This was the play that sent Malcolm Smith to Disney World, making him the surprising Super Bowl MVP and the first defensive player to earn the honor since safety Dexter Jackson of Tampa Bay in 2003.
No. 3: Smith’s 69-yard pick-six in the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks were ahead 15-0 in the second quarter when defensive end Cliff Avril pressured Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and got his hands on Manning’s arm as he threw. It was a duck, as Richard Sherman might call it, and Smith stepped up to intercept it for clear sailing to the end zone.
In a way, it was giving Smith the recognition he didn’t get, but certainly deserved, in the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers two weeks earlier with his interception in the end zone off Sherman’s deflection. But all the attention went to Sherman afterward with his postgame rant.
Smith’s MVP moment was a remarkable ending for a talented linebacker who spent most of the year as a backup, but a perfect example of the extraordinary depth the Seahawks have on defense.