BY CORY NIDOH
Assistant Sports Editor
The matchup between the Denver Broncos’ explosive offense and the devastating defense of the Seattle Seahawks could have been a litmus test on what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
Yet, the Seahawks soared to victory against Peyton Manning and the Broncos winning in dominant fashion with a score of 43-8.
With 111.5 million viewers watching, making it the most viewed Super Bowl in history according to the Nielsen Company, the Seahawks man-handled the Broncos in all aspects of the game.
Seattle’s defense, who averaged just 14 points allowed per game, answered all questions on how they would handle Denver’s offense as they displayed a pure performance of physical, hard-nosed, and dominating football all game long.
Manning and company had no answers for the swarming, havoc-creating defense. The Seahawks were able to do something no other team had done before—pressure Peyton Manning. The intense and relentless pressure from the defense made Manning uncomfortable and everyone could see it.
Seattle held Manning, who had a fantasy-like season with NFL regular season records of 55 passing touchdowns and 5,477 passing yards, to just eight points, which is the fourth lowest total in Super Bowl history.
The Broncos were able to move the chains for the first time in the second quarter and were blanked until the end of the third quarter when they finally found the end zone.
The Seahawks became the first team to have a safety, kick return, and interception returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl history.
In total, the number one defense in the league generated four turnovers against an offense that coughed up the pigskin only 26 times all season.
The defense that Seattle has assembled and showed to millions of viewers will now be in the conversation of other great defenses such as the Steel Curtain of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Purple People Eaters in the Minnesota Vikings, and most recently the 2000 Baltimore Ravens that were led by Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
Defense was the backbone for the Super Bowl champions all season long. But with a great defense, also came a solid offense mixed with an old school mentality of running the ball down field and the read-option with exciting plays made by the scrambling sophomore quarterback, Russell Wilson.
Wilson, who finished the game 18-25 for 206 yards and two touchdowns, played a flawless game as he managed to generate scores on the offensive side of the ball to make it an even steeper hill to climb for the Broncos.
It all started poorly for the Broncos 12 seconds in to the game. While Manning was making his routine adjustments at the line of scrimmage, a pre-mature snap whizzed past Manning’s helmet and bounced into the end zone.
It was ruled a safety, giving the Seahawks and the members of the 12th Man who made the trek across the country something to cheer about early on.
After missed red zone opportunities, the Seahawks sent out kicker Steven Hauschka who split the uprights twice making it 8-0 and Marshawn Lynch added a one-yard touchdown run all before the Broncos even sustained a drive of more than three plays. Yet, the Broncos were only down 15-0.
Manning came back and seemed to figure out the defense on the ensuing drive as the Broncos moved down the field with some ease. Then, Manning—who was feeling the pressure from the Seahawks defensive line all night—was hurried and his arm was hit in the process of throwing.
The ball floated in the cool New Jersey air, and as it was heading back to the gridiron, Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith was waiting where he then ran for 69-yards to the house making it 22-0 and deflated any momentum the Broncos sideline had for the rest of the game.
When the second half began, there was a score again in just 12 seconds.
This time instead of a safety, Percy Harvin took a bouncing kick-off and weaved in and out of would-be Broncos tacklers and found the end zone after an 87-yard kick return putting Seattle up 29-0 and silencing and Broncos fans in attendance at MetLife Stadium.
Wilson would add insult to injury when he hooked up with Jermaine Kearse, who looked like he was in a video game spinning out of multiple tackles to the end zone to increase Seattle’s lead 36-0.
The Broncos would finally score with zero ticks left on the clock in the third quarter as Demaryrius Thomas made an acrobatic catch—one of his Super Bowl record 13 receptions—and Wes Welker caught the two-point conversion giving Denver it’s only score to cut the lead 36-8.
After a failed onside kick, Wilson came back and added his second touchdown with a 10-yard strike to Doug Baldwin and that would be the final score of the game 43-8.
It was Seattle’s first Super Bowl in team history and the first time a Seattle franchise won a championship since the 1979 Seattle Supersonics.
The team from the Evergreen State has the youngest team in the league with their average age of 26.4 years and the second youngest team to win the Super Bowl. Their roster doesn’t include many bona-fide superstars.
No one expected such a dominant performance from the Seahawks. Not only did they shock the Broncos, but also NFL fans. Pete Carroll and the Seahawks may have a dynasty in the making.
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