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Seahawks Blow Out Broncos, 43-8, To Take Super Bowl XLVIII

Andrew McKagan |
February 2, 2014 | 9:05 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

The Super Bowl belonged to the Seahawks from start to finish. (Seahawks/Twitter)
The Super Bowl belonged to the Seahawks from start to finish. (Seahawks/Twitter)
The Super Bowl was all about the Seattle Seahawks. They dominated and scored touchdowns in all three phases, and made the historic Broncos offense look anemic.

It is exactly how Pete Carroll and John Schneider envisioned winning four years ago when they took over a Seattle Seahawks team that was 5-11 under Jim Mora the year before. It was evident from the coin toss, when Seattle chose to defer to the second half and put their defense on the field first, that they were confident playing their style of football no matter the competition.

The team that Carroll and Schneider wanted to build isn’t one in the Broncos mold--an offense-centric team that scores points and rushes the passer when they get up big—no, this team is built to play overpowering defense and run the ball, supplemented by efficient playmaking from the quarterback position. And winning the 2013 NFL season in that fashion simply reaffirmed this old-school philosophy when many thought it was lost forever.

The play as representative as any of Seattle’s dominant performance occurred late in the second quarter, when pressure by Cliff Avril forced an errant Peyton Manning pass that was intercepted and returned for a score by Super Bowl MVP and former USC Trojan Malcolm Smith.

Seattle’s defense was truly dominant from start to finish, and even though they only came away with one sack in the box score, they brought pressure on Peyton Manning all game long. They made Manning and the most prolific offense in NFL history look mortal, intercepting him twice and forcing another fumble while holding Denver to 27 rushing yards. Manning ignored Richard Sherman for almost the whole game, and Eric Decker and Julius Thomas were essentially non-factors.

Denver had their share of miscues facilitating Seattle’s dominance, starting with the very first offensive snap of the game, which went over Manning’s head and out of the end zone for a safety. Manning also overthrew Julius Thomas on a crossing route later in the game, which turned into a Kam Chancellor interception. Chancellor, by the way, was surely in the conversation for MVP of the game, recording nine tackles and the aforementioned interception.

In either irony or a twist of fate, Seattle scored 12 seconds into each half. (Microsoft/Twitter)
In either irony or a twist of fate, Seattle scored 12 seconds into each half. (Microsoft/Twitter)
On the offensive side, Seattle couldn’t get much going on the ground, as Terrance Knighton manhandled Max Unger for much of the game. Russell Wilson responded by carrying the offense, handling third downs efficiently (7/12), throwing for two scores, and, perhaps most importantly, not making any critical mistakes or turnovers. Wilson looked shaky on his first throw of the game—an overthrow to Zach Miller in the flat—but settled down impressively after that and looked poised and on-point the rest of the way.

Percy Harvin was also electric, taking his first touch on an end-around for 30 yards and returning the second half opening kickoff for a touchdown. He looked fully healthy and, with that type of playmaking, is worth the $64 million contract Seattle recently gave him.

Denver’s defense played well against the run, limiting Marshawn Lynch to 39 yards on 15 carries, but that’s pretty much where the positives end for them. They had trouble covering Seahawks receivers like Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse out of the slot, as the two combined for nine catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos pass rush couldn’t get much going either, and they failed to record a sack-- Wilson usually had plenty of time to throw from the pocket. Usually this occurs when a team tries to contain a mobile quarterback in the pocket, but Wilson also had little trouble escaping and making plays outside the pocket as well.

The last 60 minutes of the 2013 NFL season went to the Seattle Seahawks, and convincingly so. The first Lombardi Trophy in Seahawks history was earned. The rest of the NFL will surely take notice of Carroll and Schneider’s philosophy, and we will surely see copycats over the next few years. But for now, all there is is respect for the complete and total effort put forth by the Seattle Seahawks in the most dominant Super Bowl performance in history.

Reach Staff Writer Andrew McKagan here or follow him



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