February 02, 2014
Sorry, Denver Broncos. This was a Seattle Seahawks ambush, so no Broncos plays were deemed good enough to crack the top five moments of Super Bowl XLVIII. Here are the defining plays from the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl victory:
The first play?!
You could say that the Seahawks fans brought the 12th Man to New Jersey because it was loud from the first moment the Broncos and Peyton Manning took the field. So loud, in fact, that Manning wanted to change the cadence and snap count. Sadly, center Manny Ramirez didn’t see Manning look away and snapped the ball over his head for a first-play safety. Twelve seconds into the game, fittingly.
This was a defining play in the game, and it summed up just how dominant the Seahawks’ defense is on all three levels. On their first blitz of the game, Cliff Avril pressured Manning, Bobby Wagner got in Manning’s face, K.J. Wright had good coverage on Julius Thomas and Kam Chancellor finished off the play with the interception. All-around defensive brilliance.
Pick-six deep six
Malcolm Smith was named the Super Bowl MVP, likely because of his stunner of a pick-6 interception that turned out to be the dagger in the Broncos’ backs (one of many, it turned out). Avril once again pressured Manning and hit his arm as he threw a pass, one that ended up in Smith’s arms. His legs got him to the end zone, and it gave the Seahawks a shocking 22-0 lead right before the half.
Percy Harvin only played 39 snaps all season prior to the Super Bowl, but his fingerprints were all over this game. Proclaimed fully healthy coming into the night, Harvin had two rushes for 45 yards, a five-yard catch and this 87-yard touchdown return on a kickoff. The pooch kick threw off the blocking assignments a bit, but Harvin found a path to the end zone.
Blessing and a Kearse
With the game out of hand, the Broncos’ effort waned. The Seahawks kept pouring it on, though, throwing with a 29-point lead. Russell Wilson hit Jermaine Kearse on a quick slant near the red zone, and Kearse bounced on an incredible five tackle attempts — two by the same Broncos player, Tony Carter — en route to a 23-yard score.
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