Monday, February 03, 2014


Leader: Russell Wilson was brilliant in Seattle's dominating win over the Denver Broncos
The Seattle Seahawks produced one of the most dominant Super Bowl performances ever seen as they battered the Denver Broncos 43-8 to win their first NFL Vince Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XLVIII

Billed as the classic battle between the NFL’s finest offense and defense, the Seattle Seahawks annihilated the Denver Broncos on both sides of the ball to win the franchise’s first Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Peyton Manning’s Denver were dissected, dismantled and destroyed by the brutal, relentless assault. It was as one-sided as the 43-8 scoreline suggests. Men against boys.

Seattle's defence forced a safety on Denver's first play, and as soon as they sniffed blood they went on a rampage against the Broncos as they forced four turnovers, scored off a Manning interception and ran in an 87-yard kick-off return.
                        Picked off: Kam Chancellor intercepts Manning's wayward pass
Debate will rage on the future of the recently-crowned five-time MVP after another failure on the biggest stage. 

That is for another day, but the 37-year old now has a Super Bowl record of 1-3 after Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril and Co hurried and hassled him all night.
MVP: Malcolm Smith was named the game's Most Valuable Player

But all the focus should be on Pete Carroll’s magnificent Seattle. No player on the roster had played at a Super Bowl before, but the self-styled Legion of Boom enacted the classic way to win championships: a mean, nasty defense which unsettles and suffocates opponents, thriving on pressure and creating turnovers.
                           Winners! Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll lifts the Vince Lombardi trophy after a brilliant win
They forced four turnovers, and both of Manning’s interceptions resulted in touchdowns.

Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith returned an interception for 69 yards and was part of a pass rush that made Manning give his best impression of a cat on a hot tin roof. He also recovered a fumble and made nine tackles.
                          Pick six: Malcolm Smith returned an interception for a 69-yard touchdown
And Russell Wilson, in just his second NFL season, was outstanding, protecting the ball, scrambling in his trademark style and targeting his underrated receiving corps on the move.

Percy Harvin, who had played just two games during an injury-hit season, scampered for a kick-off return and made multiple vital receptions.
                          Beast mode: Marshawn Lynch is handed the ball and makes his way into the endzone for a touchdown
Marshawn Lynch, spearhead of Seattle’s bruising running game, managed just 39 yards. But as the Broncos focused on stopping him down the centre, Wilson utitilised his receiving corps. 

Doug Baldwin, the explosive Percy Harvin and Jermaine Kearse were all targeted as the Seahawks relentlessly advanced downfield.
                        Huge return: Percy Harvin returned the second half kick-off for a touchdown to dampen Broncos hopes
Seattle’s sensational shutdown corner Richard Sherman, so vocal before the game, had a quiet night. And his evening ended in unceremonious fashion with an ankle injury. It mattered not.

The margin of victory was the greatest for 21 years, but it still failed to do Seattle’s dominance justice. They were unstoppable, reducing Denver’s fabled offence - the best in history, remember - to broken men. They didn’t reach the end zone until the game had a quarter left.

Perhaps we should have known it wasn’t the Broncos’ night after just 12 seconds.
Trindon Holliday’s poor return from Steven Haushka’s kick-off put them on their 14-yard line.
                           Disbelief: Manning can't believe how the game unfolded
A miscommunication saw center Manny Ramirez snapping the ball while Manning was not in position, his face contorting in horror as the ball sailed over his head.

Knowshon Moreno helplessly scrambled backwards but he could not avoid the flying Avril in the end zone. 

For the second time in three years the first Super Bowl score was a safety. 

The misery conned to pile on Manning. His offensive line, so effective this season, was suddenly porous he failed to get so much as a first down in the first quarter.
And when he get the ball in his hands, he didn’t have it for long. 

Kam Chancellor intercepted his high pass and another sweeping Seattle drive - kept alive by a pass interference penalty from Tony Carter - resulted in a trademark burst over the line from Lynch from a yard.

Desperately for time on the field, Denver needed a sustained drive but they didn’t get one. 
                              Bullied: Jermaine Kearse broke four tackles on his way to a touchdown
Avril made mincemeat out of right tackle Orlando Franklin and charged into Manning’s right arm. 

The ball spiralled into the grateful arms of Smith, who darted to the endzone.

With the score at 22-0, the half-time crooning of Bruno Mars couldn’t come quickly enough for the Broncos. 
Show stopper: Bruno Mars (above) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (below) performed at half-time

But as the Red Hot Chili Peppers blasted out Give It Away Now, Denver did so again immediately after the break.

With the 12th man in full voice, Seattle managed to score 12 seconds into second half now as the turbo-heeled Harvin skipped through for a breathtaking 87-yard touchdown.
With Carroll furiously encouraging on the sidelines, the Seahawks continued to run up the score. 

After a magnificent catch, Kearse avoided multiple woeful tackles to skip over for a 23-yard touchdown reception.
All over: Doug Baldiwn dives for the touchdown after more missed tackles from the Broncos

Demaryius Thomas ensured the Broncos would not suffer the ultimate ignominy by being the first team to end a Super Bowl scoreless, collecting a 14-yard pass from Manning. Wes Welker, whose Super Bowl misery continued, completed the two-point conversion.
                                   Drenched: Carroll is covered in juice by his players - a tradition in American sportsAgain, Seattle were relentless. Baldwin, who skinned multiple Pro Bowler Champ Bailey all night, caught Wilson’s 10-yard pass to complete the rout.

Astonishingly, Denver set two records with Manning usurping Tom Brady with 33 completions in a Super Bowl. Thomas collected 13 passes, beating team-mate Welker.
But that will mean nothing to a franchise - and a quarterback - who were humiliated by opponents who could be on the way to establishing a dynasty of their own.

Courtesy of DailyMail

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