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Broncos or 49ers: Which was the second-best team in the NFL? [Poll]

Broncos or 49ers: Which was the second-best team in the NFL? [Poll]
The seasons of San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, and Denver QB Peyton Manning ended with tough losses to Seattle. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images; Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

With a 43-8 dismantling of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seattle Seahawks became the undisputed champions of the NFL on Sunday night.

So that means the Broncos are the league's second-best team, right?

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Well, not necessarily.

Outspoken Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman declared during a Super Bowl after-party that the Seahawks' bitter NFC rival, the San Francisco 49ers, were actually No. 2 in the NFL.

After all, it took a big defensive play in the end zone by Sherman and teammate Malcolm Smith to preserve a 23-17 victory over the 49ers in the NFC championship -- an extremely close contest that didn't at all resemble the blowout that took place at MetLife Stadium two weeks later.

But Peyton Manning and the Broncos had a record-setting season. Never can tell what would have happened if they faced the 49ers head-to-head. Maybe the Seahawks were just a bad matchup for them.

Which team do you think deserves to be called the NFL's runner-up of the 2013 season?

Twitter: @chewkiii

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