Super Bowl XLVIII matchup
Sunday, Feb. 2
MetLife Stadium-East Rutherford, NJ
Seattle Seahawks 43 vs. Denver Broncos 8 (6:25 p.m. on FOX)
From 1976-2001, the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks actually competed in the same division, the AFC West. Not to mention, the two teams met in one playoff game and that took place in 1983. The head to head series was a one sided affair with the Broncos holding the advantage. The last meeting took place in 2010 and Denver defeated Seattle by a score of 31-14. In that game, Kyle Orton was the starting quarterback for the Broncos and he completed 25 of 35 passes for 307-yards and a pair of touchdowns.
This time around, the matchup proved to be much different as Peyton Manning’s fast paced offense took on Richard Sherman, the Legion of Boom, and Seattle’s top ranked defense. Both teams came into this game with identical 13-3 records and they also won their divisions. The Seahawks earned the trip to New Jersey by beating the Saints and 49ers in the playoffs while Denver defeated the Chargers and Patriots. The Broncos set a single season record by scoring 606 points during the regular season. In fact, much of the focus was on Peyton Manning’s record setting 2013 season, a year where he etched his name into the record books by throwing for 5,477-yards and 55 touchdown passes. Many believed that he would continue his pace against Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII, but that is why they play the game.
In the battle between the Broncos number one offense and the Seahawks number one defense, Seattle prevailed. The Seahawks limited Denver to a single touchdown, intercepted Manning twice, and forced four turnovers while forcing a safety due to a bad center snap on the first play of the game. One of the takeaways resulted in a 69-yard interception return by linebacker Malcolm Smith. Smith was voted the games’ Most Valuable Player by recording ten tackles, six of them by himself, and a pass deflection. Seattle dominated the game in every single area as Russell Wilson completed 18 of 25 passes for 206-yards and a pair of touchdown passes to spark the offense. Percy Harvin, who was sidelined most of the season with a hip injury, returned a kickoff for an 87-yard touchdown to open the second half. The Seahawks scored 36 unanswered points en route to the first Super Bowl Title in the franchise’s 37 year history.
Denver’s only touchdown came on the final play of the third quarter when Peyton Manning threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas. Manning threw the ball 49 times and he set a Super Bowl record by completing 34 of those passes for 280-yards while Thomas set another record by catching 13 passes for 118-yards. However, the 16-year veteran was denied his second ring in a disappointing end to a remarkable year.