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Seeds of Excellence: Super Bowl L Matchup Set

The Fiftieth Super Bowl includes a team that many predicted in the beginning, and a team that no one predicted. These two number one seeds continue a trend and set up an appealing match-up.

Newton vs. Manning, Superman vs. The Sheriff, Top Seeds for the title of Top Dog.
Newton vs. Manning, Superman vs. The Sheriff, Top Seeds for the title of Top Dog.

The NFL christened their fiftieth Super Bowl with the number 50 instead of the seldom-used Roman numeral 'L', but the symbol merits at least one use when considering the trend that this match-up continues.

The number one seed for the NFC, Carolina Panthers, will face the number one seed for the AFC, the Denver Broncos.  This is the third 1 v. 1 match-up in the last four years, a show of strength of Roman proportions.

Can you guess the lone exception?

Your Baltimore Ravens in 2012.  That game had no #1 seeds, a 4 vs. 2 (49ers) match-up.

Seattle vs. Denver was 1 v. 1, and New England vs. Seattle last year was 1 v. 1.


Carolina enjoyed a home field advantage and obliterated its opponents, at one point leading a total of 55-7 in the games against Seattle and Arizona.

Denver seemed to have more difficulty with its home field stand, only outscoring Pittsburgh and New England by a combined 9 points.

A great twist on the matchup is that this game yields the number one scoring offense against the number one total defense.  Traditionally, if I mentioned LB Luke Kuechly's Panthers and QB Peyton Manning's Broncos, you'd put the defensive stat with the Panthers and the offensive stat with the Broncos.

For Super Bowl L, flip those.

The Broncos did it with defense and a Manning who is not as strong as historically, and the Panthers did it with an offense that not many teams could solve due to QB Cam Newton's versatility.

The seeds have been planted; in two weeks, a final fruition to Super Bowl Champions.