Super Bowl XLVIII was billed as a classic showdown. From the AFC came the Denver Broncos, a record setting offensive juggernaut that scored more points than any other NFL team ever. From the NFC came the Seattle Seahawks, a squad known for the number one ranked defense in the league. It is a group with bad intentions and nasty dispositions.
Pundits called it the perfect Super Bowl matchup, with the number one offense versus the number one defense. It had all the trappings of a Super Bowl that might be long remembered. In the end though, it will go down as a Super Bowl that held up to an old adage: Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.
The Seattle Seahawks, behind a battering defense, destroyed the Denver Broncos on Super Bowl sunday, winning by a 43-8 margin. The experts thought this game might come down to the wire. In actuality, it may very well been loss from the opening kick. Seattle won the toss, and elected to defer to the second half. Their defense wanted the challenge of trying to stop Peyton Manning.
Trindon Holliday made an early mistake, bringing out a kick that should have been downed for a touchback. Instead, Denver started backed up at its 14 yard line. The stadium was rocking, much like it has at Seattle home games. It seemed to cause problems on Manning's opening play, as the center hiked the ball when Manning was not ready. Knowshon Moreno jumped on the loose ball in the end zone, and i was 2-0 Seattle.
Denver's defense tried to hold its own against Seattle the rest of the quarter, stuffing Marshawn Lynch repeatedly. Russell Wilson, who many describe as a 'game manager', took apart Denver with short strikes, which led to two more field goals and an 8-0 lead at the end of one. In Denver, there was still hope, as it was but a one score game.
Thoughts quickly turned worse when Lynch barreled into the end zone after a Denver turnover to make it 15-0. Denver's offense started to get on track again towards the end of the half, but an unrelenting Seahawk pass rush got to Manning, causing an errant throw. It landed in the hands of eventual Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, who went 69 yards for a pick six touchdown.
Denver went to the half down 22, knowing they would need something special in the second half to get back into it. Alas, it only took 11 seconds to discover that the game was over once the second half started. Denver attempted a shortened kickoff, to avoid Percy Harvin getting a long run back. Unfortunately, Harvin did get the ball, and proceeded to take it to the house. 87 yards later, the score was 29-0 Seattle, and the competitive aspect of the game was over.
From there, the question was whether Denver would score a point. The Seahawks were stifling, only allowing short underneath routes to be caught, while punishing the receivers for catching it. Seattle made it 36-0 on a Jermaine Kearse grab and questionable Denver tackling. Manning would finally find the end zone on the final play of the third, hitting Demariyus Thomas from 14 yards out, with Wes Welker grabbing the two point conversion.
There was not much left to say in the fourth quarter. Richard Sherman was injured making a tackle and was out for the game, but it did not matter by then. Seattle tacked on a Doug Baldiwn touchdown, leading to the 43-8 final. When the final gun sounded, and Peter Carroll got his Gatorade bath, the story had been written. Seattle had played all season like a team of destiny. On this February night in Met Life Stadium, that destiny was fufilled.