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Seattle’s Defense Brings Home Lombardi Trophy

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with wide receiver Doug Baldwin #89 during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Seahawks beat the Broncos 43-8.

Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with wide receiver Doug Baldwin #89 during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Credit, Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

By Matthew Asher

The Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl in franchise history on Sunday, Feb. 2, and while the game was tipped to be a battle between the best offense in the league against the NFL’s best defense, it appeared as though only Seattle showed up to this game, blowing out the Denver Broncos 43-8.

For the third year in a row, a safety was recorded in the Super Bowl. On the very first offensive play of the game, Peyton Manning and center Manny Ramirez got the snap count wrong and the ball went sailing into the end zone. Being up 2-0 without having to do anything, that miscue by Denver seemed to set the tone for this game

The Good

Seattle’s Defense (especially in the first half) gets an A

When you can shutout the Denver Broncos in an entire half, your defense has done its job. Although Peyton Manning and company did not have a bad statistical first half regarding yards gained; Seattle just wouldn’t let Denver score.

While the first “drive” by Denver ended as a result of a miscommunication between Manning and Ramirez, Seattle forced Denver into two straight three-and-outs with the second one ending in an interception. Denver’s fourth drive ended in a 69-yard pick-six by the Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith to put Seattle up 22-0 and the ‘Hawks were able to force a turnover on downs for the Broncos final first half drive.

By the end of the game, Seattle had forced four turnovers and kept Manning off the scoreboard until the final play of the third quarter. With Denver scoring more than 600 points in the regular season, limiting them to just eight points in one game is a damn impressive accomplishment.

Percy Harvin gets an A

Welcome back to the Seahawks Percy! If your 30-yard run in the first quarter wasn’t impressive enough, starting out the third quarter by returning a kickoff for a touchdown you were able to do the impossible and break the spirit of the Broncos from that point on. Harvin finished with 137 total yards on just four touches.

The Bad

Seattle’s offense gets a C

You can blame the exceptional defensive unit somewhat for this grade. But the truth is that Seattle’s offense wasn’t very impressive. Harvin was the team’s leading rusher even though he only had two rushing attempts for 45 yards. Marshawn Lynch gained just 39 yards on 15 carries for a very unimpressive 2.6 yards per carry.

Lynch did score a touchdown, but a piece of that was thanks to a pass interference call on Denver the previous play to give Seattle the ball on the one-yard line. Before then, Seattle had to settle for two straight field goals inside the red zone. But much like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, their offense did more than enough and they were able to ride their defense to the Lombardi Trophy.

The Ugly

Seattle’s penalties get a D

Typically when a team wins a game despite putting up a gaudy number of penalties, the cliché phrase is to say they can’t do that in the postseason. Even with 10 penalties for 104 yards, it didn’t hurt Seattle’s chances in the end as they were able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, anyway.

Again, congrats to the Seahawks on their first Super Bowl victory. The next article will be a season recap so be prepared for lots of fond memories next time.

For more news and updates about the NFL Playoffs, visit NFL Playoffs Central.

Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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