The good and the bad of Super Bowl XLVIII

Austin B.

Manging Editor

Super Bowl 48 had the most unexpected outcome of any game throughout the season. Paul Allen’s Seattle Seahawks got their chance to play against Pat Bowlen’s Denver Broncos on the grandest stage of them all. Both teams earned their spots in the big game based on the success of their seasons, but what was it exactly that helped the most for each team?

The Denver Broncos had been previously successful in the National Football League, but this season’s progress was due to the 13-time pro-bowler that the organization picked up from the Indianapolis Colts. Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos during the off-season in 2012. After having many surgeries, one being a reconstructive surgery on his neck, everyone believed that Manning’s career was over, as most athletes do not return from surgeries of this caliber. Despite belief, Manning returned with even more success than before he was injured. This impressed sophomore Matt McDuff, who states, “I was really surprised that he was able to come back and do so well after that kind of surgery.” After having a successful season in 2012, Manning was an ace for the Broncos in 2013. He spent the first four games of the season nearly perfect, throwing for 16 touchdowns with no interceptions; the primary four games of Denver’s season would predict the rest of its season. The Broncos made it to the playoffs with the number one offense in the league, and with the help of head coach John Fox, the team also became the number one seed in the American Football Conference (AFC). In the first round, the Broncos were given a bye week for being the number one seed, and in the second round, they took down the Indianapolis Colts. After beating the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, the Broncos had battled their way to Super Bowl 48.

The Seattle Seahawks had never had any success in a Super Bowl; while being a team who could fight to make it to the big game, it was a franchise that had never won a ring. The Seahawks’ success in the 2013 season can be largely attributed to the ball-hawking, number one ranked defense, led by the triple threat zone coverage of Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Richard Sherman. The relentless jabs that the defense connected to any team it opposed were too much for many of the league’s best teams to handle. The Seahawks must also give credit to the fans. Century Link Stadium has set records for being the loudest stadium in the entire league, due to what the city calls the “12th man.” The crowd is referred to as the 12th man because it plays a massive role in getting in the head of players from the opposing team, distracting opposing players, or just making it nearly impossible to hear play calls. With the help of the defense and the 12th man, the Seahawks earned the number one seed in the National Football Conference (NFC). After having a first round bye, the Seahawks picked apart the New Orleans Saints in the second round and slightly beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. With these few playoff wins, the Seahawks had returned to the Super Bowl for another chance at a ring.

Super Bowl 48 took place at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. Kickoff was at 6:35 on February 2nd, 2014 in the 48-degree weather, and Denver was set to receive the ball first. On the first play from scrimmage, the ball was hiked over Manning’s head and was picked up in Denver’s own end-zone by Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno, who fell down, giving the Seahawks two points and possession of the ball. After a 37-yard completion from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to wide receiver Doug Baldwin, Seattle settled for a field goal, giving them a 5-0 lead. After Manning threw an interception to Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, Seattle kicked another field goal, 8-0 Seahawks. Finally, the first touchdown of the game was scored; it came on a one-yard run from Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, creating a 15-0 Seahawks lead. Once the Broncos got the ball back, it did not take long for the offense to slip up. With the Seahawks bringing a strong blitz on Manning, he was forced to make a throw that he would regret, as it was intercepted by Seahawks linebacker Malcom Smith and returned 69 yards for a touchdown, leaving the Broncos feeling defeated by a 22-0 deficit at the end of the first half. Junior Jacob Beckham was extremely surprised by this score, saying, “I couldn’t believe that Denver fell apart like that.” The half-time show was put on by The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars, who both performed quite impressively.

The Seahawks were set to receive kickoff at the beginning of the second half. The Broncos attempted to kick the ball short to keep it away from Seattle’s deadly return man, Percy Harvin, but could not; Harvin took the ball from the 14-yard line and did not stop until he found the goal line, giving the Seahawks an even larger lead of 29-0. Russell Wilson, Seattle’s QB, received his first Super Bowl passing touchdown on a 23-yard completion to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. The Denver Broncos finally found the end zone on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. After considering the enormous deficit, the Broncos went for a two-point conversion and succeeded with a short pass from Manning to wide receiver Wes Welker. After the Broncos completed this, the score was 36-8. The Seahawks scored one last time on a 10-yard touchdown completion from Wilson to wide receiver Doug Baldwin before the team’s defense closed out the game.

The Seattle Seahawks put together one of the greatest seasons of the franchise’s history and ended it with a bang by beating a team led by one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. At the end of the 2013-2014 NFL season, the Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl 48.

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