Seahawks beat Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Waiting to get their hands
on the Lombardi Trophy, the Seahawks were surrounded by security guards
in orange jackets. It was the first time anyone in that color stopped
them all night.
The Seahawks stayed true to their mantra to make
each day a championship day. They made Super Bowl Sunday the best day of
all with one of the greatest performances in an NFL title game —
sparked by a defense that ranks among the best ever.
The Seahawks
won their first Super Bowl crown by punishing Peyton Manning and the
Denver Broncos 43-8. That masterful defense, the NFL’s stingiest, never
let the five-time MVP get going, disarming the highest-scoring offense
in league history.
"The only way we could say we were the best defense was to take down the best offense,"
linebacker Bobby Wagner said.
(16-3) was too quick, too physical and just too good for Denver. What
was hyped as a classic matchup between an unstoppable offense and a
miserly defense turned into a rout.
"We’ve been relentless all
season," quarterback Russell Wilson said. "Having that mentality of
having a championship day every day. At the end of the day, you want to
play your best football and that is what we did today."
Seattle’s dominance were a 69-yard interception return touchdown by
linebacker Malcolm Smith to make it 22-0, and Percy Harvin’s sensational
87-yard kickoff return to open the second half.
"I always imagined myself making great plays," said Smith, the game’s MVP. "Never thought
about being the MVP."
the Seahawks, up by 29 points, forced a Denver punt early in the third
quarter, the 12th Man — and there were legions of them in MetLife
Stadium — began chanting "L-O-B, L-O-B."
As in Legion of Boom, the Seahawks’ hard-hitting secondary, part of a young team with an average age of
26 years, 138 days.
is an amazing team. Took us four years to get to this point, but they
never have taken a step sideways," coach Pete Carroll said. "These guys
would not take anything but winning this ballgame."
The loss by
the Broncos again raised questions about Manning’s ability to win the
biggest games. He is 11-12 in the postseason, 1-2 in Super Bowls. After
the game, he brushed off questions about his legacy.
"Certainly to
finish this way is very disappointing. It’s not an easy pill to
swallow," said Manning, who threw for a record 55 touchdowns in 2013,
two years after missing an entire season because of neck surgeries. "I
don’t know if you ever really get over it."
He never looked
comfortable against a defense some will begin comparing to the 1985
Bears and 2000 Ravens — other NFL champions who had runaway Super Bowl
Seattle forced four turnovers; Denver had 26 all season.
All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman left with a high ankle sprain in the fourth quarter. He celebrated on
"I hope we etched our names in the history books," Sherman said.
who has an NFL-record 28 wins in his first two pro seasons, including
playoffs, had a 23-yard TD pass to Jermaine Kearse late in the third
quarter to make it 36-0.
Wilson also hit Doug Baldwin for a
10-yard score in the final period in what had become one of the most
lopsided Super Bowls. For the fifth time in six meetings between the
NFL’s No. 1 offense and defense, the D dominated.
"It’s all about making history," All-Pro safety Earl Thomas said. "This was a dominant
performance from top to bottom."
fell to 2-5 in Super Bowls, and by the end many of Manning’s passes
resembled the "ducks" Sherman said the All-Pro quarterback sometimes
The victory was particularly sweet for Carroll, fired in
1994 by the Jets. He led the Patriots for three seasons and again was
canned. After a short stint out of coaching, he took over at Southern
California and won two national titles.
But he always felt there
was unfinished business in the NFL. Carroll finished that business by
lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy, four years after taking charge in
Seattle and eight years after the Seahawks lost in their only previous
Super Bowl to Pittsburgh.
No Super Bowl had been played outdoors
in a cold-weather city — not that the Big Apple was anything close to
frozen Sunday, when it was 49 degrees at kickoff.
Things went sour
for Manning and the Broncos from the very first scrimmage play, and by
halftime they were down 22-0 — their biggest deficit of the season and
the only time they didn’t score in a half.
On that first play,
Manning stepped up toward the line just as center Manny Ramirez snapped
the ball. It flew past his incredulous quarterback into the end zone,
where Knowshon Moreno dived on it for a safety.
A mere 12 seconds
in, Seattle led 2-0 with the quickest score in Super Bowl history,
beating Chicago’s Devin Hester’s kickoff return to open the 2007 game —
against Manning’s Colts.
That one ended much better for Manning as Indianapolis won the championship. This one was a fiasco
Steven Hauschka made 31- and 33-yard field goals for 8-0. Then the Seahawks began scoring touchdowns.
third-down pass to Julius Thomas sailed way too high and directly to
safety Kam Chancellor, giving the Seahawks the ball at Denver’s 37. A
third-down pass interference call on Tony Carter brought Seattle to the
1, and Marshawn Lynch scored to make it 15-0.
Then Smith made his second huge play in two weeks. His interception clinched the NFC championship win
over San Francisco.
Avril got to Manning’s arm as he was throwing, the ball fluttered
directly to Smith, who took off down the left sideline for a 69-yard
interception TD.
Manning trudged to the sideline, a look of disgust on his face, Denver’s reputation as an unstoppable
force erased.
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