Broncos to face Seahawks in 48th Super Bowl

NEW YORK Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:13am EST

1 of 4. Denver Broncos players hold up the Lamar Hunt Trophy after they defeated the New England Patriots in the NFL's AFC Championship football game in Denver, January 19, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Leffingwell

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks won their National Football League conference championships in brilliant style on Sunday to set up a historic Super Bowl between the top two ranked teams in the United States.

The Broncos, led by their unflappable quarterback Peyton Manning, beat the New England Patriots 26-16 in Colorado to make it to their first Super Bowl in 15 years.

The Seahawks overturned a 10-0 deficit to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in Washington state and advance to the NFL's title game for just the second time in the franchise's history.

"This feels even sweeter," said Seattle owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. "What an amazing job in a super tough game."

The two teams will meet in the 48th Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on February 2 in a game that has all the makings of a classic with the Broncos boasting the best offense in the league and the Seahawks the best defense.

The Broncos will be appearing in the Super Bowl for the seventh time, one less than the record jointly shared by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, and chasing their third win after back-to-back victories in the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

MASTERFUL DISPLAY

Manning played in two Super Bowls with his former team the Indianapolis Colts, tasting success in the 2006 season, and has the chance to win a second ring at age 37 after another masterful display against the Patriots and his old rival Tom Brady.

"Well, it's an exciting feeling," he said.

"You do take a moment to realize that we've done something special here and you certainly want to win one more."

Manning broke the record for the most touchdown passes in a regular season with 55 strikes and continued his devastating form against the Patriots, completing 32-of-43 passes for 400 yards and touchdowns to Jacob Tamme and Demaryius Thomas.

Brady threw one touchdown pass and rushed for another but was unable to prevent his team from suffering another agonizing loss.

Although New England has been the dominant force in the NFL for the past decade and a half, winning three titles between the 2001 and 2004 seasons, the Patriots have lost their last two Super Bowl appearances and have now lost the last two AFC Championship games.

"It's tough to get to this point, two weeks from now there's only one team that's going to win that game and that's a tough one to win," Brady said.

"Anytime you come up short of what you're trying to accomplish, it's not a great feeling but I'm proud of our team and the way we fought."

HOPES DASHED AGAIN

The 49ers were also cursing their postseason ill-fortune.

Beaten by the New York Giants in the NFC title game two years ago, then by the Baltimore Ravens in last season's Super Bowl, the Niners still had a chance to beat the Seahawks.

But their hopes were dashed when Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith intercepted a pass from San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick with just 22 seconds left on the clock.

"I didn't play good enough to win," said a dejected Kaepernick.

"I turned the ball over three times, I cost us this game."

Seattle trailed 17-10 in the third quarter but piled on 13 unanswered points to seal the win, highlighted by a 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse in the final quarter.

"This team was ready to finish," said Seattle coach Pete Carroll.

"We knew we weren't in the lead but that didn't matter.

"They were going to go out and get it done no matter what it took."

(Reporting by Julian Linden; editing by Gene Cherry)

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Comments (3)
I’m just putting it out there that the Seahawks did not win legitimately. Thanks to some very biased calls made by the referees, the Seahawks won. For example, the man who ran into Andy Lee (punter) after he kicked the ball, ON THE PLANTED FOOT. THE REFEREES CALLED IT A “RUNNING INTO THE KICKER” flag. That has a 5 yard penalty. The correct penalty would have been ROUGHING THE KICKER FLAG. That has a 15 yard penalty, and it would have been a San Francisco 1st down. That was a huge mistake. Another one was THE CALL WHEN NOVARRO BOWMAN RECOVERED A FUMBLE MADE BY THE SEAHAWKS. THE REPLAYS SHOWED THAT BOWMAN HAD RECOVERD THE BALL AND HAD FULL CONTROL OF IT. YET, THE REFEREES SIMPLY DENIED THAT THE PLAY COULD NOT BE REVIEWED AND THE RULING ON THE FIELD THAT SEAHAWKS RECOVERED IT STOOD. These biased referees cost the 49ers the game, and there was nothing they could do about it. The San Francisco 49ers deserved to win.

Jan 20, 2014 12:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
jabberwolf wrote:
And paid off refs gave blatantly obvious calls … in favor of Seahawks… they will be enjoying their payoffs on off shore accounts. They should find jobs as garbage men… not refs.

Jan 20, 2014 12:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
puzzled wrote:
NFL should take a heavy hand against the blatant and flagrant false calls by the refs. Bad spots on the ball, terrible an wrong penalty calls throughout the game and worst call that cost the game was the Bowman fumble recovery where he had possession of a ball for several seconds and was down before anyone else touched the ball. Seahawks and especially Sherman are a bunch of thugs and hoodrats. Fans are pathetic, throwing skittles at Bowman when being taken out on a stretcher – classless organization and fan base.

Jan 20, 2014 1:01am EST  --  Report as abuse
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