Feel the noise: Seahawks crush Broncos to win first Super Bowl

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 3, 2014 - 7:12 AM

Peyton Manning’s latest postseason failure left a pothole in his legacy unfilled thanks to a Seattle defense that spoke volumes by rendering him moot.

– What was supposed to be a legacy-stamping victory in the twilight of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s brilliant career quickly gave way to the rise and swagger of a youthful Seahawks team led by Russell Wilson, the NFL’s top-ranked “Legion of Boom” defense and a Percy Harvin trade that finally began paying dividends on the game’s greatest stage.

Sparked by a safety 12 seconds into the game and two first-half takeaways, including a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Malcolm Smith, Seattle took a 22-0 halftime lead en route to a 43-8 victory over the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

“We just never gave ourselves a chance,” said Broncos receiver and former Gopher Eric Decker. “We came out flat and had the safety. Then they pressured Peyton and corralled our receivers and running backs. This one is going to hurt for a while.”

Any hope of a second-half comeback was snuffed out with another score that came in the opening 12 seconds of the half. Even as the Broncos kicked off short to avoid Harvin, the former Viking fielded the kickoff on one hop and darted his way through Broncos en route to an 87-yard touchdown, his first touchdown in just his ninth touch and third game as a healthy, game-day active player for the Seahawks.

“This means everything to me,” said Harvin, who finished with four touches for 137 yards, including a game-high 45 yards rushing on two end-around runs that set up a pair of early field goals.

“The team, the way they stood behind me, the way they backed me up all year, it means a lot.”

Harvin’s touchdown was game, set and, right or wrong, the moment people began debating whether Manning’s record five league MVPs and first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame career deserves an asterisk for postseason underachievement. The guy did reach his third Super Bowl with his second team — and did it only two years removed from his fourth neck surgery. But he also fell to 1-2 in Super Bowls and is 11-12 with 24 interceptions in 23 postseason games, including two pick-sixes in Super Bowls.

Manning already was asked Sunday if this loss was “embarrassing” for him.

“It’s not embarrassing,” Manning said. “I would never use that word. There are a lot of football players who put in a lot of work to even get to this game. The word ‘embarrassing’ is an insulting word, to tell you the truth.”

Teammates were stepping up to defend Manning after the game.

“In order to point a finger at Peyton Manning, you have to ignore all he did to get us here,” tight end Julius Thomas said. “In no way are we blaming Peyton. He’s the reason we were here.”

Even the league’s best cornerback and greatest trash-talker, Richard Sherman, didn’t point a finger at Manning.

“I think it’s more what our players did than anything Peyton did or didn’t do,” he said.

The Broncos, who owned the league’s first 600-point offense and hadn’t been shut out in the first half all season, fell behind 2-0 when center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball over Manning’s right shoulder before Manning was ready. The ensuing safety gave Seattle the quickest score in Super Bowl history and allowed them to set a Super Bowl record for leading a game: 59 minutes, 48 seconds.

“It was just real loud,” Ramirez said. “None of us heard the snap count, so we were late. Then I thought I heard the count and I snapped it. It put us in a bad way right off the bat.”

When a Kam Chancellor interception led to a 15-0 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half, a Broncos offense that led the league in yards (457.3) and first downs (27.2) was being outgained in yards (161-11), first downs (9-0) and time of possession (14:41-3:19). And the quarterback who set NFL records in passing yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55) this season, had 10 yards, three completions and one interception.

But, again, things got only worse.

Manning and the Broncos got their first first down of the game with 10:36 left in the first half and actually showed some rhythm before even greater disaster struck. Left defensive end Cliff Avril hit Manning’s arm as he was throwing the ball. It fluttered into the arms of Smith, who returned it 69 yards for a touchdown.

Throw in a fumble recovery, nine tackles and a pass defense and, well, Smith became a well-deserving MVP winner. He also summed up the nature of a nasty defense that’s well represented by unsung late-round and undrafted players.

Asked what his 40 time was at the scouting combine, Smith, a seventh-round pick in 2011, smiled and said, “I didn’t get invited to the combine.”

Three seasons later, he literally picked off and ran away with the MVP that many had earmarked for Manning. At 24 years, 212 days, Smith became the fourth-youngest MVP in Super Bowl history.

“I don’t think you ever get over a loss like this,” Manning said. “But I think this team used last year’s playoff loss to fuel us. Hopefully we can use this to fuel us into next year as well. But it takes time. No question, it’s not a quick fix.”

Seattle, which led the league in every major defensive category, including points allowed (14.4) and takeaways (37), had four takeaways in the Super Bowl and eight in three postseason games.

Offensively, Seattle didn’t turn the ball over. Wilson completed 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards, two touchdowns and a 123.1 passer rating, his highest rating in five postseason games and third of 104.6 or higher.

“Russell played a perfect game,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He did exactly what we wanted him to do.”

Kickoff came with a temperature of 49 degrees under partly cloudy skies. So the first Super Bowl played outdoors in a cold-weather venue was 10 degrees warmer than Super Bowl VI, which remains the coldest game in Super Bowl history. Also, as an FYI, it was colder in both Seattle and Denver on Sunday.

So the weather that everyone talked about all week was a non-story. Mother Nature bowed to the NFL, making the only ice-cold memories Manning-made in what ended up tying for the third-most-lopsided outcome in Super Bowl history.

 

Mark Craig • mcraig@startribune.com













 

  • SUPER BOXL XLVIII: SEATTLE 43, DENVER 8

    MVP: Malcolm Smith, LB, Seattle

    WRONG END OF HISTORY

    With their fifth Super Bowl loss, the Broncos broke a tie with the Vikings, Bills and Patriots for most in NFL history. They also have been on the losing end of three of the five biggest blowouts in history:

    1990: San Francisco 55, Denver 10 (45 points) 

    1986: Chicago 46, New England 10 (36)

    1993: Dallas 52, Buffalo 17 (35)

    2014: Seattle 43, Denver 8 (35) 

    1988: Washington 42, Denver 10 (32) 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 78 4th Qtr
Cleveland 83
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 33 2nd Half 13:09
Illinois State 37
Louisville 45 2nd Half 13:45
Pittsburgh 35
UMBC 11 1st Half 5:25
Albany 22
Niagara 3 1st Half 14:31
Iona 9
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 41 2nd Half 18:16
Washington St 32
Tulane 35 2nd Half 11:33
South Florida 51
(14) Kentucky 46 2nd Half 15:59
Missouri 44
(9) Oregon State 45 2nd Half 14:21
(13) Arizona State 28
Vermont 31 2nd Half
UMass Lowell 37
Iowa State 23 1st Half 2:21
(8) Texas 32
Southern Ill 17 1st Half 7:24
Wichita State 26
(15) Duke 4 1st Half 15:50
(12) North Carolina 6
Miami-Florida 15 1st Half 14:32
(4) Louisville 4
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close