Sunday, February 2, 2014

Seahawks rout Broncos for World title

Defense wins championships.  Boy, does it ever.

Sporting the league's number one ranked defense, nicknamed the "Legion of Boom", the Seattle Seahawks came into Sunday evening's Super Bowl with enough swagger and trash talk for both teams - and backed up every bit of it with a hard-hitting, dominating victory over the Denver Broncos to claim their first World Championship.
The Seahawks defense dominated the Broncos offense.

Russell Wilson passed for 206 yards and two touchdowns and the Seahawks' vaunted running game went for 135 yards and one score as Seattle rode it's stellar defense to a 43-8 shellacking of the Broncos, holding Denver's running game to 26 yards and teeing off on quarterback Peyton Manning, who completed a Super Bowl record 34 passes, but was picked off twice.

The final score, as lopsided as it was, doesn't begin to tell the story of outright dominance.

The Seahawks offense scored on three of their four first half possessions, their defense delivering excellent field position to start each drive - when they weren't scoring themselves.

After the offense spotted the Seahawks a 2-0 lead on the first play of the game - Broncos' center Manny Ramirez airmailing a shotgun snap past Manning who wasn't expecting the ball, Knowshon Moreno getting to it at the back of the end zone before Seattle linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith could - the Seahawks drove down to the Broncos' 13 yard line after Britton Colquitt's ensuing free kick...

...but would have to settle for three after Seahawks' quarterback Russel Wilson couldn't quite reach the first down marker on a 3rd and 5 - and after the next Broncos' drive ended with another Colquitt punt, the Denver defense again held tough inside their own red zone, forcing another Steven Hauschka field goal for an 8-0 lead.

The Broncos' defense came to play early, as evidenced by them holding Seattle to the two field goals after the hole that Manning and the offense left them in - the 8-0 lead certainly would never hold up once Manning got things settled down and had the offense on the right track...

...but the Seahawks' pass rush caused Manning to throw interceptions on two consecutive drives, both leading to Seattle touchdowns - the second a pick-six by Malcolm Smith - and after the Seahawks held the Broncos on downs on a desperation 4th and two at the Seattle 19 yard line, Seattle coach Pete Carroll was content to have his guys run out the clock and head into the locker room with a 22-0 lead.

Smith's interception broke the game wide open, stepping in front of Denver running back Knowshon Moreno and picking off the Manning floater caused by Seahawks' defensive end Cliff Avril hitting the five-time NFL MVP's arm as he released the pass and taking it 69 yards for the touchdown and the final points of the half.

Then twelve seconds into the second half, the Seahawks were up 29-0, courtesy of a Percy Harvin 87 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and the game was over for all intents and purposes.

The Broncos could have very well overcome the 27 points that the Seahawks offense could muster on their own, but there was no way that they were going to overcome their own mistakes that led directly to the safety, the Smith interception return for a touchdown and the Harvin dagger on the second half kickoff.

And as the second half progressed, the mistakes just kept on coming.

After the teams traded punts, Denver looked to have the offense untracked, driving into Seahawks' territory again, but a Demaryius Thomas fumble at the Seattle 23 yard line quashed yet another drive - six plays later Jermaine Kearse wiggled his way for a 23 yard touchdown and the Seahawks' faithful could begin celebrating in earnest.

Denver finally sustained a drive and got on the board with a Manning touchdown passes to Thomas to end the third quarter, but the Seahawks got the score right back, Wilson airing it out to Kearse for 24 yards to set up a 10 yard strike to Doug Baldwin, and cruised from there to take the Lombardi Trophy.

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