In the end, it was perhaps the first play from scrimmage that best summed up the blow out that nobody, including die-hard Seahawks fans, predicted.
Peyton Manning, easily one of the best five quarterbacks of all time, watched the first snap from scrimmage sail over his right shoulder and into the back of the endzone. The play resulted in a Seahawks safety, with the Hawks racking up the fastest score in Super Bowl history at 12 seconds.
From that moment on, the Seahawks dominated that game, scoring on offense, defense and special teams. Ending the first quarter up 8-0, the Seahawks first scored a touchdown on a Marshawn Lynch 1-yard run with 12 minutes and 8 seconds left in the second half. Then, Malcolm Smith had a 69-yard pick-six from the soon-to-be beleaguered and bruised Manning.
Following the game Coach Pete Carroll, who became the third head coach to win both an NCAA Championship and a Super Bowl, said the team preparation for this moment started a long time ago.
“These guys started a long time ago,” Carroll said. “I’m so proud to be part of this. We take this trophy back for the 12th man.”
Carroll said the game went according to plan for the team that finished the season 16-3.
“For us it was exactly what we wanted,” he said. “We played really well on D, we didn’t give the ball up once.”
Rusell Wilson went 18-for-25 in the game with 206 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 123.1. Following the game, the second-year quarterback praised his team, saying the they had been working for the moment since they lost to the Atlanta Falcons in 2012.
“We continued to fight and continued to grow together,” he said. “We couldn’t have done it without all these guys.”
Linebacker Malcolm Smith was the MVP of Super Bowl 48 with his pick-6 adding to nine tackles and great pass coverage. At media day Smith was not even given a podium. After the game, he said from the Championship float he could have never believed how well it all went.
“I didn’t wake up and see this coming,” Smith said, laughing.
Smith was the first defensive player in 11 years to win the MVP award.
In a game that was heralded as the league’s best defense vs. the league’s best offense, the answer to what matters more was clear. Manning finished the game with a Super Bowl record of 34 completions, but threw two timely interceptions and failed to get his team into the endzone until three seconds left in the third quarter. The Denver rushing game was held to 27 yards, and never had a chance to get off the ground.
Manning, 37, would not comment on his future following the game. The star quarterback 11-and-12 in the postseason and 1-2 in the Super Bowl.
Percy Harvin, playing in only his third game of the season, finished with a 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and two carries for 45 yards. Harvin spoke after the game, saying he waited a long time to take the field after a season plagued with injuries.
“Just to strap up the pads one more time was incredible,” he said.
The Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Victory Parade will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday.