One of the most interesting parts about the Super Bowl is how the NFL incorporates many of the elements you would hear and see during a home game. The Hawk’s screech was ringing throughout the stadium on first down, Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us” and Lil Jon’s “Outta Your Mind” was played numerous times throughout the game and even the graphics you would see at CenturyLink were displayed in the stadium.
Because the 43-8 win was so one-sided, MetLife Stadium felt like CenturyLink East in Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup between the Seahawks and Broncos. The noise from 12s even contributed to the first snap of the game sailing over the head of Peyton Manning and into the back of the end zone for a safety.
Hawks fans sitting in the Broncos season-ticket holder sections may not have felt the same way about it, but even on the national broadcast one could hear Joe Buck say on more than one occasion that this game did not feel like a traditional Super Bowl in terms of the noise being generated by fans at the stadium.
After the safety, the Seattle offense followed that up with two good drives where they settled for field goals sandwiched by a Broncos 3-and-out.
There was still that little sense of worry in the early stages. With only 8 points to show for a dominant first quarter, there was a feeling that the Broncos offense could take over at any time and score like they have all season. But it just never happened.
Once Marshawn Lynch put the first touchdown of the game on the board, there was a strong feeling building that this team could run away with the game considering the way the defense was playing. Not only that, but looking up at the scoreboard after the Lynch touchdown, the clock read 12:00 left in the half.
Was this destiny? After all the opening safety had come just 12 seconds into the game. It felt amazing and eerie at the same time. The energy from the team had us believing this could potentially be a repeat of the Monday Night Football game against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
Then Cliff Avril helped seal that sentiment by getting to Peyton Manning in time to hit his arm just enough to float a pass high in the air. Malcolm Smith came down with the ball and returned it for a 69-yard touchdown and gave the Seahawks a 22-0 lead going into halftime.
This great defense had shut out the highest scoring offense in NFL history at the half. By virtue of winning the toss and deferring to the second half, the Seahawks were set to receive the football.
Percy Harvin was explosive in the first half with 45-yards rushing on just two carries, but with no Broncos scores we hadn’t seen him take the field as kick returner. With the wind blowing in, Denver had a good high kick that should have limited Harvin’s return. The ball bounced at the 12-yard line (there’s that number again), he fielded it at the 13, and with his elusiveness he barely got touched on his run to the end zone.
Not only did the ball bounce at the 12, Harvin scored 12 seconds into the second half. The Seahawks had opened up each half with a 12-second score.
You could see it on Manning’s face – that play killed any hope of a Broncos comeback. It was the first time in Super Bowl history that a team had scored a safety, interception return and a kickoff return.
Up 29-0, the defense started to let up a little bit, and you started seeing a lot more plays opening up in the middle of the field for the Broncos. Manning took advantage and started moving the ball, but Denver didn’t count on Bryon Maxwell doing what he’s best at – punching the football out of the hands of Demaryius Thomas. It was another Broncos turnover and again Malcolm Smith was in on the play to pick up the fumble.
The 23-yard Jermaine Kearse touchdown on the ensuing drive was evidence of how the Seahawks simply wanted this game more. Kearse bounced off at least four Broncos defenders as he fought his way into the end zone to help Seattle get up to a 36-0 lead.
Just as fans were beginning to wonder if this defense would shut out the most prolific offense in NFL history, eventually the Broncos were able to score on the final play of the third quarter.
I like to think that because Denver showed some sort of life, at least enough to know they hadn’t completely quit, the Seahawks wanted to respond. That’s what they did. In just over three minutes, Doug Baldwin was making four defenders miss on his way across the goal line for the final touchdown of the game.
While the number 12 didn’t seem to show up on the field after Harvin’s kick return, another Seattle area number made an appearance. To add to the wonder if this was a team of destiny, Russell Wilson happened to match the Seattle area code with his final number of passing yards: 206.
I’ve been sucking down throat lozenges since the conclusion of the game and my voice is still gone along with every other Seahawks fan I spoke with on the return trip home. I think back to the game and between the high fives and hugging of complete strangers – it was an experience I hope you all have one day.
Even if you weren’t at the game, I have no doubt it was a special experience no matter where you were. The Seahawks won in a way nobody would have predicted and performed with such dominance that nobody could every point to a play getting called in the favor of one team or a particularly bad call having an impact on the game. There is no question who the better team was Sunday.
I mentioned it before, and it’s worth repeating that this was the most prolific passing and scoring offense in NFL history. Which is why this Seahawks defense, by virtue of shutting them down and making them look like a below-average offense like they’ve done to so many others this season–this defense deserves to rank among the best of all time if not THE best of all time.
It’s incredible the team General Manager John Schneider and Head Coach Pete Carroll have been able to assemble in just four years time. When I started writing for the Military Sea Hawkers and sending out weekly recaps, the Seahawks were fighting through Holmgren’s final season. They won only 4 games that year.
Now the Seahawks are Super Bowl Champions for the first time in history and are the first championship team this city has seen since the Seattle Supersonics won a title in 1979. The team will celebrate the season’s success with a parade on Wednesday that will culminate in a rally at CenturyLink Field. I won’t be there, but you can bet I’ll be tuned in by radio or through the NFL app on my phone.
What an amazing season by our Seahawks. Wednesday’s celebration with be the cherry on top as we get to see fans from all over the greater-Seattle area come together and join in a huge celebration.
Bring on 2014. GO HAWKS!