Seattle Seahawks wins Super Bowl XLVIII
Beats Denver Broncos 43-8 in New Jersey
Seattle defense strangles Denver quarterback Peyton Manning
Five touchdowns for Seattle in dominant display
Seattle Seahawks routed Denver Broncos Sunday 43-8 in one of the most one-sided contests in Super Bowl history to win the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy for the first time.
AFC Champion Denver was undone by a toxic combination of Seattle’s ruthless defense and its own errors, with famed quarterback Peyton Manning having a night to forget.
He was intercepted twice as Seattle took an early stranglehold on the game while his inexperienced opposite Russell Wilson hardly put a foot wrong in an assured display.
Allied to the powerful running, epitomized by inspired wide receiver Percy Harvin, the result was five touchdowns to a single score by Denver and the contest was effectively over by halftime as the NFC Champions took complete control.
By then linebacker Malcolm Smith had intercepted a wayward Manning pass to return 69 yards and he was to be named MVP although in truth there were many candidates for the honor.
“This is an amazing team,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “These guys would never take anything but winning this game.”
Wilson, 25, was answering his critics in only his second year in the NFL. “It feels great to win this title,” he said.
The franchise owner Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder, said it was an “amazing feeling” to win the 48th edition of the Super Bowl. Seattle had been beaten in its only previous Super Bowl appearance by Pittsburgh in 2006.
Fears of freezing conditions which had dominated the pre-match talk proved unfounded with the kickoff temperature of 49 degrees (9.4 Celsius) positively balmy.
It was 10 degrees warmer than the coldest-ever Super Bowl from 1972 in New Orleans, but Manning and his team were caught cold from the very start.
Denver made a hash of its first offensive drive. Broncos center Manny Ramirez’s snap flew over Manning’s head and Knowshon Moreno was forced to dive on the ball in his own end zone for a safety and two points for Seattle.
Manning shook his head as he returned to the bench and he proceeded to spend much of the opening quarter warming his seat as Seattle took a stranglehold.
But the Broncos defense held up well to at least deny Seattle a touchdown, the further scoring coming from a pair of field goals from Steven Hauschka to make it 8-0.
Towards the end first quarter Manning was intercepted by Seattle safety Kam Chancellor at the Denver 39.
It eventually led to the first touchdown for Seattle as Marshawn Lynch forced his way over from close range, showing typical strength.
It got worse for the 37-year-old veteran Manning as Seattle pressure forced him into another errant and off balance pass which was intercepted by Smith.
He ran it back 69 yards for the second TD for the Seahawks and with the extras from Hauschka it was 22-0 at the half.
It was scarcely believable that a team which had set an NFL scoring record with 606 points in regular season had failed to make a 20-yard play during the opening half and Super Bowl history was against a team coming back from such a deficit.
Denver was left with 30 minutes to reflect on its disastrous start as Hawaiian singer Bruno Mars delighted 82,000 fans in the Metlife Stadium in the much vaunted halftime show.
The clean cut Mars rounded off his solo act with his song “Treasure” before being joined by rockers The Red Hot Chili Peppers for their “Give It Away” – which ironically summed up some of Denver’s efforts on the pitch.
The combination certainly did rock but the corporations paying up to $4 million for an advertising slot during the Super Bowl must have been hoping for a revival by the Broncos for fear of the team’s supporters switching off their televisions in disgust.
It got even worse straight from the kickoff as the quicksilver Percy Harvin returned for fully 87 yards for the Seahawks to effectively end the game as a contest.
Harvin had played only two games all season after injury, but danced through a jaded Denver defense to score his team’s third and decisive touchdown.
Seattle quarterback Wilson had played a quietly effective game and his pass found Jermaine Kearse, who eluded some more weak defense to add the fourth TD towards the end of the third quarter before Demaryius Thomas finally got Denver on the scoreboard.
He picked off a pass from Manning – his 12th catch a Super Bowl record – but it was to prove too little too late as his team trailed 36-8 going into the final quarter.
A chance to salvage further pride was snuffed out at the start of the fourth when Wilson found Doug Baldwin just short of the end zone and he wriggled his way through.
It completed the scoring with the Seattle celebrations started well in advance of the final whistle – coach Carroll getting the traditional dowsing from his charges.
By contrast, it proved a miserable night for his Denver counterpart John Fox, whose hopes of a reported $1 million winning bonus were in tatters almost from the first play, while the result will throw Manning’s future in doubt, with talk of retirement.