Friday, August 22, 2014

Hawks fly high

Seattle celebrates its first Super Bowl victory in team history

Defense wins championships. It may be the most overused saying in sports, but the Seattle Seahawks proved just how accurate it is in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium Sunday, Feb. 2. The top-ranked Seahawks defense suffocated the Denver Broncos top-ranked offense and created turnovers, which led to points and resulted in a game that was just about as interesting as trying to watch turf grow or figure out what XLVIII adds up to in Roman numerals.

The Seahawks wasted no time scoring points in Super Bowl XLVIII, taking advantage of a bad Broncos snap to force a safety and using the ensuing possession to kick a field goal for a 5-0 lead. With the exception of a meaningless third-quarter Denver touchdown, the rest of the game became a Seahawks highlight tape, a 43-8
Seattle victory.

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning constantly dealt with pressure in the pocket and was hit almost every time he dropped back to pass. Although the Seahawks had already taken a 15-0 lead, linebacker and eventual Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith put the nail in Denver’s coffin and returned an intercepted Manning pass for a 69-yard touchdown.

At halftime, the Broncos found themselves looking at a 22-0 deficit. As if that were not a big enough problem, their only chance of getting back into the game was throwing against a defense known for its ferocious secondary. In the end, the challenge was too much for Manning, the regular season MVP, and the team that averaged a league-best 37.9 points per game.

Turnovers proved to be the Broncos Achilles’ heel, killing drives and ensuring that the commercials would be the most interesting part of the second half. Denver fumbled twice and threw two interceptions, while the Seahawks avoided turning the ball over entirely.

The Seahawks special teams unit also made an impact when Percy Harvin, who spent most of the season watching from the sidelines, returned the first kickoff of the second half 87 yards for a touchdown.

Football fans will look forward to a warmer game in 2015 when the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Ariz., will play host to Super Bowl XLIX.

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