Seahawks dominate Broncos 43–8, win 1st Super Bowl in Franchise History

The Seat­tle Sea­hawks left fin­ger­prints on the Lom­bardi Tro­phy for the first time in fran­chise his­tory, defeat­ing the Den­ver Bron­cos in Super Bowl XLVIII held in East Ruther­ford, New Jersey.

Both teams fin­ished with a 13–3 record in the reg­u­lar sea­son, and were the top seeds in both of their con­fer­ences.  This marks the first time since 2010 (when the Saints defeated the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV) that both num­ber one seeds have rep­re­sented their con­fer­ence in the Super Bowl.

The Bron­cos, led by 5-time MVP quar­ter­back Pey­ton Man­ning, set an NFL record for most points scored in a reg­u­lar sea­son with 606 points.  Con­sid­ered by experts to be one of the most pro­lific offenses in NFL his­tory, it was safe to say that they were the favorites going into the game.  But that didn’t pre­vent the NFL’s num­ber one ranked defense from stop­ping them.

The only way that we could say we were the best defense was to take down the best offense” line­backer Bobby Wag­ner said.

And that was pre­cisely what they went out and did.

In the first quar­ter of the game, the Bron­cos got off to a rough start when cen­ter Manny Ramirez snapped the foot­ball right over Pey­ton Man­ning before he was ready to take the snap.  Per­haps it was the loud crowd noise from Seattle’s “12th man” that con­tributed to this mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion.  Luck­ily, Know­shon Moreno was able to recover the foot­ball in the end­zone and give up a safety as opposed to a touch­down.  But after­wards, it really didn’t mat­ter when it all went down­hill from there for the Broncos.

The Sea­hawks offense was able to con­vert key third down plays and drive the ball towards the goal line.  Ulti­mately, they were forced to set­tle for two field goals in the first quar­ter from kicker Steven Hauschka in the red zone.

In the sec­ond quar­ter of the game, Pro Bowl run­ning­back Mar­shawn Lynch went into beast mode, scor­ing the first touch­down for the Sea­hawks inside the red zone.  Quar­ter­back Rus­sell Wil­son went 18 for 25 with 2 pass­ing touch­downs and was able to con­vert key third down plays to keep the drive alive for the offense.  Receivers Doug Bald­win and Jer­maine Kearse each caught touch­down passes from Rus­sell Wil­son and were able to keep the Bron­cos sec­ondary on their heels the entire game.

The game already looked as though it was out of reach for the Bron­cos after half­time, trail­ing 28–0 after Percy Harvin took it to the house for an 87 yard kick return touch­down.  The for­mer Vikings receiver was injured most of the sea­son after being acquired by the Sea­hawks in exchange for last year’s first round draft selec­tion.  But he cer­tainly made up for it with a Desmond Howard type of return that put the nail in the cof­fin against the Bron­cos.  By the time Man­ning was able to throw his one and only touch­down to Wes Welker, the score was already 36–8 and hope was diminishing.

All-Pro cor­ner­back Richard Sher­man was quick to con­grat­u­late Pey­ton Man­ning and the Bron­cos, say­ing that “Man­ning is one of the best Quar­ter­backs I’ve ever played against.”  Sher­man was forced to be in crutches after suf­fer­ing an injury late in the fourth quarter.

The MVP of the game was given to line­backer Mal­colm Smith, who made the key play against the San Fran­cisco 49ers catch­ing an inter­cep­tion that was tipped from team­mate Richard Sher­man.  After the game, he said “I always imag­ined myself mak­ing great plays.  Never thought about being the MVP.”

Seattle’s per­for­mance on defense has led crit­ics to draw com­par­isons to the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 2000 Bal­ti­more Ravens teams.  This marks the first time in eight years that the Sea­hawks have been to the Super Bowl after los­ing to the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers in 2006.  The Den­ver Bron­cos have a record of 2–5 in Super Bowl his­tory, mak­ing them the team with the most losses in Super Bowl history.

 

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