A snap over the head of Peyton Manning 12 seconds into the game was not the way the Broncos wanted things to start. The Seahawks were happy with it, as it resulted with the ball in the endzone and a safety to begin the game. Super Bowl XLVIII featured the quickest score in Super Bowl history. By halftime, it looked like Denver was totally in over their heads against Seattle.
It only got worse for the Broncos. On their third possession of the game, Manning threw just his second interception of the playoffs as Kam Chancellor picked off a pass intended for Julius Thomas. Russell Wilson would hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch seven plays later for the touchdown, giving the Seahawks a commanding 15-0 lead.
Manning would get picked off again late in the second quarter, this time by Malcolm Smith who returned it 69 yards for another Seattle touchdown. The Legion of Boom, the nickname for the Seahawks secondary, was proving to be too much for Denver as they would shutout the Broncos in the first half by a score of 22-0.
12 seconds came back to haunt the Broncos once again. It took Percy Harvin just that long to return the kickoff 87 yards for the touchdown to open the second half. Later on in the third quarter, it looked as if Denver was finally going to put some points on the board when Manning unloaded a pass to Demaryius Thomas that found him near the Seattle 20-yard line. That was not meant to be as Thomas ended up being stripped of the ball by Byron Maxwell and Malcolm Smith ended up with the recovery.
Denver finally got on the scoreboard in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Demaryius Thomas was on the receiving end of a Peyton Manning 14-yard touchdown pass. Wes Welker caught the two-point conversion pass to bring the score 36-8.
“The defense was relentless,” Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said in an interview with Pam Oliver after the game. He was certainly right about that. The Seahawks defense played their role perfectly as they contributed with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
The Denver Broncos were never in the game as the Seattle Seahawks would win their first Super Bowl in franchise history by a final score of 43-8.
“My hats off to Pete and his staff and his players. They played a great game.” Broncos coach John Fox had nothing but nice things to say about Seattle in a post-game interview with Erin Andrews.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith would walk away with the MVP award. A most deserving award as he was responsible for an interception, a fumble recovery and added 10 tackles in what will be known as one of the most dominant Super Bowl victories.
“We take this trophy back to the 12th man.” “Our 12th man fans are the best in the world” The 12th man that coach Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson referred to in interviews with Michael Strahan are the faithful Seattle Seahawks fan-base. The same fan-base that reached a decibel reading of 137.6 during a game in the regular season. Seattle honored its 12th man status with scoring plays 12 seconds into both halves.