New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Forget David versus Goliath, Super Bowl XLVIII is shaping up a battle between two giants -- Denver's top-ranked offense against the "The Legion of Boom" and Seattle's No. 1 defensive unit.
It's the first time since 1991's big game -- Super Bowl XXV, which pitted the Buffalo Bills against the New York Giants -- in which the team that scored the most points in the NFL's regular season will do battle with the club that allowed the fewest.
The narrative here in the Big Apple paints the Broncos and their record-setting offense as the shrinking violet when it comes to physicality and any potential weather issues that could be in play for the contest.
It's a story line Denver big-play receiver Demaryius Thomas refuses to accept, however.
The 6-foot-3, nearly 230-pound wideout is used to imposing his will against most secondaries, compiling 1,430 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns for an offense which led the league in scoring (37.9 points per game) and totaled the most points (606) ever.
Despite that, many say a Seahawks defense which not only ranked No. 1 in scoring defense (14.4 point per game) and total defense (273.6 yards per game), but topped the NFL in passing yards allowed (172.0 ypg), interceptions (28), takeaways (39) and turnover differential (plus-20), is well-equipped to at least hamper Peyton Manning and Co.
Thomas, though, isn't intimidated by the game's most talented secondary featuring All-Pros at both the cornerback, Richard Sherman, and safety positions, Earl Thomas. He respects them but is focusing on his own job.
"We aren't really worried about that," the receiver said on Monday. "The main thing is that we are going up against a great group of guys. The whole secondary is great. The main thing is trying to get open so we can let our quarterback have options to throw the ball. That's our main focus right now. We know they're aggressive, they are physical, they can all play. My main focus is trying to get open."
So how do you deal with a secondary that wants to punch you in the mouth at the line of scrimmage?
"Mainly you try to switch up what you do," Thomas said. "You try to keep them guessing. When you're running the ball, make them feel like you're throwing a pass so that they never know, so that they're not trying to be aggressive on every play."
Thomas figures to see a lot of Sherman on Sunday, one of the few corners in the game who can come close to matching Thomas' stature. Sherman, of course, made big news at the NFC Championship Game by securing things with a brilliant play in the waning seconds and the calling San Francisco's Michael Crabtree a mediocre receiver.
The braggadocios one didn't take the same tact with Thomas, however, calling Denver's best outside-the-numbers threat one of the top five receivers in all of football.
"Coming from him, that's good," Thomas said. "He's one of the best in the league."
Thomas reciprocated by calling Sherman one of the best and most physical corners.
"I think I've faced more physical but he is physical," Thomas said. "He'll switch it up. He doesn't always try to be physical because he doesn't have to. That's why I feel like he's one of the best at what he does."
The mutual admiration society is a far cry from Sherman's usual modus operandi and Thomas understands it could get far more testy on game day, although he doesn't plan to play in to any of that.
"I don't even talk when I'm playing," Thomas said. "I just play football. I just go back to the huddle. I think that when most guys talk, it's because somebody's going to say something back to him and feed into him, you have guys that play better like that."
Guys like Sherman?
"Of course I see some of the stuff he says and I laugh, like the last game," Demaryius chuckled. "But that's Sherman."
And it's not Thomas.
"I'm not going to say 'shut him up,' but I'm going to go out and try to make some plays, so I don't have anybody coming up to me saying I got shut down by Sherman."