After 35 years, the championship drought is over.
Your very own Seattle Seahawks are World Champions.
The game itself was one of the most one-sided affairs in recent memory as the Seahawks broke the Broncos spirits and bodies to the tune of a 43-8 beat down. Seemingly everything went the Seahawks way for the entire 60 minutes. The game started with a botched snap between Peyton Manning and his center Manny Ramirez, which sailed over Manning’s head into their end zone and was recovered for a safety. Just like that the Seahawks were up 2-0 on the first play, and they never looked back.
Subsequent drives produced consecutive field goals from the fan favorite Steven Hauschka but the game was still close, although it didn’t feel like it. The score at the end of the first quarter was 8-0, but the scoreboard didn’t encapsulate the dominance of the Seahawks defense out of the gate. The Broncos historically dominant offense, anchored by five-time MVP Peyton Manning fell flat on its face and could not get a first down for the entire quarter. Their three possessions ended in a safety, punt and an interception by the hard-hitting Virginia Tech alum Kam Chancellor.
The Seahawks defense played the Broncos’ passing game perfectly. The Hawks’ defense allowed Manning to complete short passes, so much so that he set a Super Bowl record for passing completions. Seemingly every time the Broncos completed a pass, Seahawks’ defenders swarmed the ball carrier and prevented them from gaining the yards after the catch which, given Manning’s rapidly declining arm strength, was vital if the Broncos had a chance to win this game.
The second quarter was when things really started to go the Seahawks’ way. A foolish defensive pass inference penalty committed by the Broncos in the end zone set up first goal from the one yard line, an opportunity for the Seahawks to “unleash the Beast.” On second down, Marshawn Lynch powered his way through the wall of bodies into the end zone. The score was now 15-0 with 12 minutes left in the second quarter. The Broncos next drive started well, but just like the Matrix Trilogy, ended in a dumpster fire of epic proportions.
A tipped pass by free agent acquisition Cliff Avril landed right in the hands of the player who would be named MVP of the game, Malcolm Smith. He sprinted straight into the end zone with almost no opposition, and punctuated his touchdown with a hilarious failed attempt to dunk the football over the goal post. I won’t hold it against him though, as his heads-up play gave the Seahawks a 22-0 lead late in the first half.
The moment that appeared to crush the Broncos spirit more than any other in the first half was the failed fourth down conversion in the red zone on their subsequent drive. When Peyton walked off of the field, he looked more discouraged than I had ever seen before in my relatively extensive history of watching football. But it was only about to get a whole lot worse.
On the opening kickoff of the second half, dynamic but oft-injured receiver Percy Harvin ran the kick back 89 yards for a touchdown. 29-0. Game over. The largest deficit ever overcome in the Super Bowl was a measly 10 points. But maybe the Broncos, who are statistically speaking the best offense ever, would be able to make up the difference? Nope. The Broncos were dominated in all facets of the game. Russell Wilson threw two late touchdown passes to undrafted receivers Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse and the Broncos pitched in a garbage time touchdown and two point conversion to avoid the shutout, but the game was long over.
The physicality the Seahawks played with was unmatched by the Broncos. The Seahawks were clearly the superior team, which given the Broncos’ offensive wizardry this season was a surprise. Pleasant surprises have been very common for the Seahawks since Pete Carroll took over the program. From finding Russell Wilson, who shattered the record for most wins (24) by a quarterback in his first two seasons in the league ,to drafting the best cornerback alive, Richard Sherman, in the 5th round, the Seahawks have managed to craft the finest roster in the NFL. The craziest thing about this Seahawks team? They are the 4th youngest in the league with an average player age of 26 years and 175 days old. The Seahawks look like a potential dynasty in the making. Winning the Super Bowl automatically puts a huge target on your back in the following season as players seek to play their best against the league champions. But let’s not worry about the future. Bask in this glory Seattle. You deserve it.