Sunday, February 2, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Seattle Seahawks
By Terry Blount
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 43-8 Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday at MetLife Stadium:
What it means: The Seahawks are Super Bowl champions for the first time in franchise history. Seattle ends the season 16-3. The Seahawks lost their only other Super Bowl appearance, 21-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 5, 2006.
Stock watch: A defense like no other, and one that now will go down as one of the best in NFL history. It was a dominate performance by the Seattle defense against Denver's record-setting offense. The Seahawks did what almost no one has been able to this season by getting pressure on quarterback Peyton Manning and forcing him to make mistakes. Manning threw two interceptions in the first half because he was under pressure by the Seahawks. Defensive end Cliff Avril had two deflections and Chris Clemons had a forced fumble and one deflection. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner got his hands in Manning’s face to force the first interception.
The $67 million Super Bowl man: After a season where injuries caused him to play only six quarters, Percy Harvin showed why the Seahawks signed him to a six-year, $67 million deal. He put the game away 12 seconds into the second half with an 87-yard kickoff return after he picked up the ball on a bounce. He also had 45 yards rushing on two jet sweeps in the first half. He was the difference-maker everyone thought he could be.
Smith gets his due: Linebacker Malcolm Smith had the game-saving interception in the end zone against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, but it hardly was noticed after Richard Sherman (who tipped the pass that Smith intercepted) had his postgame rant. Well, Smith got his moment in the Super Bowl with a 69-yard pick-six in the second quarter and a fumble recovery in the third quarter.
MetLife a second Seattle home: The Seahawks may want to lobby to play more games in New Jersey. In two games at MetLife Stadium this season, Seattle outscored the Giants and Broncos, 66-8.
Manning maulers: The Seattle defense was kryptonite for the Manning brothers this season. Eli Manning threw five interceptions in the 23-0 Giants loss to the Seahawks; Peyton Manning had two interceptions and a touchdown pass against Seattle.
Bam-Bam Kam: Strong safety Kam Chancellor was a force throughout the playoffs for Seattle. His punishing hits continued against Denver and he had a key interception in the first quarter.
What's next: A victory parade is coming to downtown Seattle. No date has been set, but it’s likely Wednesday or Thursday. That may cause more seismic activity on the shores of Elliott Bay. After that, the Seahawks will have some free agents who will be in high demand during the offseason such as defensive lineman Michael Bennett and receiver Golden Tate.