Well that was slightly unexpected. The Seattle Seahawks are your Super Bowl champions finishing off a strong 2013-14 season with a rout of the of the Denver Broncos. The Stack is here with plenty of reaction to it so let's get right to it in "the stack" for today, Monday, February 3:
Seattle 43 Denver 8
Super Bowl XLVIII was close...right before kickoff. After that, it was all downhill for the Denver Broncos. Perhaps it all started when Joe Namath tried to flip the coin early before the Seattle Seahawks could call it in the air. The re-do happened and the Seahawks chose to kick. How terrible for the Broncos!! Kick returner Trindon Holliday ran the opening kickoff back to just the fifteen yard line and on the very first play from scrimmage, as Peyton Manning went up to the line to call a protection audible, center Manny Ramirez (he plays football now?) inexplicably snapped the ball. Knowshon Moreno fell on it in the endzone and just like that it was 2-0 Seahawks seconds into the game.
The Seahawks dominated the first quarter (heck, they dominated the entire game). They moved the ball down the field, gettting the ball into Percy Harvin's hands on a couple of end arounds, yet they were just up 8-0. The Broncos couldn't get anything offensively. Short patterns weren't getting the job done. When they caught the ball, the Seahawks were right there to make sure they wouldn't get any yards. And the Broncos did what you cannot do against the Seahawks; turn the ball over! Manning overshot a receiver in the first quarter and Kam Chancellor came away with a pick. Marshawn Lynch would turn that into a touchdown and a 15-0 lead. It didn't get any better for the Broncos. Later in the second quarter, Manning's arm got hit and the ball floated in the air towards Moreno...and linebacker Malcolm Smith. Smith went for the ball, Moreno didn't. Smith picked it off and ran it all the way back for a touchdown. 22-0. Smith also would be your MVP of the game thanks to that play. Could it get any worse for the Broncos? Well, in a word, yes. They failed to get any points in the first half, going for it on fourth down deep in Seattle territory. Could have been 22-3 going into half. Instead, no points and a 22-0 deficit. Ouch!!
With 30 minutes of halftime to make adjustments (once again the halftime show stunk), the Broncos would come out prepared right? Nope! They tried to go conservative and kick it short to Harvin. After letting it bounce, Harvin grabbed it and thanks to some terrible coverage, returned it for a touchdown. 29-0 and effectively, the game was over. Denver would score at the end of the third quarter, but poor tackling, defense and really a poor game all around doomed them from the start. Final score, 43-8 Seattle, the third largest blowout in Super Bowl history.
Pete Carroll is now the third coach to win both an NCAA championship and a Super Bowl joining Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. Defense wins championships and Seattle proved it. They dominated the number one offense in the NFL. This loss doesn't fall all on Manning. Most of the blame shouldn't go to him. They didn't play good defense, made some mistakes they normally wouldn't have made and ran into a buzzsaw that was the Seahawks. Carroll and GM John Schneider have done a magnificent job in rebuilding the Seahawks. A lot of credit should also go to owner Paul Allen. Their defense is the best in the league and has a lot of young talent. It will be tough to keep all of them, but with the way they've been drafting, it seems as though they can replace them. Very young team, very good team.
Seattle now leaves the list of teams who have never won a Super Bowl. They seem to be in play for a few more over the years. Will Manning ever win another Super Bowl? Not if he has to go against that defense again. Four out of five times now, the number defense has beaten the number one offense in the Super Bowl. Don't know if Denver just wasn't ready, or if Seattle was just that much better, but this was a snoozefest all the way through. Feel bad for Manning, but happy for the 12th man, the team and everyone in the Northwest.
And just to add one final note, the commercials were awful. I mean terrible. Lots of car commercials that weren't funny. The best one was the Greek yogurt with John Stamos. The full list is here if you want to watch. For a fourth straight year, they sucked.
So congrats to Russell Wilson (who played well and managed the game effectively) and to the entire Seattle Seahawks organization. Well deserved. Best team for much of the season. They may be in line for many more.
Coming up later this week: Winter Olympics preview