Denver Broncos 2013 AFC Football Championship Ring
The 2013 NFL season was the 94th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL). The season saw the Seattle Seahawks capture the first championship in the franchise's 38 years in the league with a lopsided 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the league's championship game. The Super Bowl was played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday, February 2, 2014. It was the first Super Bowl hosted by New Jersey and the first to be held outdoors in a cold weather environment. The Seahawks scored 12 seconds into the game and held the lead the rest of the way.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was named the regular season's Most Valuable Player (MVP) by the voters of the Associated Press (AP) for a record fifth time after compiling passing stats which included regular season records for passing yards and passing touchdowns. Manning also was named the Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career. Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Scoring reached historic levels throughout the league in 2013. As a whole the league set records for total points scored, points scored per game and the number of both touchdowns and field goals scored. The Broncos set a new standard for team scoring in the regular season with 606 points. In addition to the Broncos, ten other teams each scored over 400 points, the greatest number of teams to surpass that benchmark in a single year.
The regular season got underway on Thursday, September 5, 2013, with the Broncos hosting the defending Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens in the annual kickoff game. The game presaged the Broncos' historic offensive production with a strong performance by Peyton Manning in which he tied a league record in throwing seven touchdown passes and led the Broncos to a 49–27 win. The game was the start of a disappointing season for the Ravens in which they would finish out of the playoffs with an 8–8 record, thus insuring that there would be no repeat Super Bowl winner for a tied record ninth straight season. The regular season wrapped up on Sunday night, December 29.
The playoffs began with the wild card round which took place the first weekend of January 2014. The league's propensity for scoring did not abate in the post-season, as exemplified by the Indianapolis Colts' wild come-from-behind 45–44 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs' opening game. The Conference Championship games featured the top seeded teams in each conference, the Seahawks in the NFC and the Broncos in the American Football Conference (AFC), hosting the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots respectively. Both home teams prevailed to set up just the second Super Bowl matchup of #1 seeds in the past 20 seasons.