Final, Seahawks 43-8: The Seahawks won their first Super Bowl title in franchise history. It’s the city of Seattle’s first championship since the Seattle SuperSonics’ 1978-79 NBA title.
Pete Carroll proved himself as a legit NFL head coach and Russell Wilson is no longer “too small.”
Apparently defense does win championships.
Fourth quarter, 2:00, Seahawks 43-8: Richard Sherman is back on the sidelines on crutches and Russell Wilson has been removed from the game. This blowout is reminiscent of a ’90s Super Bowl.
Fourth quarter, 3:44, Seahawks 43-8: Peyton Manning turned the ball over again. This one was on a strip sack by Chris Clemons.
Fourth quarter, 5:19, Seahawks 43-8: It’s a little late, but the Broncos finally stopped the Seahawks’ offense. Manning might as well kneel the ball for the rest of the game.
Fourth quarter, 9:48, Seahawks 43-8: Breaking: Defense wins championships.
The Broncos turned the ball over on downs. Ho hum. Nothing new.
Richard Sherman was carted off the sidelines with an ankle injury. His replacement, Walter Thurmond, also left the game with an injury. Jeremy Lane is in for both players.
Fourth quarter, 11:45, Seahawks 43-8: The party’s over.
The Broncos can score as many TDs as they want; they’re not winning this one. Russell Wilson threw his second touchdown pass, which means he’s probably leading the pack in the MVP race now.
Wilson connected with Doug Baldwin for the score. His first TD went to Jermaine Kearse.
End third quarter, Seahawks 36-8: No shutout for the Seahawks.
Peyton Manning connected with Demaryius Thomas for the touchdown. Wes Welker scored on the two-point conversion.
The Broncos need a whole lot more to mount a real comeback, however.
Third quarter, 2:58, Seahawks 36-0: Peyton Manning and the Broncos are officially getting drubbed.
It looked like the Broncos were ready to stop the Seahawks again, then Russell Wilson chucked it to Jermaine Kearse and the former Washington Husky took it the rest of the way.
Wilson officially has a Super Bowl touchdown.
Third quarter, 5:55, Seahawks 29-0: The Seahawks have the ball again.
Demaryius Thomas got a first down, attempted to get some extra yards and Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell literally punched the ball out of his arm.
They can probably start speeding up the clocks.
Third quarter, 7:58, Seahawks 29-0: Something good finally happened for the Broncos. The Seahawks went three and out after a holding penalty brought back a first-down scramble by Russell Wilson.
This could be the Broncos’ last chance. If they don’t score, they might not get four more opportunities.
Third quarter, 10:38, Seahawks 29-0: Down 29-0 in the Super Bowl the Broncos … punted? OK then.
The Broncos are just plain getting beat up by the Seahawks. Kam Chancellor keeps making big plays. Peyton Manning tested Sherman deep after he came back from his injury, but Sherman played the pass well.
The Seahawks are playing for MVP at this point. Percy Harvin is in the lead so far.
Third quarter, 13:03, Seahawks 29-0: Richard Sherman stayed down on the field with an apparent leg injury. But he popped up and sprinted off the field, according to reports from New Jersey.
Third quarter, 14:48, Seahawks 29-0: The Seahawks scored 12 seconds into the first half and 12 seconds into the second half. That’s fitting — with the 12th Man and all.
Percy Harvin scored on an 87-yard kick return. The Broncos tried to keep the ball away from Harvin by popping the ball up. It didn’t work.
I think he was worth that first-round pick. This is only his third game of the season and he has 45 rushing yards and a touchdown return.
Halftime, Seahawks 22-0: After having very low expectations, I thought Bruno Mars was great during the halftime show. Not that it matters what I think.
End half, Seahawks 22-0: What a crazy first half for the Seahawks. The scary thing for the Broncos is that they could be down even more.
Manning has thrown for just 104 yards with two interceptions with a 46.3 passer rating so far. Russell Wilson is 9 of 14 with 94 yards.
There’s no clear-cut MVP so far, but Peyton Manning is definitely the LVP. Kam Chancellor has made some big plays, including one interception. Malcolm Smith has the pick six, so he could be the choice, too.
It’s starting to rain in East Rutherford, N.J. It would be nice to see some snow.
Second quarter, 1:06, Seahawks 22-0: It appears the Broncos will be shut out in the first half. Denver was driving down the field, but a Louis Vasquez false start pushed the Broncos back and stopped their momentum. On fourth and 2, Peyton Manning’s pass to Wes Welker went incomplete. The Seahawks could score AGAIN before the half.
Second quarter, 3:21, Seahawks 22-0: It doesn’t help the Broncos to hold the ball for eight minutes when the drive ends in a pick six.
That’s exactly what happened to Peyton Manning, who got hit by Seahawks defensive ends Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril, which forced his pass to go straight in the air. Linebacker Malcolm Smith picked it off and took it back for a touchdown. The route is on.
Smith also had the pick at the end of the NFC Championship Game following Richard Sherman’s tip.
UPDATE: Trindon Holliday’s kick return was fumbled, recovered by Seahawks kicker Steven Haushka. Holliday’s knee was down and the ruling was overturned.
Second quarter, 12:00, Seahawks 15-0: Marshawn Lynch has just 12 yards on nine carries, but he also has six points to his name.
Lynch scored the first touchdown of the game after the Seahawks got the ball at the 1-yard line thanks to a pass-interference call on Broncos cornerback Tony Carter. He shoved Seahawks receiver Golden Tate in the back of the end zone.
The Seahawks had great field position after Kam Chancellor picked off Manning.
End first quarter, Seahawks 8-0: It’s actually pretty amazing that the Broncos only trail 8-0. Percy Harvin, who missed most of the season with injuries, has taken two end arounds for long gains. He has two carries for 45 yards.
Peyton Manning is just three for four for 10 yards with an interception. The Broncos don’t have a first down yet.
First quarter, 0:59, Seahawks 8-0: Bobby Wagner disrupted Peyton Manning’s pass on third and 7. The ball sailed on Manning intended to Julius Thomas and it was picked off by Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor.
This game couldn’t be starting much better for Seattle.
First quarter, 2:16, Seahawks 8-0: A marathon drive culminates in a field goal for Seattle.
Doug Baldwin caught two great passes from Russell Wilson. Percy Harvin was almost the goat when he dropped a screen from Wilson. If the pass went backwards, it would have been a fumble. Broncos head coach John Fox challenged but the ruling on the field — an incomplete pass — stood. It was obvious on the replay that Wilson’s pass went forward.
Wilson almost completed an incredible pass to receiver Jermaine Kearse in the end zone, but Broncos linebacker Nate Irvin made an even better play by knocking the ball loose.
A safety and two field goals makes it look like the game started with a touchdown and two-point conversion.
First quarter, 8:31, Seahawks 5-0: The Broncos’ second drive went slightly better than the first, but not much. Denver went three and out after some big hits from the Seahawks’ fast, physical defenders.
With Richard Sherman sticking to the left side of the field, he’s been covering Eric Decker early.
First quarter, 10:21, Seahawks 5-0: We have a very unusual game to start off Super Bowl XLVIII. It appeared that Russell Wilson got the first down on one of his patented scrambles, but he was just short. Pete Carroll challenged, but Wilson was ruled down before he stretched out for the first down.
On fourth and 1, the Seahawks elected to go for the field goal.
First quarter, 14:48, Seahawks 2-0: Whoa! First play of the game and the snap went over Peyton Manning’s head for a safety. These Seahawks fans are LOUD for a neutral site. It definitely seemed to have an effect on Manny Ramirez’s communication with Manning.
First quarter, 14:53: Trindon Holliday unwisely took the ball out of the end zone on the opening kickoff. The Broncos have the ball at their own 14-yard line.
6:29 p.m.: Joe Namath is wearing an absolutely ridiculous fur coat as an honorary Super Bowl captain. And he forgot to ask the Seahawks whether they wanted heads or tails before clipping the coin.
The Seahawks called tails and won the toss. They chose to defer to the second half. The Broncos will get the ball.
6:22 p.m.: Renee Fleming is singing the the national anthem. UPDATE: It was long, but very good.
6:19 p.m.: And now the Broncos have taken the field. We’re so close!
6:17 p.m.: The Seahawks have taken the field to The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.”
6:13 p.m.: All week we’ve heard that Seahawks fans are outnumbering Broncos fans in the New York/New Jersey area. We’ll find out how loud The 12th Man can actually be if they’re heard over the broadcast in a neutral site stadium.
6:10 p.m.: We’re officially 15 minutes away! Queen Latifah is singing “America the Beautiful” now.
5:39 p.m.: Since Pete Carroll was back in the headlines this week as Seahawks head coach, I decided to watch some Patriots games from 1997 to 1999. Carroll hasn’t changed his defensive scheme much in 15 years.
Carroll is still running a 4-3 under defense, which means the line shifts to the weak side and the linebackers shift to the strong side (the side with a tight end), which makes the defense appear like a 3-4.
Former Patriots linebacker Chris Slade had the same role as Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin, Willie McGinest was playing Chris Clemons’ LEO role, Chad Eaton was playing Brandon Mebane’s nose tackle position, Lawyer Milloy was Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor, Willie Clay and Chris Carter were Seattle free safety Earl Thomas, Ty Law was cornerback Richard Sherman, Tedy Bruschi was weakside linebacker K.J. Wright and Ted Johnson was middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Red Bryant’s strong side defensive end role was played by the Patriots’ Brandon Mitchell and Tony McDaniel’s three-technique defensive tackle role was played by Henry Thomas.
Carroll didn’t have three top-tier pass rushers back in the late ’90s with the Patriots, though. So Slade had to slide down to defensive end on third down. McGinest would rush the quarterback from defensive end or defensive tackle on third down like Michael Bennett does today for the Seahawks. There was no top-tier third pass rusher on the Patriots like the Seahawks have in Cliff Avril. Bruschi rushed from the end at times on third down. The Patriots had to use guys like defensive end Ferric Collons to rush on third down, which did not go very well most times.
5:35 p.m.: The Seahawks and Broncos have only met in the Super Bowl once before — way back on Dec. 24, 1983. The Seahawks won 31-7. It was so long ago that it wasn’t unusual to take black and white photos of the action.
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5:32 p.m.: And here come the Seahawks inactives. Wide receiver Bryan Walters, running back Christine Michael, offensive tackle Michael Bowie, offensive tackle Caylin Hauptmann, tight end Kellen Davis, defensive end Benson Mayowa and defensive tackle Jordan Hill will not suit up for Seattle.
5:24 p.m.: The Broncos’ inactive are in. Cornerback Quentin Jammer, quarterback Zac Dysert, running back Ronnie Hillman, offensive tackle Vinston Painter, guard Chris Kuper, tight end Joel Dreessen and defensive tackle Sione Fua will not suit up for Denver.
4:45 p.m.: We’re an hour and 40 minutes away from kickoff and it appears fans are having trouble getting to MetLife Stadium via train.
Passengers are passing out on the trains due to the extreme heat, according to NJ.com.
NJ.com also reports that it’s so crowded that they have stopped checking every passenger’s bag. We’ll find out at 6:25 p.m., whether fans actually got to the stadium. If MetLife is half full at game time, they didn’t.
The Seahawks’ and Broncos’ inactives come out at 4:55 p.m.
8 a.m. ET: Super Bowl XLVIII will finally answer the immortal question — does defense really win championships?
Because if it does, the Seattle Seahawks will bring a ring to their city for the first time since 1979. If not, and the Denver Broncos win, quarterback Peyton Manning’s legacy will change forever.
That’s what’s on the line on Sunday — the happiness of the entire Pacific Northwest versus Manning, who would go from being the “best regular season quarterback” to “best ever”(possibly?).
The Seahawks ranked No. 1 in total defense and passing defense during the 2013 season with a unit headlined by cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas, defensive end Michael Bennett and linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Broncos ranked No. 1 in total offense and passing offense as Manning threw to wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker. It’s the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.
Seattle’s only professional championships have come from now-defunct teams — the 1978-79 NBA Champion Seattle Supersonics and the 1916-17 Seattle Metropolitans Stanley Cup winners. It’s been a long 37 years for Seahawks fans — nicknamed the 12th Man — since the team’s first season in 1976.
Manning’s only Super Bowl title came after the 2006 season when his Indianapolis Colts beat the Rex Grossman-led Chicago Bears. Manning wouldn’t pass New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with his second Super Bowl win, but it would prove that Manning’s not just a regular-season wonder. That’s been the knock on him his entire 16-year career.
The Super Bowl kicks off at 6:25 p.m., at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. It’s supposed to be 43 degrees with a 20-percent chance of precipitation at game time.
Stay here for all the updates leading up to kickoff.