Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle Dominates Denver 43-8
by Pat Imig
Cold Hard Football Facts Confetti Thrower (@patrickimig)
The Seattle Seahawks are the 19th team in NFL history to win the Lombardi Trophy. The Cold Hard Football Facts expected a Seattle victory, but even we didn't think it would be so gruesome in Seattle's favor.
Consider that Denver was shut out in the first half and finished the first quarter with 11 total yards of offense. Denver committed four turnovers to Seattle's zero.
Russell Wilson did what he seemingly always does: compete and outplay his opponents.
Wilson completed 18/25 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns, zero picks and a 123.1 Passer Rating. He also rushed three times for 26 yards.
Russell Wilson has won more games in NFL history than any quarterback in his first two seasons (28 - including postseason).
Only Dan Marino (104.5) has a higher passer rating through his first two seasons than Wilson.
Wilson is one of four quarterbacks in history (Kurt Warner, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger the other three) to win a Super Bowl in his first two seasons.
He is 4-1 in his postseason career and the only quarterback in NFL history to have a 100+ Passer Rating in both his first and second seasons.
His adversary, the great Peyton Manning, turned in a Super Bowl performance for the ages - if the ages smile upon turnovers and inefficiency.
Manning completed 34/49 passes for 280 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions, one lost fumble and a 73.4 Passer Rating.
Manning averaged an anemic 5.7 YPA and holds the all time record for postseason losses with 12 (11-12).
Interestingly, the five-time NFL MVP has never won the Super Bowl in his five MVP seasons.
Manning and the Broncos continue the trend of high-scoring offenses deflating in the biggest game of the year.
The eight highest scoring offense in NFL history have never won the Super Bowl. The list includes the 2013 Broncos, 2007 Patriots, 2011 Packers, 2012 Patriots, 1998 Vikings, 2011 Saints, 1983 Redskins and 2000 Rams.
The only quarterback to ever throw 40 or more touchdown passes in a season and win the Super Bowl is Kurt Warner of the 1999 St. Louis Rams.
Denver averaged 37.9 Points Per Game in 2013, a far cry from the 8 they put up Sunday at Met Life Stadium. In fact, the 29.9 point-differential is nearly identical to the 1964 Baltimore Colts, who averaged 30.6 PPG, only to score zero in the '64 NFL title game.
SUPER BOWL MVP MALCOLM SMITH
He's the third linebacker in NFL history to win Super Bowl MVP, following in the footsteps of Ray Lewis at Super Bowl XXXV and Chuck Howley at Super Bowl V (Howley's MVP was the first and only time a player on the losing team won the award).
Smith's pick-six is the fourth such play in the last six Super Bowls.
A WORD ON TURNOVERS
According to CHFF's gridiron guru Russell Baxter, the 48 Super Bowl champions have combined for 52 turnovers in the big game; the 48 Super Bowl losers have combined for 151 turnovers.
Teams that score a pick-6 are 13-0 at the Super Bowl.
MET LIFE STADIUM DOMINATION
In eight quarters at Met Life Stadium, Seattle forced nine turnovers, including seven interceptions of the Brothers Manning. All told, Seattle has outscored Denver and the New York Giants 66-8 at Met Life Stadium.
So much for draining cross-country trips.
BY THE WAY
Teams leading at halftime at the Super Bowl are now 36-10 all time, with two halftime scores tied.
The largest deficit overcome in Super Bowl history is 10 points (Washington over Denver at Super Bowl XXII, New Olreans vs. Indianapolis at Super Bowl XLIV).
FIRST QUARTER JITTERS SET STAGE FOR SEATTLE DOMINATION
The first quarter for the Denver Broncos was bad. Consider the team totaled 11 yards of total offense, the lowest quarter total for the team this season.
It started with Trindon Holliday's ill-advised decision to return the opening kick, follwed by a fumble and safety after Cliff Avril tackled Knowshon Moreno in the end zone.
It's the first time since Super Bowl XLVI the opening score came via a safety, and third time in history. This isn't to take away from Seattle, a team that imposed its will on Manning and the Broncos throughout the 60 minutes of action.
A look at the safety at America's biggest game.
SAFETIES AT THE SUPER BOWL
Dwight White, Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota Super Bowl IX
"Mad Dog" White spent the week of Super Bowl IX in the hospital and lost 20 lbs due to pneumonia. He wasn't expected to play but did anyway, sacking Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton in the end zone.
Reggie Harrison, Pittsburgh vs. Dallas, Super Bowl X
Steelers running back Reggie Harrison blocked a punt awarding Pittsburgh two points.
Henry Waechter, Chicago vs. New England Super Bowl XX
Waechter scored the final two points for the Bears when he sacked Steve Grogan in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
George Martin, New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos Super Bowl XXI
Martin sacked Broncos quarterback John Elway in the second quarter, cutting the score to 10-9 in favor of Denver.
Bruce Smith, Buffalo vs. New York Giants Super Bowl XXV
The Hall of Fame defensive end sacked Jeff Hostetler and his mustache in the end zone in the second quarter.
Justin Hartwig holding in end zone, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl XLIII
Hartwig's holding penalty in the end zone took place in the third quarter, helping Arizona trim the Pittsburgh lead to 20-16.
Tom Brady (intentional grounding), New York Giants vs. New England Patriots Super Bowl XLVI
The first score of this Super Bowl, much like Super Bowl XLVVIII, was a safety.
Sam Koch ran out of bounds, San Francisco vs. Baltimore Super Bowl XLVII
Ravens punter Sam Koch ran out of the end zone in the final seconds of the game.
Cliff Avril, Denver vs. Seattle Super Bowl XLVIII
Avril tackled Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno in the end zone on the game's opening play.
A FRIVOLOUS NOTE
The Seahawks have become the second team in history with a bird mascot team-name to win the Super Bowl. The Baltimore Ravens have won it twice. All told, Bird teams are a combined 3-5 at the Super Bowl.
Congrats to the flying wild-game faction of NFL teams. Time to get your act together Eagles, Falcons and Cardinals.