words // Brandon Richard
This past Sunday, the Denver Broncos defeated the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. The game marks Denver’s first trip to the Super Bowl since January 1999, when they beat the Atlanta Falcons to become back-to-back champions.
An integral part of that roster was running back Terrell Davis, MVP of Super Bowl XXXII and a 100+ yard rusher in both games. Injuries forced Davis into an early retirement, but in a four-year span, he had three 1,000+ yard rushing seasons, a 2,008 yard campaign, was voted 1998 MVP and won two rings. That’s why he’s still up for consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
With the Broncos heading back to the big game, today’s Eastbay Memory Lane takes us back to August 1999, when ‘TD’ covered our Fall Sports issue. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see a full healthy 10-or-so year career play out, but what he accomplished in 7 injury-hit seasons is remarkable. Where does Davis rank among the all-time running backs? Will Knowshon Moreno be able to replicate some of his Super Bowl magic?
words // Brandon Richard
And then there were two.
Following one of the most anticipated Conference Championship weekends in NFL history, we now have our two participants for Super Bowl XLVIII. The league’s top-ranked defense will square off against the top-ranked offense when the Seattle Seahawks face the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium on February 2.
The Broncos became AFC Champions by getting the best of an old rival — Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Denver thoroughly outplayed the Patriots for most of the game, holding off a late rally to win 26-16. Peyton Manning led the way for Denver by completing 32 of his 43 passes for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Things were a bit more chippy in Seattle, where the Seahawks continued their home dominance with a 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. ‘Beast Mode’ Marshawn Lynch racked up 109 yards rushing, but it was Richard Sherman and the Seattle defense that forced two late-game turnovers to seal the deal.
Now the stage is set for East Rutherford. The former AFC West foes were arguably the two best teams in football all season long and will now go head-to-head for all the marbles. Russell Wilson will attempt to put his name among the game’s elite, while Manning will be looking to add to one of football’s greatest legacies. What’s your early prediction for the big game?
Before the showdown, and this weekend’s Pro Bowl, check out some of the football cleats that hit the field during this year’s Conference Championship games in today’s NFL Watch.
Vernon Davis // Under Armour Nitro III
Michael Crabtree // Air Jordan 12 Low PE
Colin Kaepernick // Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite
Anquan Boldin // Nike Super Speed Low
Russell Wilson // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Marshawn Lynch // Nike Vapor Talon Elite
Earl Thomas // Air Jordan 6 PE
Richard Sherman // Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite
Tom Brady // Under Armour Football Cleats
LeGarrette Blount // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Julian Edelman // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Demaryius Thomas // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro Low
Knowshon Moreno // Reebok Zig Blaze
Wes Welker // Nike Alpha Pro
Peyton Manning // Reebok Zig Blaze
images via Ronald Martinez, Jamie Squire for Getty Images; Matthew Emmons, Kirby Lee, Joe Nicholson, Mark J. Rebilas, Kyle Terada for USA Today Sports; Jack Dempsey for AP Photo