NEW YORK-NEW JERSEY — The Seattle Seahawks are the champions of football after dominating the highest scoring team in NFL history, the Denver Broncos, 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
The Seahawks, in the first-ever New York-New Jersey cold weather, open-air stadium Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium, put the heat on in the sixth-ever meeting in a Super Bowl of the league’s top offensive team vs. the No.1 defensive team, proving once again that defense wins championships.
It only took 12 seconds in the first quarter to see that the record-setting Broncos were off their freewheeling game when center Manny Ramirez at the 14-yard line could not hear and snapped the football over quarterback Peyton Manning’s head for a rare safety. That, folks, was as close as the two-and-a-half-point favorite Broncos would get to Seattle.
The fired-up Seahawks used their incredible speed advantage on offense, defense and special teams by stepping on the gas to completely dominate the Broncos. Denver panicked and tried to force the issue when they could not get first down, and things went from bad to worse. The Seahawks built a 36-0 lead before the Broncos even scored.
Kam Chancellor raced 37 yards with an interception for a touchdown. Then linebacker Malcolm Smith returned another tipped Manning pass 69 yards for a touchdown. Denver was so concerned with containing mobile quarterback Russell Wilson and the power running of the beast Marshawn Lynch that Seattle led 22-0 at halftime and had 147 yards to Denver’s 11! It was no contest.
Former Viking star Percy Harvin was a game changer for Seattle on offense. Harvin made his impact felt early with a 30-yard run around left end and busted Super Bowl XLVIII open with an 87-yard return for a touchdown off the opening kickoff of the third quarter.
Malcolm Smith, the man who caught the interception after Richard Sherman batted the Colin Kaepernick pass away from Michael Crabtree in the final seconds of the NFC title win over San Francisco, was selected the game’s Most Valuable Player. He had nine tackles also, and along with the Seahawk defensive line he helped contain the Bronco’s running game.
Denver ran for only a paltry 27 yards. They had Manning right where they wanted him, in a trap trying to force throws in coverage. The Seahawks forced four Bronco turnovers plus the safety, ending with 16-3 and their first NFL Championship for Seattle, the city’s first world championship since 1979 when they had an NBA team, the Supersonics.
Seattle’s defense, the so-called legion of doom, unleashed its furry on the Broncos. Highly acclaimed cornerback Richard Sherman and his teammates have staked their claim as one of the great Super Bowl Champions. Quarterback Wilson was 18-25 for 206 yards and two touchdowns. He’s the second Black starting quarterback since Doug Williams to win the Super Bowl.
Wilson is the most successful starting quarterback in his first two seasons in NFL history in terms of wins with 28. The Seahawks roster is littered with ex-Vikings: Harvin, Sidney Rice, Heath Farwell, Tavaris Jackson, and Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bavell.
General Manager John Synder is a native of Minnesota. Head Coach Pete Carroll is the third-oldest coach to win a Super Bowl at age 62. Carroll is a former Bud Grant assistant and lost out to Dennis Green as head coach of the Vikings. Carroll is the third head coach in history to win a National College Championship (USC) and a Super Bowl.
For the fourth time in five years, the Super Bowl was the most-watched TV event in history with 111.5 million viewers. More people than ever tweeted and wagered on the Super Bowl in Nevada casinos, a record $119.7 million. The Broncos were favored, and the casinos cleaned up with nearly $20 million in profits. The New York-New Jersey Super Bowl was a resounding success, and the Seahawks delivered a powerful off-Broadway performance.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.
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