Sunday 18 February 2018

Peyton Manning shrugs off jibes as rivalry simmers ahead of Super Bowl showdown

Peyton Manning has had a record-breaking season
Peyton Manning has had a record-breaking season

The rivalry between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks heated up on Thursday as Peyton Manning entered into a war of words with Richard Sherman.

The outspoken Sherman has hogged the headlines for much of the week after his memorable interview at the conclusion the Seahawks' NFC Championship Game victory over the San Francisco 49ers, in which he branded San Francisco's Michael Crabtree "a sorry receiver" and claimed to be the best cornerback in the NFL.

Not content, he directed an insult at Manning, a future Hall of Famer who broke several NFL records this season after returning from career-threatening neck surgery at the start of last year, by claiming he throws passes that wobble like ducks.

The quarterback, having this year has orchestrated the NFL's greatest offense by breaking single-season records for touchdown passes and yards, responded in fine style at his press conference on Thursday.

Asked about Sherman's comments, he responded: "You can see he's a smart player. I do throw ducks. I throw a lot of yards and touchdowns-ducks. So I'm actually quite proud of it."

The battle between Manning and Seattle's secondary, the self-styled 'Legion of Boom' that is led by Sherman, is one of the many fascinating sub-plots to Super Bowl XLVIII.

But, despite Sherman's words and Marshawn Lynch's lack of them - he has either shunned or said the bare minimum during media sessions this week - dominating the recent agenda, the weather remains the biggest talking point.

The game at the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford will be the first Super Bowl to be played at an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather city.

Denver coach John Fox is not overly concerned, however, and insists his team must be ready for all conditions.

He said: "What I figured out about the weather is, you just wait five minutes and it will change. It's changed a bunch of times already.

"We'll just wait and see; really, you just kind of wait until game day. You get out there in pre-game.

"You get used to the stadium, if it's not a familiar stadium, and you get used to the elements as they are at kick-off. So regardless of what happens, whether it's nice or not nice, we'll adjust."


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