvsSEA](https://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/%23SFvsSEA) </content:weekly-predictions>
**Manning up ...** Don't be surprised if [Peyton Manning](/player/peytonmanning/2501863/profile) audibles to a lot of run plays Sunday. (Wouldn't it be cool if he yelled out "Pizza Hut" as a dummy call?) The Pats still have a soft underbelly. Given how [Knowshon Moreno](/player/knowshonmoreno/79619/profile) runs -- and given that [Montee Ball](/player/monteeball/2539341/profile) seems ready to be a complementary piece -- the sky is the limit ... although the frequency with which Manning aims toward the skies might be limited. Tuck it in the backs' bellies, Peyton. Denver rushed for ***280*** on New England [back in Week 12](http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2013112411/2013/REG12/broncos@patriots). Run the ball, then take the [Patriots](/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) deep as soon as they start keying on Moreno. It will also serve the [Broncos](/teams/denverbroncos/profile?team=DEN) well to keep the Pats from getting anywhere near the four takeaways they got [against the Colts last week](http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2014011101/2013/POST19/colts@patriots). Denver wins an epic contest. [#NEvsDEN](https://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/%23NEvsDEN) </content:weekly-predictions>