This is the most decidedly mediocre Super Bowl in at least seven years.

At least it is in terms of passing offense. Neither of this year's NFL finalists ranked in the top 10 in passing yards during the regular season. It's the first time that has happened since 2006, and it's also an affirmation of Seattle's offensive approach under coach Pete Carroll. Tangible proof that you don't have to drop back and pass, pass, pass your way to a title in today's NFL.

Because for all the talk about the NFL being a quarterback-driven league, Baltimore's Joe Flacco didn't throw for 4,000 yards this year. Neither did San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick. Not even if you projected his statistics out for a full season.

The fact their teams will play Sunday to determine the league's champion is something Seattle coach Pete Carroll can point to as evidence his run-oriented approach is not outdated.

Carroll has made no secret of his desire to build his offense off the ground game, an M.O. that stands in stark contrast to the league-wide trend to air it out.

Passing for 4,000 yards in a season is no longer the exceptional accomplishment it once was. Ten quarterbacks surpassed that milestone in 2011, 11 did it this season.

Those statistics raised the possibility that Carroll's ground-bound emphasis was outdated, and he would have Seattle taking a .22 caliber approach to offense in what had become a .357 Magnum world.

The Seahawks ranked No. 27 in passing yards this season, and while that ranking reflects Seattle's reluctance to put too much on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson too soon, it's also rooted in Carroll's philosophy to have his offense centered on the ground game.