So, who wins Super Bowl XLVIII?
Denver Broncos – Madden NFL 25 Team Rating: 89
The Broncos put on quite a show in the post-season, even with a first-round bye. Despite a surge by the Chargers, Peyton and the boys had no problem sending them to the showers. In addition, the quarterback's showdown with Tom Brady turned out to be a one-sided affair, with the Patriots failing to capitalize on their offense and the Broncos running wild.
Against the Seahawks, quarterback Peyton Manning will have his hands full, as they have one of the best-ranked defenses in the league. Still, Peyton set a number of passing records in just a few weeks' time, and found support with strong offensive players, including Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas.
The defense is no slouch either. With Champ Bailey and Von Miller doing plenty of work – and sacks registered from other players throughout the season – they'll be more than ready for Russell Wilson and his squad.
Playing as the Broncos
The important factor playing on the offensive side is Peyton. He knows his passing better than most quarterbacks, and that'll be a real deciding factor when it comes to winning the Super Bowl. His defense should keep him safe, but watch out for holes in the offensive line, as Seattle defensive men will try to break through every chance they get.
As far as passing plays go, stick to low to mid-range at first, getting ball movement down the field. Go for the long throw, but keep in mind that Seattle is known for being strong defensively, and will read receivers. Stick to the open men, and don't be afraid to throw in some running plays, just to keep the Seahawks on their toes.
Defensively, it's important to keep an eye on the Seahawks' quarterback, Russell Wilson. When the situation calls for it, he knows how to move the ball. Try to get a read on his passes, and keep up with the receivers to try and get the interception. After all, Champ Bailey has become pretty prone at them, and can easily grab a decisive ball, especially in the second half. Don't be afraid to go for sacks either – the Broncos defense knows how to open a gap, and could knock Wilson for a loop when he least expects it.
Seattle Seahawks – Madden NFL 25 Team Rating: 90
With a slightly higher rating than the Broncos, one would think that the Seahawks have the main advantage in the Super Bowl. However, the Seattle defense – ranked one of the best in the league, if not the best – will have their hands full with Peyton Manning, who racked up a number of yards this season.
Still, that doesn't mean the Seahawks are slouches, by any means. Russell Wilson has proven to be an able quarterback in the post-season, not only leaving the Saints out of the post-season, but also the 49ers in a very close playoff contest. Defensively, the team is quite strong as well, especially with Richard Sherman lurking for an interception.
However, one key advantage missing in this contest – the "12th Man," or in this case, the home crowd that got the Seahawks so pumped up for their 49ers contest. That's not to say there won't be people cheering like mad at the Super Bowl, but it will take away a slight advantage.
Playing as the Seahawks
Russell Wilson is a fine quarterback, but can't keep up with Manning in terms of statistics. Still, he can get the ball where it needs to be, and with the help of "Mr. Skittles" Marshawn Lynch, should have no problem reaching the end zone.
The key is finding the right pass plays and making sure the Broncos' defense doesn't get too close. Try to stick with open receivers and don't worry too much about big plays. Don't take Denver's defense too much for granted; make sure you're careful with play selection.
Don't be afraid to get the ball movement going with running. The offensive line knows how to clean up yardage, and it's a matter of choosing running plays that look like they'll open a good enough gap. Experiment with different plays, and also see what Ask Madden has to offer. You should be able to find what you need to get the ball in the end zone.
As for defense, Peyton delivers, so keep an eye on him. He's an old-school quarterback that knows how to get completions. Look to get a key interception, or make someone fumble running in the back field. Watch the receivers and shadow them the best you can. An opportunity will open up.
So Who Wins?
As you saw from the official Madden NFL 25 prediction, the Broncos overcame the Seahawks in a very close 31-28 contest. From the one we played, the results were about the same, but a little higher in scoring, with the Broncos beating Seattle's crew 35-31.
The real game could be anyone's – it really depends on who makes mistakes and who can really punch it in when the time comes – but Peyton and the Broncos haven't been a letdown in the post-season yet, and even with Seattle's strengths, it'll find a way to bring the trophy back to Denver.
Sorry, Seattle – but at least you have your Skittles, right?
Madden NFL 25 is available now for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.