This was a season full of power teams. The conference title games featured four 12-win teams for only the third time in history. Perhaps we shouldn't be that surprised that the two No. 1 seeds made it through to the Super Bowl for only the second time since 1993.
Here's what else we learned Sunday:
- San Francisco's last four drives Sunday: three-and-out, sack-fumble, interception, interception. Seattle scored the final 13 points of the game, and it could have been worse if it didn't fumble the ball on the goal line. That's an epic way to finish a game, and it's hardly just about Richard Sherman.
- Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor, Byron Maxwell and Bobby Wagner all took turns making big plays. Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant absolutely stuffed the 49ers' run game. This is the best defense the NFL has seen in at least five years, in large part because everyone on the field is dangerous.
- Seattle-San Francisco deserved to be the prime-time game. It couldn't have been more even: Both teams gained 308 total yards. Seattle had one more penalty yard. Both young quarterbacks had their share of mistakes, but both players had moments of pure improvisational genius. They are a lot of fun to watch work as they develop.
- Seattle had 11 drives. Only four of them topped 25 yards. They have won all season without an explosive offense or competent pass protection. Russell Wilson is leaving the pocket early and often.
- Tom Brady wasn't playing with a full deck, but he missed a surprising amount of throws Sunday. Perhaps it shouldn't be that big a surprise because he missed a lot of throws last week, and for much of the first half of the season. The Patriots' offense had to be nearly flawless Sunday to win and Brady left too many points on the field. The total lack of a running game didn't help.
- The Broncos defense, such a big question all season, effectively has given the team big leads in both playoff games. The Seahawks should be a relatively easy matchup compared to San Diego and New England. The Broncos defense, led by Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton, only needs to be average for Manning to win his second Super Bowl. In the playoffs, they have been much better than that.