- Associated Press - Saturday, February 1, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Record-setting offense versus relentlessly stingy defense.

Coaches who actually smile, are quotable and think football should be fun.

A wintry outdoor setting.

And the two best teams in the NFL.

Sunday’s Super Bowl has just about everything a fan, a player, a coach - and certainly a league - could ask for.

“It’s very special to be here,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “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.”

Carroll is correct about the special nature of this Super Bowl. It could have a profound effect on the immediate future of pro football, too.

Whether it becomes a referendum on hosting the big game in the elements in a cold-weather city is unknown. But more possible is it having a strong bearing on the future of the quarterback position in a sport that has become ever more dependent on the passer.

In other words, we have the classic pocket passer emblematic of the old guard - that would be Peyton Manning, of course, and no quarterback has ever had a more prolific season.

And we have the quick-footed, quick-witted scrambler in Russell Wilson representing for the millennials such as Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, even Andrew Luck.

Seattle’s miserly defense wants to force Manning into uncomfortable territory, which basically means anywhere outside the passing pocket. Denver’s D will be intent on giving Wilson a taste of claustrophobia by keeping him hemmed in the pocket.

Obviously, 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 at 6-foot-5 is about 6 inches taller than Wilson) - make this Super Bowl even more intriguing.

It’s all in the styles.

“They both have different styles,” Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase said in perhaps the biggest understatement during a week of hyperbole. “But mentally it sounds like Russell’s kind of heading in that direction of what Peyton’s done with his career as far as being a very intelligent quarterback and using the tools of his game to his advantage.”

But they are entirely different tools, and the question becomes which set of tools will fit the NFL best if it continues to evolve into a light-up-the-scoreboard game?

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