Super Bowl key matchups

Seattle CB Richard Sherman vs. Denver WR Demaryius Thomas: Sherman will stay on the left side of the defense, while the Broncos will move Thomas around. While the Seahawks play a lot of zone defense, Sherman and Thomas will spend some time together. Seattle is particularly concerned about Thomas, who played at Georgia Tech, coming free off a myriad of pick plays. Sherman had eight interceptions during the season.

Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch vs. Denver's run defense: Lynch is known for his "Beast Mode" nickname and munching on Skittles candy. He has averaged 124.5 yards per game rushing in the playoffs after rushing for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns in the regular season. Denver's run defense, which is anchored by nose tackle Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton, gave up 101.6 yards per game during the regular season, but held New England's LeGarrette Blount to 6 yards in the AFC Championship game.

Seattle FS Earl Thomas vs. Denver TE Julius Thomas: Earl Thomas leads a unit that ranks first in the NFL in overall defense this season, giving up a league-low 231 points. Denver scored an NFL-record 606 points. Julius Thomas works the middle of the field for the Broncos, and Earl Thomas likely will be used to help his linebackers Bobby Wagner and Malcolm Smith, who'll have primary responsibility for Julius Thomas. Also, K.J. Wright is healthy and could possibly help with Julius Thomas.