Friday, November 28, 2014

Seahawks blow out Broncos

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Waiting to get their hands on the Lombardi Trophy, the Seattle Seahawks were surrounded by security guards in orange jackets.
It was the first time anyone in that colour stopped them all night.

The Seahawks stayed true to their mantra to make each day a championship day. And they made Super Bowl Sunday the best day of all with one of the greatest performances in an NFL title game—sparked by a defence that ranks among the best ever.
The Seahawks won their first Super Bowl crown by punishing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8.
That masterful defence—the NFL’s stingiest—never let the five-time MVP get going, disarming the highest-scoring offence in league history.
“The only way we could say we were the best defence was to take down the best offence,” noted linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Seattle (16-3) was too quick, too physical, and just too good for Denver. What was hyped as a classic match-up between an unstoppable offence and a miserly defence turned into a rout.
“We’ve been relentless all season,” said quarterback Russell Wilson. “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 kick-off return to open the second half.
“I always imagined myself making great plays,” said Smith, the game’s MVP.
“Never thought about being the MVP.”
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 a young team with an average age of 26 years, 138 days.
“This is an amazing team,” said coach Pete Carroll. “Took us four years to get to this point, but they never have taken a step sideways.
“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 post-season, and 1-2 in Super Bowls.
After the game, he brushed off questions about his legacy.
“Certainly to finish this way is very disappointing. It’s not an easy pill to swallow,” admitted Manning, who threw for a record 55 touchdowns in 2013, two years after missing an entire season because of neck surgeries.
“I don’t know if you ever really get over it.”
He never looked comfortable against a defence 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.
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 offence and defence, the ‘D’ dominated.
“It’s all about making history,” said All-Pro safety Earl Thomas.
“This was a dominant performance from top to bottom.”
The victory was particularly sweet for Carroll, who was fired in 1994 by the N.Y. Jets. He then led the New England 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—not that the Big Apple was anything close to frozen yesterday, when it was 49 degrees F at kick-off.
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, Manning stepped up toward the line just as centre Manny Ramirez snapped the ball.
It flew past his incredulous quarterback into the end zone, where Knowshon Moreno dove 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 kick-off 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.

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