At the moment, the one-sided nature of this game isn't commonly realized because Pittsburgh finished sixth in the AFC this season whereas Seattle was clearly No. 1 in the NFC.
Yet those are as misleading as other sports statistics often are.
Here's another way to look at Super Bowl XL:
Why AFC Throws
AFC champion Pittsburgh is carrying the banner of the obviously superior conference, which is better because it has more good passing teams, seven or eight, to the NFC's one or two. To succeed in the AFC, you have to throw effectively, and that's the right way to prepare for the playoffs --- where would-be winners must pass.
Conventional wisdom makes a wholly different point. Many coaches and commentators argue that playoff wins depend on running and stopping the run. But the more accurate and more recently verified definition is to pass and stop the pass.
Twelve of the last 13 Super Bowl champions have been superb passing teams. The one exception, Baltimore, won in 2001, when the NFL's best quarterbacks were incapacitated before rules against late hits were strengthened. Otherwise, passers have dominated the Super Bowl from the days of Troy Aikman and Steve Young to Brett Favre and John Elway and on to Tom Brady.
This year, the Steelers out-passed good passing teams in their first three playoff games, beating three AFC division champions, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver.
Of nearly equal importance, the Steelers won all three passing duels on the road, where they are this week, facing the NFC's best passing team.
2. That 12th Man
The Seahawks in their playoff games this year beat a pair of middling NFC rivals, Washington and Carolina, two survivors in the middling NFC.
And they won those games on their home field, where Seattle fans give them so much vocal support that they're called the Seahawks' 12th man.
The Seahawks were 10-0 at home this season but only 5-3 on the road, where they are this week.
In other words, after winning two easy games with the help of their 12th man, the Seahawks will be on their own when they engage the champion of the tougher conference in a tougher setting.
Big Ben's Edge
The decisive point may be that one of the great NFL passers, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, will be attacking a Seattle team that has the NFL's 25th best pass defense --- a depressing statistic for the Seahawks, who spent the year playing unimpressive NFC teams and passers.
Big Ben, now completing just his second season of pro football, is already a dominating passer. In his last start, Roethlisberger threw nine times on third down in Denver and converted a defense-demoralizing eight.