A LEARNERS GUIDE TO RULES FOR THE SUPER BOWL

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Super Bowl 48 is shaping up to be one of the most incredible games ever played- in “New York, New York”.   

The greatest attack in the history of the NFL is taking on the best defence in the game, this year.  

The Denver Broncos are the number one seed in the AFC and the Seattle Seahawks are the number one seed in the NFC. It’s the first time in 20 years both number one seeds have faced off in the Super Bowl and it’s only the second time it’s happened, ever. 

Peyton Manning is like the itunes of the technology world. He has superseded the record and smashed all attacking records. Greatest number of touch downs thrown (55) and greatest passing yardage record (5477), in a single season

The Seahawks will need to find something supernatural and from another planet to halt Manning. While Bruno Mars is performing at half time, I hardly think this extra terrestrial reference will help the boys from Seattle. 

The weather in New York is going to be chilli and perhaps this is why the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have also been chosen to entertain the crowds at Metlife stadium. 

Manning is 37 and Seattle’s quarterback, Russell Wilson is 25. This 12 year gap is the largest ever. Manning has far more experience. Experience didn’t stop Pepsi from entering the cola market and they’ve done fairly well against Coke. Experience didn’t halt Mark Zuckerberg either and I don’t expect it to worry Wilson. 

The city of New York barely sleeps anywhere. Don’t expect it to catch a wink around Super Bowl time! 

Who is going to win? Seattle, 24-23. 

The game will be played at 10.30am (AEST) on Monday 3rd February, 2014. 

Here are the basic rules for all Australian’s to understand what is going on. 

TIMING

Games are divided into four, 15 minute quarters.  At the end of the first and third quarters, the team with the ball retains possession heading into the following quarter. That is not the case before halftime. The second half starts with a kickoff in the same way as Rugby League or Union. 

HOW IT WORKS

Each team essentially has 4 tackles to try and make 10 yards (just over 9m). 

If a team manages 10 yards (or longer) they are then given the opportunity to try and make another 10 yards within 4 tackles. In NFL terms it is called a down rather than a tackle. Eg/ if it is 2nd and 8, this means that the offensive team is on its 2nd tackle and they still need to make a further 8 yards to reach 10 yards and receive their next set of 4 downs (tackles). 

On the 4th down, if the offensive team is too far away to kick a field goal, they will kick the ball for field position, like in League on the 5th tackle. 

The main difference between Australian codes of football and NFL is, that after the ball is kicked, the kicking team isn’t allowed to re-gather the ball.

Play begins at what is called the line of scrimmage. The offensive team is allowed to only throw the ball forward, once, behind this line of scrimmage. However each team may pass the ball backwards as many times as they like (which is termed ‘a lateral’). 

THE TACKLE

A player is tackled when one or both of his knees touch the ground. The play is then over (even if the ball comes loose). 

SCORING

A touchdown (which is the same as a try) is worth 6 points. To score a touchdown if you are running towards the goal line, the ball simply needs to cross the goal line (it doesn’t have to be grounded over the goal line). If someone is catching the ball in the ‘end zone’ (in goal area), the person catching the ball needs to have two feet in bounds at some point in time. 

After a touch down is scored, the offensive team tries to convert the touch down which is worth one point. This kicking conversion attempt is taken from directly in front of the goal posts. 

Teams can also attempt a 2 point conversion, which is where they will try and score a touchdown again, from the opponent’s 2 yard line. 

Like in Rugby, field goals are worth 3 points and can be attempted from any position on the field.  

OVERTIME

In order to win the game, the team who wins the coin toss must score a touchdown on their first possession.

If they only score a field goal, the opposing team then gets a chance to score. If they kick a field goal, the game continues. If they score a touchdown, the game ends. 

If the game is tied after both teams have had a possession, then the next score wins.

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