From the first offensive snap, the Seattle Seahawks were in control of the Super Bowl and they never let up. Seattle dominated the Denver Broncos 43-8 for their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history.
So many games are decided by who wins the turnover battle and Super Bowl XLVIII was no different. The Seahawks won the turnover battle 4-0 which continuously gave Seattle’s offense short fields.
On the Broncos’ first possession, center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball over NFL MVP Peyton Manning’s head which resulted in a safety. Russell Wilson then led the Seahawks into field goal range and Stephen Hauschka gave Seattle a 5-0 lead.
Hauschka made another field goal before Kam Chancellor intercepted a Manning pass that was affected by strong pressure from Cliff Avril. Marshawn Lynch pounded his way into the end zone on a 1-yard run to give Seattle a 13-0.
On the next Broncos’ possession, linebacker Malcom Smith picked off Manning and returned the interception 69-yards for a touchdown. Seattle carried a 22-0 lead into halftime and the rout was on.
Smith also had nine tackles and a fumble recovery which led to him winning Super Bowl MVP honors. He is just the third linebacker to be named Super Bowl MVP.
The Broncos, who boasted the most prolific offense in NFL history, were completely shut down by the Seahawks’ top-ranked defense from the onset. Avril, Chancellor, Smith, Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman led the way for the vaunted defense.
Much was made about what type of impact Percy Harvin would have considering he was only active for two games the entire season, but he answered that question early on. He took an end-around for 30 yards on his first touch of the game. He finished with four touches for 137 yards, including an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to begin the second half.
Nobody could have guessed that Wilson would outplay Manning, but he was leaps and bounds ahead of Manning throughout the game. Wilson completed 18-of-25 pass attempts for 206 yards and two touchdowns while Manning only threw one touchdown and two heart-breaking interceptions.
Critics said he was too small, his arm wasn’t strong enough, but last year, Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll gave him a chance. Now, Wilson is a Super Bowl champion and every other team in the league is shaking their heads that they wrote him off because of his size. What couldn’t be measured were Wilson’s intangibles that led him to hoist the Lombardi Trophy as the third youngest quarterback ever to do so.
While the Seahawks dominated the game, the Broncos broke two Super Bowl records. Manning’s 34 completions and Demaryius Thomas’ 13 receptions set new Super Bowl highs.
The Broncos may have been very disappointing; they were not as disappointing as the commercials. Every year, big companies compete for the best commercials on Super Bowl Sunday, but this year’s were the worst in recent memory. Coke, Budweiser, Bud Light and Doritos all continued their success on Super Sunday, but the rest of the commercials were horrendous.
However, the halftime show was incredibly entertaining. Once the Red Hot Chili Peppers joined Bruno Mars on stage, the atmosphere was electric. It may have been the best halftime show since Michael Jackson stole the show during halftime of Super Bowl XXVII.
Many questions were answered on Super Sunday, but there is one question that still lingers. What is Manning’s legacy? His statistics indicate that he is one of the greatest players in NFL history, but he now has lost more playoff games than any other quarterback.
Manning set multiple NFL records this season and won the NFL MVP for a record fifth time. But will he return next season? These questions will dominate the offseason, but the biggest answer we received on Super Bowl Sunday is that the Seattle Seahawks are the best team in the NFL and are the 2014 Super Bowl champions.