EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP) — This Super Bowl has just about everything a fan, a player, a coach — and certainly a league — could ask for.
Denver's record-setting offense versus Seattle's relentlessly stingy defense. Coaches who actually smile and think football should be fun. A wintry setting, and the best two teams in the NFL.
"It's very special to be here," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said of Sunday's big game. "Look at this event that our players are having to take part of. The game, the matchup, the culmination of the season, all of this is just extraordinary."
Super Bowl XLVIII Preparations
A giant Seattle Seahawks "12th Man" flag that flew on the Space Needle before being signed by fans and brought to New York, is displayed at the Statue of Liberty, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 in New York. The flag will be given to the Seahawks team as a gift from their fans before they play the Denver Broncos Sunday in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Panda Le Le tries to rip down a Seattle Seahawks banner after choosing the Denver Broncos as her Super Bowl pick Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 at the Memphis Zoo in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Yalonda M. James)
United States Postal worker Bruce Covey leaves no doubt about his rooting interest in Sunday's Super Bowl as he deliveres the mail on his route in Walla Walla, Wash. Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. "I've gotten some attention, people taking pictures and such," Covey said. (AP Photo/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Greg Lehman)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, left, react for photos as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, leave after a ceremony to pass official hosting duties of next year's Super Bowl to Arizona, Saturday Feb. 1, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
John Elway, center, executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos, looks around MetLife Stadium before the team's walk-through Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Denver Broncos defensive tackle Mitch Unrein (96) looks around MetLife Stadium as he walks onto the field for the team's walk-through on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Seattle Seahawks, from left to right, Robert Turbin, Marshawn Lynch, Percy Harvin and Derrick Coleman walk to the New York Giants' NFL practice facility for a final walkthrough Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman makes a snowball to throw at teammates as they enter the New York Giants' NFL practice facility for a final walkthrough Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Airplanes and a police helicopter fly near MetLife Stadium before the NFL Super Bowl, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll walks on the field inside MetLife Stadium during a brief visit Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Denver Broncos fans Lonnie Moreno, of Denver, cheers as he tours the Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, in New York. The Broncos will play the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in NFL football's Super Bowl in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Denise Gonzalez, of New York, makes a diving catch over foam blocks for a photo during events on Super Bowl Boulevard, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
James Szczesny, of Seattle, cheers as he waits to cross the street while touring the "Super Bowl Boulevard" in Times Square, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Fans gather along Super Bowl Boulevard, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson drops back during NFL football practice Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo)
A police officer from the NYPD Counterterrorism unit search a commercial van at a security checkpoint on 34th Street, Friday Jan. 31, 2014 in New York. Despite no specific terror threats against the Super Bowl, federal and local authorities have heightened security. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Officials from New York, New Jersey and Arizona raise souvenir football helmets during a ceremony to pass official hosting duties of next year's Super Bowl to representatives from Arizona, Saturday Feb. 1, 2014, on New York's Super Bowl Boulevard. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
This Super Bowl could also have a profound effect on the immediate future of pro football.
It may be a referendum on whether the NFL's showpiece event should ever again be held outdoors in a cold-weather city. But more likely is it being a strong indicator about the future of the quarterback position.
The game will feature the classic pocket passer emblematic of the old guard — Denver's veteran Peyton Manning, who has had an extraordinarily prolific season.
Against him is Seattle's quick-footed, quick-witted scrambler Russell Wilson, who represents the new guard along with the likes of Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, even Andrew Luck.
Seattle's miserly defense wants to force Manning into uncomfortable territory, which means anywhere outside the passing pocket. Denver's defense will be intent on giving Wilson a taste of claustrophobia by keeping him hemmed in the pocket.
Both QB approaches work for their offenses, or else these two teams wouldn't each be 15-3, top seeds in their conferences and facing off for the championship. The quarterback differences — aside from age, time of service in the pros, or even their height — Manning is about 15 centimeters (6 inches) taller than Wilson — make this Super Bowl even more intriguing.