Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll holds up the Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 43-8. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)Super Bowl XLVIII APTOPIX
By Larry Fine
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - The Seattle Seahawks and their ferocious defense dominated a frazzled Denver Broncos team, shutting down the NFL's leading offense to claim a 22-0 lead by intermission of the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Seattle took charge immediately when on the Broncos' first play from their 14-yard line following the opening kickoff, the snap sailed over quarterback Peyton Manning's head and running back Knowshon Moreno recovered it in the end zone and was tackled for a safety that gave Seattle a 2-0 lead.
The score came 12 seconds into the game, the quickest tally ever in a Super Bowl.
Seattle took the ensuing punt from the Broncos on their own 36-yard line and on the second play, Percy Harvin took a handoff on an end around and dashed 30 yards.
The drive continued to the Denver 13 where Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson's scramble left him one yard short of a first down and the Seahawks settled for a 31-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka that made it 5-0.
A three-and-out by Denver forced another punt, and Seattle took over on their 32. Wilson used his scrambling skills to keep the drive alive on a third-down play and then floated a perfect pass down the left sideline to Doug Baldwin for a 37-yard gain and a first-and-goal from the six.
A penalty pushed the Seahawks back and Hauschka booted a 33-yard field goal for an 8-0 lead in the first quarter.
Seattle outgained Denver 148 yards to 11 in the quarter.
Two defensive plays by the top-ranked Seattle defense turned into touchdowns in the second quarter.
An overthrown pass by Manning was intercepted by Kam Chancellor and Marshawn Lynch eventually bulled over from the one for a touchdown that made it 15-0.
Pass-rushing defensive end Cliff Avril hit Manning's arm on a throwing attempt and the ball floated into the middle of the field where linebacker Malcolm Smith intercepted it and ran 69 yards for a touchdown and a 22-0 lead.
(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Gene Cherry)