With the Super Bowl rematch to end all Super Bowl rematches now just a day away, it’s time to get to some links and other stuff . …
1. Times columnist Larry Stone says the stakes are high for both teams Sunday, writing:
The Broncos, of course, have such an obvious and powerful motivation for Sunday’s game that they’ve spent much of the week denying it exists.
“Lord willing, we’ve forgotten about it,’’ Denver Coach John Fox said of the Super Bowl, knowing full well that the Broncos’ 43-8 drubbing by Seattle is never far from his players’ consciousness.
Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton admitted, “Saturday, when we get on that plane, a lot of guys’ adrenaline will start boosting.”
The Seahawks, however, also have much at stake, and much to stoke them, beyond the obvious desire to avoid a 1-2 start.
Much of their self-image, and by extension their runaway success, has been built upon the notion that they are the baddest team around. They feel they hit harder and play tougher than their foes.
2. And our notebook leading with an item on the challenge facing Marcus Burley of defending Wes Welker Sunday.
3. Seahawks.com notes that Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning have the highest passer ratings in the NFL since 2012.
4. USA Today says the Broncos offense is out to prove its toughness against the Seahawks.
5. But USA Today also says the Seahawks are prepared for Denver’s best shot.
6. SI.com’s Chris Burke and Doug Farrar each say the Denver defense has improved more than the Seattle offense.
7. A Broncos injury update from the Denver Post.
9. FieldGulls writes that there may be some reason to worry about Richard Sherman’s coverage against San Diego.
10. Finally, a few predictions: Jeff Legwold, who covers Denver for ESPN, picks the Broncos while Terry Blount, who covers the Seahawks for ESPN, picks Seattle. Josh Katzowitz of CBSSports.com also picks Denver. Most of the SBNation crew picks Seattle.