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48 Notes about Super Bowl XLVIII

Posted Jan 31, 2014

To commemorate Super Bowl XLVIII, we bring you 48 facts and tidbits about Super Bowls, the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks and, of course, the Giants.

I – Denver and Seattle are a combined 2-5 in Super Bowls. The Broncos are 2-4 (winning Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII) and the Seahawks are 0-1. Denver’s seventh Super Bowl appearance ties it with New England for the third-highest total in the game’s history. Dallas and Pittsburgh have each played in eight Super Bowls.

II - This will be the first Super Bowl in history pitting teams with at least 1,000 yards in penalties. Denver was flagged for 1,000 and Seattle had an NFL-high 1,183.

III – Denver’s Peyton Manning will be the third quarterback to start Super Bowls for two different teams and hopes to become the first to win the game with two teams. Craig Morton started for Dallas vs. Baltimore in Super Bowl V and for Denver vs. Dallas in Super Bowl XII. His teams lost both games. Kurt Warner started for St. Louis in Super Bowls XXXIV and XXXVI and for Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII. He won the first and lost the last two. Morton and Warner each played for the Giants.

IV- Seattle’s Pete Carroll is trying to become the third coach to win an AP national collegiate championship and a Super Bowl, joining Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. Carroll won the 2003 and 2004 titles at USC.

V - The Giants are 4-1 in Super Bowls. In those five games, they scored 104 points and allowed 104 points.

VI – Denver and Seattle were the top postseason seeds in their respective conferences. This is the 10th time since the playoff seeding system was adopted in 1975 that No. 1 seeds will square off in the Super Bowl. But only one of the previous 20 Super Bowl matchups has been a collision of two No. 1 seeds; four years ago in South Florida, where New Orleans defeated Manning’s Indianapolis Colts.

VII – The Broncos and Seahawks each had an NFL-best 13-3 record in 2013. The last three Super Bowl champions – the Packers, Giants and Ravens – had 10, nine and 10 regular-season victories, respectively. Denver or Seattle will be the first team to finish the regular season with the best record and win the Super Bowl since the 2003 Patriots (who were 14-2).

VIII – Seattle is the first team since the 1990 Bills to advance to the Super Bowl without any players on the roster who previously played in the game.

IX - Manning will be 37 years, 351 days on Super Bowl Sunday, making him the second-oldest quarterback to start the game. John Elway – the last quarterback to start a Super Bowl for the Broncos – was 38 years, 217 days old when he started Super Bowl XXXIII on Jan. 31, 1999 (15 years ago today). Elway is now Denver’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

X – Teams that gain the most total yards in Super Bowls are 37-10.

XI - The Broncos lead the regular-season series with Seattle, 34-18. The Seahawks won the only postseason game between the teams, a 31-7 AFC Wild Card Game victory in 1983. From 1977 to 2001, Denver and Seattle were rivals in the AFC West. The Seahawks moved to the NFC in 2002. This is the first Super Bowl meeting between former division rivals since the Steelers defeated the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. The teams were both in the NFL’s Century Division from 1967-69.

XII - This is the first Super Bowl with both teams located west of the Mississippi River since Super Bowl XXIX, when San Francisco defeated San Diego in Miami.

XIII – The Broncos were the NFL’s top-ranked offensive team in the regular season, averaging 457.3 yards a game. Seattle was ranked first defensively, allowing 273.6 yards a game. This is just the second time since the 1970 merger that the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense squared off in the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XXXVII, Oakland, which had the league’s top-ranked offense, lost to Tampa Bay, which had the best defense. Which leads us to…

XIV – Denver led the league by scoring an NFL-record 606 points. Seattle allowed a league-low 231 points. This will be the first Super Bowl in 23 years and fifth since the 1970 merger matching up the team that scored the most points against an opponent that surrendered the fewest (from 1966-69 there were separate AFL-NFL rankings).

Teams with most points scored vs. teams with fewest points allowed in Super Bowl/since 1970:

Game Top Offense Top Defense Winner
Super Bowl XIII Dallas Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
Super Bowl XIX Miami San Francisco San Francisco
Super Bowl XXIV San Francisco Denver San Francisco
Super Bowl XXV Buffalo Giants Giants

So that’s one victory for the highest-scoring offense and three for the No. 1 scoring defense.

Which leads us to…

XV – This is the first Super Bowl matchup since the merger in which the team that led the league in both yardage and scoring is facing an opponent that gave up the fewest yards and points.

XVI – In the 42 Super Bowls in which they were not one of the competing teams, the Giants played the eventual champion 32 times in the regular season. They are 2-30 in those games, defeating the then 13-0 Denver Broncos in 1998 and the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008. The Giants are 6-23 against Super Bowl losers. The Giants hosted and lost to both Denver and Seattle this season. They also played each Super Bowl participant in 2012, beating San Francisco and losing to eventual champion Baltimore. In 2008, they beat both Super Bowl teams, Arizona and Pittsburgh. This was the first time the Giants both hosted and lost to the Super Bowl teams since 2006, when Indianapolis and Chicago each won in Giants Stadium.

XVII – This is the first time each team played a regular-season game at the site of the Super Bowl since the Colts and Saints played in Miami in 2009 (Super Bowl XLIV).

XVIII – Denver’s John Fox, the Giants’ defensive coordinator from 1997-2001, is the sixth head coach to lead multiple teams to a Super Bowl. Fox took the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII, where they lost to New England.

Coach 1st Super Bowl Team 2nd Super Bowl team
Don Shula Baltimore Miami
Bill Parcells Giants New England
Dan Reeves Denver Atlanta
Dick Vermeil Philadelphia St. Louis
Mike Holmgren Green Bay Seattle
John Fox Carolina Denver

Parcells and Holmgren won Super Bowls with their initial teams, but not at their next stop. Shula and Vermeil lost Super Bowls with their first teams, but won with their second franchises.

XIX – Fox is one of eight former Giants assistant coaches who have led teams to Super Bowls as head coaches. Six of the eight have won at least one Super Bowl. Former Giants coaches are 12-6 as head coaches in Super Bowls.

Name Giants Assistant Team, Super Bowl(s)
Bill Belichick 1979-90 New England: XXXI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII, XLVI
Tom Coughlin 1988-90 Giants: XLII, XLVI
Jim Fassel 1991-92 Giants: XXXV
John Fox 1997-2001 Carolina: XXXVIII, Denver XLVIII
Tom Landry 1954-59 Dallas: V, VI, X, XII, XIII
Vince Lombardi 1954-58 Green Bay: I, II
Bill Parcells 1979, 1981-82 Giants: XXI, XXV; Patriots XXXI
Sean Payton 1999-2002 New Orleans: XLIV

XX- Teams leading at halftime are 35-10 in Super Bowls (there have been two halftime ties).

XXI – The average score of the Broncos’ 16 regular-season games was 37.9-24.9, while the same figures for Seahawks’ games were 26.1-14.4. They are the first Super Bowl opponents with scoring differentials of more than plus-10 in 29 years. In Super Bowl XIX, the champion San Francisco 49ers went 15-1 with an average score of 29.3-14.2 while AFC champion Miami was 14-2 with an average score of 31.7-18.6.

XXII – In the most over-reported fact in the days, weeks and months prior to the game, this is the first outdoor Super Bowl to be played in an outdoor, cold-weather venue. The current forecast calls for temperatures at kickoff in the upper 30s to low 40s. The previous low temperature for a Super Bowl was 39 degrees at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans for Super Bowl VI on Jan. 16, 1972.

XXIII – Manning is the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to advance to the Super Bowl after leading the NFL in passing yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55). Both figures are NFL records. The other quarterbacks on the short list are Dan Marino (1984), Kurt Warner (2001) and Tom Brady (2007) – each of whom lost the Super Bowls in those seasons.

XXIV - Teams scoring first in the Super Bowl are 31-16.

XXV - The NFC holds a 25-22 lead over the AFC in Super Bowls. Four teams - San Francisco (5), Dallas (5), Green Bay (4) and the Giants (4) – have accounted for 72 percent of the NFC victories.

XXVI – This is the 10th time in 11 Super Bowls that the AFC quarterback has been Tom Brady (4), Ben Roethlisberger (3) or Manning (3). The exception was last year, when Baltimore’s Joe Flacco quarterbacked the AFC representative.

XXVII – Seattle’s Russell Wilson will be the sixth quarterback to start a Super Bowl in his first or second NFL season, joining Colin Kaepernick, Roethlisberger, Brady, Kurt Warner and Dan Marino. Wilson can become the fourth quarterback to win a Super Bowl in his first two seasons, joining Warner, Brady and Roethlisberger.

XXVIII – Manning is 8-11 in games in which the temperature at kickoff was below 40 degrees, including the playoffs.

XXIX - The Broncos and Seahawks last faced each other on Sept. 19, 2010 in Seattle, a 31-14 Denver victory. On that date, Manning was with the Colts (that night, he threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over the Giants in Indianapolis) and Wilson was at North Carolina State (where, on Sept. 16, he threw for 333 yards and three scores in a victory over Cincinnati). Wilson began his collegiate career with the Wolfpack before finishing at Wisconsin.

XXX – This is the first time the NFL title will be decided in the nation’s largest metropolitan area since Dec. 30, 1962, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Giants, 16-7, in Yankee Stadium.

XXXI – This is 16th time that the defense that allowed the fewest points in NFL has made the Super Bowl since the merger. The previous 15 went 12-3.

XXXII – Carroll is 2-3 vs. the Broncos, Fox is 1-3 vs. the Seahawks (including postseason games). Fox’s Panthers lost to Seattle in the 2005 NFC Championship Game.

XXXIII - Of the 47 Super Bowl MVP awards, 26 have been won by quarterbacks.

XXXIV – The team with the most rushing yards is 37-10 in the Super Bowl. The team with the most passing yards is 25-22.

XXXV – Denver and Seattle were each 4-1 against common opponents this season. Both teams defeated Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee and the Giants and lost to Indianapolis.

XXXVI - This will be the eighth time in nine years there will be a first-time Super Bowl-winning coach. Since Super Bowl XL following the 2005 season, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Tom Coughlin, Mike Tomlin, Sean Payton, Mike McCarthy and John Harbaugh all won their first Super Bowls. The only coach to interrupt that streak was Coughlin, who won his second Super Bowl two years ago.

XXXVII – The Giants’ Phil Simms’ 88.0 completion percentage in Super Bowl XXI is still the highest by a quarterback in the game’s history. Simms completed 22 of 25 passes in the Giants’ rout of Denver. New Orleans’ Drew Brees had the second-highest completion percentage in a Super Bowl at 82.1 (32 of 39 in defeating Manning’s Colts in Super Bowl XLIV).

XXXVIII - Manning has 6,309 postseason passing yards and needs 116 yards to surpass Brady (6,424) for the most in NFL history.

XXXIX - Super Bowl teams with the fewest turnovers are 35-3.

XL – Twenty starting quarterbacks have won Super Bowls without a loss. The list includes Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana (who were each 4-0), and three Giants – Simms (1-0), Jeff Hostetler (1-0) and Eli Manning (2-0).

XLI – The Giants’ victory over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV was one of just two Super Bowls in which neither team committed a turnover. The other was St. Louis’ triumph over Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV. The Giants also had no turnovers in Super Bowl XXI vs. Denver and Super Bowl XLVI vs. New England and just one in Super Bowl XLII against the Patriots.

XLII – Despite the numbers in the previous note, the Giants’ turnover differential in five Super Bowl appearances is minus-3 (3 takeaways, 6 giveaways). Not surprisingly, the culprit is their one loss; the Giants were minus-5 vs. Baltimore 13 years ago.

XLIII - Denver’s all-time postseason record is 20-17. Seattle’s is 11-12.

XLIV – Seattle is trying to become the 19th franchise in the 32-team NFL to win a Super Bowl.

XLV - The Lombardi Trophy is 21 inches high and weighs seven pounds. Each trophy is valued at $25,000.

XLVI - Teams that have scored a touchdown on an interception return are 11-0 in the Super Bowl.

XLVII – The team that won the coin toss in each of the last three Super Bowls – Green Bay, New England and Baltimore – deferred taking the ball until the second half.

XLVIII - Eli Manning, the MVP of Super Bowl XLII and XVLI, is one of five players to win the award at least twice, joining Joe Montana (three times), Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady.
To commemorate Super Bowl XLVIII, we bring you 48 facts and tidbits about Super Bowls, the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks and, of course, the Giants.