When the Broncos and Seahawks booked their places in Super Bowl XLVIII, a major matchup became apparent: the NFL’s top offense led by Peyton Manning against the No. 1 defense from Seattle for the Lombardi Trophy.
That’s all well and good, but with so much attention being paid to this story line, how does each team’s defense — especially the Broncos’ less-talked-about crew — feel about the hype?
“It puts a chip on our shoulder as a defense not being talked about, but I mean, we’re playing [with] a Hall of Fame quarterback who’s going to get all the attention,” Broncos defensive lineman Terrance Knighton said during Super Bowl Media Day yesterday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Broncos defensive end Shaun Phillips had a different outlook, giving the NFC champions credit for earning a No. 1 ranking. But at the end of the day, he said the biggest game of the year will come down to how the less-hyped sides do.
“You expect their defense to play good, you expect our offense to play good,” he said. “The game comes down to both sides on the other side [of the ball].”
On the other hand, Seahawks defensive players, who limited opponents to 4,378 net total yards this season (442 fewer than the No. 2 Panthers) said they weren’t concerned with the pressure of being highly ranked and going up against a former Super Bowl MVP in Manning.
“There’s no pressure. We just do what we do. We’re the No. 1 defense. We know the task at hand,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “You gotta relish it because you know, to consider yourself the No. 1 defense truly besides the numbers, you gotta beat the No. 1 offense.”
“It’s definitely a task we’re looking forward to,” he added.