The question going into Super Bowl XLVIII was who would overcome the other: the number one offense (Denver) versus the number one defense (Seattle). The saying, “defense wins championships” stands true after Super Bowl XLVIII was won primarily by Seattle’s defense, and then some, as Seattle routed Denver 43-8.
Seattle dominated the entire game as their defense completely shut down future Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning, and his high-powered Denver offense who wasn’t much of anything. For Seattle’s “12th Man” fanbase, it seemed that everything went right for Seattle as they scored in all three phases of the game, offense, defense, and special teams. For Denver fans, everything went wrong, and it all came out of nowhere as a very good Broncos offense and team in its entirety has one of the most impressive seasons in NFL history. However, the lights of New York were too bright for the game’s brightest offense as they couldn’t light up the scoreboard like they were accustomed to doing in the regular season.
Super Bowl XLVIII started and ended with the Denver Broncos hanging their heads in frustration, disbelief, and disappointment. Just seconds into the game on Denver’s first offensive possession, a high snap over the head of Peyton Manning that rolled into the endzone and lead to a safety and the first score of the game (the fastest score in Super Bowl history) as Seattle was up 2-0 and from there, Seattle never looked back. Seattle kicked two field goals before finding the endzone in the 2nd quarter two times as the score going into halftime favored Seattle 22-0.
Denver’s only score came in the 3rd quarter with a Peyton Manning strike to Demaryius Thomas, who had a Super Bowl record of 12 receptions, and a two-point conversion. Following Denver’s score, Seattle’s, Percy Harvin, returned a second half kickoff for a touchdown which extended the lead to 29-0. ESPN’s, Skip Bayless, tweeted after the play, “Please, call off the game and bring back Bruno Mars for the rest of the second half.”
Seattle closed the game out with a passing touchdown in the 4th quarter. Peyton Manning threw for 280 yards and two interceptions, which was not enough as Seattle dominated Denver in all three phases of the game, offense, defense, and special teams.
Seattle Seahawks second year quarterback, Russell Wilson, was the second ever African American quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. At age 25, Wilson is the third youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Wilson played a very efficient game as he completed 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers. Wilson isn’t known for flashy statistics but when he has solid and efficient games like he had in the Super Bowl, the Seahawks win. In the two years Russell Wilson has been quarterback in the NFL, Seattle has been to the playoffs both years and has won 14 games in a row at home. Now that Russell Wilson is a 25-year-old Super Bowl champion, he is, with no doubt, the quarterback in Seattle for many years to come. Since he is still very young, as Wilson matures in his game, his future will continue to be bright.
Seattle’s linebacker, Malcolm Smith, was nominated the Super Bowl MVP. Smith is just the third linebacker in Super Bowl history to be voted game MVP. Smith had the pick-6 where he intercepted Peyton Manning in the second quarter and returned it 69 yards for the touchdown. It was one of the longest interception returns for a touchdown as in Super Bowl XLIV, New Orleans Saints’, Tracy Porter, also intercepted a Peyton Manning fourth quarter pass for 74 yards and a touchdown which sealed the win for the Saints. With the score already being 15-0, Malcolm Smith’s pick-6 pretty much sealed the game as his interception for a touchdown gave the Seahawks a 22-0 lead at halftime.
With the curtain closing on the NFL season, many questions surround both teams. “How does this game impact Peyton Manning’s legacy?” “Will the Seahawks win it again next season?” “Should Peyton retire?” “What will the Broncos’ future be like?” Usually most questions surround the team that loses the Super Bowl, but questions will involve many teams and topics. As questions come up and linger throughout the off season, that only builds the excitement for next season. Will your team be the next champions? Only time will tell.