The Broncos, whose offense posted statistics of historical proportions this season, could get nothing going throughout. The first play of the game was a miscommunication between Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and center Manny Ramirez, which resulted in an errant snap landing in the end zone, leading to a safety.
After escaping the first quarter only trailing 8-0, during which the defense held Seattle to two Steven Hauschka field goals, the sky began to fall quickly for the Broncos. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch scored on a one-yard rushing touchdown, and eventual Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith intercepted a tipped Peyton Manning pass for a pick-six, and the Seahawks held a 22-0 lead heading into halftime. The Broncos actually didn’t have a first down until less than 12 minutes remained in the 2nd quarter.
It wasn’t long after Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers left the field following their halftime show performance that Seattle continued to pile on, as Percy Harvin returned the 2nd half’s opening kickoff for an 87-yard touchdown, and that was essentially all-she-wrote.
Manning and the Broncos’ lone score came via a Manning to Demaryius Thomas touchdown pass at the end of the third quarter. With Denver playing from behind all evening, both Thomas and Manning set somewhat misleading Super Bowl records. Manning set a new bar for Super Bowl completions with 34 and Thomas for receptions with 13. Manning finished the game 34-49 for 280 yards, with one touchdown pass, two interceptions, and a fumble lost.
The Seahawks scored 21 points in the second half, with 14 of them coming from Russell Wilson touchdown passes to Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin. Wilson finished with 205 passing yards and those two touchdowns, while carrying the ball three times for 26 yards.
The game was truly decided by the turnovers. Like they do so often, the best defense in the NFL forced the Broncos to the turn the ball over four times, while the Seahawks didn’t have one turnover.
The win marked the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl championship in franchise history, as well as the first championship for any Seattle franchise since 1979, when the Supersonics won the NBA title.
Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said after the game that the 2013 Seattle defense was “the best since the 1985 Chicago Bears.” After the performance they put on Sunday night, it’s hard to argue otherwise.