Meadville Tribune

Sports

February 2, 2014

Seahawks dominate to win Super Bowl XLVII

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Seattle Seahawks’ mantra all season was to make each day a championship day.

They made Super Bowl Sunday the best day of all with one of the greatest performances in an NFL title game — sparked by a defense that ranks among the best ever.

The Seahawks won their first Super Bowl crown in overpowering fashion, punishing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8. That masterful defense, the NFL’s stingiest, never let the five-time MVP get going, disarming the highest-scoring offense in league history.

Seattle (16-3) was too quick, too physical and just too good for Denver, and that was true in all areas. What was hyped as a classic matchup between an unstoppable offense and a miserly defense turned into a rout.

“We been relentless all season,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “Having that mentality of having a championship day every day. At the end of the day, you want to play your best football and that is what we did today.”

Punctuating Seattle’s dominance were a 69-yard interception return touchdown by linebacker Malcolm Smith to make it 22-0, and Percy Harvin’s sensational 87-yard kickoff runback to open the second half.

Smith was the game’s MVP, the first defender in 11 years to win the award.

When the Seahawks, up by 29 points, forced a Denver punt early in the third quarter, the 12th Man — and there were legions of them in MetLife Stadium — began chanting “L-O-B, L-O-B.”

As in Legion of Boom, the Seahawks hard-hitting secondary, part of young team with an average age of 26 years, 138 days.

“This is an amazing team. Took us four years to get to this point but they never have taken a step sideways,” coach Pete Carroll said. “These guys would not take anything but winning this ballgame.”

The loss by the Broncos again raised questions about Manning’s ability to win the biggest games. He is 11-12 in the postseason, 1-2 in Super Bowls. After the game, he brushed off questions about his legacy.

“Certainly to finish this way is very disappointing,” he said.

He never looked comfortable against a defense some will begin comparing to the 1985 Bears and 2000 Ravens — other NFL champions who had runaway Super Bowl victories.

Seattle forced four turnovers; Denver had 26 all season.   

The Seahawks looked comfortable and at ease, and not just their defense, which lost All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman to a high ankle sprain in the fourth quarter. He celebrated on crutches.

“I hope we etched out names in the history books,” Sherman said.

Wilson, who has an NFL-record 28 wins in his first two pro seasons, including playoffs, had a 23-yard TD pass to Jermaine Kearse late in the third quarter to make it 36-0.

Wilson also hit Doug Baldwin for a 10-yard score in the final period in what had become one of the most lopsided Super Bowls. For the fifth time in six meetings between the NFL’s No. 1 offense and defense, the D dominated.

“It’s all about making history,” All-Pro safety Earl Thomas said. “This was a dominant performance from top to bottom.”

Denver fell to 2-5 in Super Bowls, and by the end many of Manning’s passes resembled the “ducks” Sherman said the All-Pro quarterback sometimes threw.

The victory was particularly sweet for Carroll, who was fired in 1994 by the Jets, led the Patriots for three seasons and again was canned. After a short stint out of coaching, he took over at Southern California and won two national titles.

But he always felt there was unfinished business in the NFL. Carroll finished that business by lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy, four years after taking charge in Seattle and eight years after the Seahawks lost in their only previous Super Bowl to Pittsburgh.

No Super Bowl had been played outdoors in a cold-weather city before — not that the Big Apple was anything close to frozen Sunday, with a 49-degree temperature at kickoff.

Things went sour for Manning and the Broncos from the very first scrimmage play, and by halftime they were down 22-0 — their biggest deficit of the season and the only time they didn’t score in a half.

On that first play for the Broncos, Manning stepped up toward the line just as center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball. It flew past his incredulous quarterback into the end zone, where Knowshon Moreno dived on it for a safety.

A mere 12 seconds in, Seattle led 2-0 with the quickest score in Super Bowl history, beating Chicago’s Devin Hester’s kickoff return to open the 2007 game — against Manning’s Colts.

That one ended much better for Manning as Indianapolis won the championship. This one was a fiasco throughout.

Steven Hauschka, who missed only 2 of 40 field goals entering the game, made a 31-yarder for 5-0 and a 33-yarder for 8-0 after Doug Baldwin toasted 15-year veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, in his first Super Bowl, for 37 yards on third down.

Then the Seahawks began scoring touchdowns.

Manning’s third-down pass to Julius Thomas sailed way too high and directly to safety Kam Chancellor, giving the Seahawks the ball at Denver’s 37. Harvin, finally healthy after a virtually wasted first season in Seattle, sparked the short drive with a 15-yard burst, and a third-down pass interference call on Tony Carter gave Seattle the ball at the 1.

Marshawn Lynch scored to make it 15-0.

Then Smith, with a play emblematic of the best defense the NFL has seen in years, made his second huge play in two weeks.

Cliff Avril got to Manning’s arm as he was throwing, the ball fluttered directly to Smith, who took off down the left sideline for a 69-yard interception TD.

Manning trudged to the sideline, a look of disgust on his face.

That look didn’t improve when, after a drive to the Seattle 19, his fourth-down pass was tipped by Chris Clemons and fell harmlessly to the Meadowlands turf.

So did Denver’s reputation as an unstoppable force.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • MLB replay Selig calls replay start ‘remarkable’

    Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks.
    While baseball began video review late in the 2008 season, it was limited to potential home runs and boundary calls. The new system that began March 30 vastly expands the types of plays that managers and umpires can ask to be reviewed at a replay center in New York.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cardinals roll to a sweep of Eagles

    The match only lasted three games, but Logan Herzberger still found the time to post a double-double, notching 14 kills and 18 digs while the Cochranton volleyball team swept Conneaut 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 during Region 1 action on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Brendon Barclay Unbeaten Panthers need five games to top Bulldogs

    Through the first four games, there was no telling which team was undefeated and which team had only one win entering Monday night’s Region 1 volleyball clash between Meadville and Saegertown.
    By the fifth and deciding game, the cream rose to the top.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ogwumike goes No. 1

    It was a busy draft night for the Connecticut Sun.
    Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top pick in the WNBA draft Monday night, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty.

    April 14, 2014

  • Watson pulls away at Augusta to win second green jacket

    One of golf’s most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters on Sunday. That’s just fine with Bubba Watson.
    All he cared about was slipping into that green jacket.
    Instead of hitting a 40-yard hook out of a forest of Georgia pines — the signature shot in his playoff victory two years ago — the final act Sunday at Augusta National took place on the 18th green. Watson had a three-shot lead and consulted with his caddie on a 15-foot birdie putt.

    April 14, 2014

  • Harvick survives shootout for win at Darlington

    Kevin Harvick used one of the few weekend missteps to pull out his first Darlington victory.
    Harvick was among several veteran drivers fighting for the Nationwide Series win Friday night when rookie Chase Elliott used fresher tires and a strong machine to move from the back of the pack to first place over the final two laps.

    April 14, 2014

  • Spezza lifts Senators to SO win over Penguins

    Jason Spezza scored in the shootout to help the Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night and finish the season on a five-game winning streak.
    The teams were tied 2-2 after two periods and didn’t score in the third or overtime.

    April 14, 2014

  • Brewers sweep Pirates, win ninth straight

    Kyle Lohse was eager to top his Milwaukee teammates.
    He sure came close.
    Lohse came within an out of a complete game, and the Brewers won their ninth straight with a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Ramirez lifts ChiSox over Indians

    Alexei Ramirez came up to the plate, ready to swing.
    Ramirez hit a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw from John Axford in the ninth inning, rallying the Chicago White Sox over the Cleveland Indians 4-3 on a rainy Sunday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Masters Watson Watson surges to Masters lead following birdie spree

    Bubba Watson won the Masters two years ago with his brand of “Bubba golf,” producing shots of raw skill and wild imagination. His strategy now is to keep it simple, and he is halfway to another green jacket.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Poll

Is simplifying the U.S. tax code the best way to boost the economy? The code today is 73,608 pages and it grows every year. Which one of these suggestions seems like the best solution:

Make a progressive tax rate that’s a simple 6 percent for everyone.
End tax breaks for the “1 percent.”
It’s not as simple as one change — many things have to happen.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks