The Seattle Seahawks finished the regular season with a 13-3 record and reached the Super Bowl defeating the New Orleans Saints 23-15 in the Divisional round and the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 for in the Championship round. They are at their second Super Bowl in their history after losing Super Bowl XL.
The Denver Broncos finished the regular season with a 13-3 record and reached the Super Bowl defeating the San Diego Chargers 24-17 in the Divisional round and the New England Patriots 26-16 in the Championship round. They return to the Super Bowl after winning Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII.
The Denver Broncos have the football at the beginning of the game but their start is traumatic because in the first play there’s a misunderstanding between Peyton Manning and his center, who snaps the football sooner than expected. The football goes over Manning and goes in the endzone, where Knowshon Moreno manages to catch it but can’t avoid being tackled for a safety that gives the Seattle Seahawks a 2-0 lead. The Seahawks’s offense starts well enough but stops in the red zone, partly because of a false start, and gets only a field goal that increases their lead to 5-0. The Broncos offense can’t get going, can’t get a first down and has to resort to a punt. The Seahawks don’t do anything extraordinary but their offense gains ground, even if it stops again in the red zone and takes another field goal that brings the score on 8-0. Peyton Manning is still trying to do something but this time on the third down is intercepted. The first quarter ends on the 8-0 for Seattle.
In the second quarter, the Seattle Seahawks are taking advantage of a great spot and, also thanks to a pass interference, they score their first touchdown that, after the conversion, increases their lead to 15-0. The Denver Broncos finally get a first down and their offense starts gaining yards but the defense always puts pressure on Peyton Manning and when he gets hit during a launch the trajectory of the football is altered, allowing Malcolm Smith to intercept it and return it for a touchdown. After the conversion the lead for Seattle increases to 22-0. The Broncos are already in danger of falling into the abyss at the kickoff return when Chris Maragos loses the football. The officials call a fumble but the play is reviewed and the decision overturned. The Broncos still try to do something and get down to a fourth down, they decide to play it but can’t get the first down. It’s the last minute of the second quarter and the Seahawks let the game clock expire so the first half ends with their 22-0 lead.
The third quarter starts in the best possible way for the Seattle Seahawks because Percy Harvin returns the kickoff for a touchdown and after the conversion their lead goes to 29-0. The Denver Broncos prove what is already the desperation offense but after a couple of first downs they must resort to a punt. The Seahawks offense is stopped and for the first time they have to resort to a punt too but the Broncos can’t take advantage of it. Instead, Demaryius Thomas is forced to fumble the football, which is recovered by Malcolm Smith. The Seahawks take advantage of that situation and after a few plays they score another touchdown which, after the conversion, brings their lead on 36-0. Itì’s already garbage time and finally the Broncos manage to score a touchdown that, after a two-point conversion, reduces – too little, too late – their deficit to 36-8 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter the Seattle Seahawks start with their offense and score another touchdown, bringing their lead to 43-8 after the conversion. Actually, the Super Bowl ends here but there are still 12 minutes to fill with useless play by both teams, who are no longer able to score. It’s clear that the tension has dropped dramatically so not surprisingly the game ends up 43-8 and the Seattle Seahawks are the champions of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos were hoping that their offense would be stronger than their opponents’ defense but were greatly disappointed. They scored only when the game was essentially lost. Someone wondered if in case of victory Manning would retire but after the defeat it’s clear that he won’t leave the NFL that way.
The Seattle Seahawks confirm the extraordinary skills of their defense, which showed great reactivity in putting pressure on the opposing quarterback and at the same time in covering the receivers. In this Super Bowl their offense wasn’t extraordinary but made no grave errors, a key element to win. Malcolm Smith was elected MVP thanks to some feats performed during the Super Bowl. In the NFL it’s always difficult to say if a team can repeat because the balance is very subtle but the Seahawks have the potential to at least try.