by Ryan Meehan
Super Bowl Forty Eight was not exactly the nail-biting last minute battle that we had hoped for. But it was a hell of a watch nonetheless, and I thought it was fun. That’s high praise because I was sick during this game. I had been sick all weekend so I was stuck watching the game at home. I’d gotten a flat tire the night before and wasn’t eating a whole lot of solids.
So I wasn’t exactly in party mode to say the least. I had a fridge full of beer that I couldn’t drink and had gone from soup-less-than-enthusiast to soup connoisseur in a mere 48 hour period. Tack on the Philip Seymour-Hoffman thing and it wasn’t a sunny day by any means. But this is my holiday, and even if I’m stuck in my apartment alone I’ll be damned if I’m not going to enjoy it.
Super Bowl XLVIII
Quarter One: After what seemed like at least 14 or 15 different “lead-in programs” in under a half hour, they finally kicked the ball off. The Hawks chose to defend, but sometimes mistakes end up giving away everything before you even know you’ve got the opportunity. In Denver’s case, they blew it almost instantly after a drab runback by Trinidon Holliday on the opening kickoff – They snapped the ball out of their own endzone, giving the Seahawks a safety and the fastest score in Super Bowl history.
Right away – I knew the Seattle Seahawks had more than just a 2 point advantage. What this meant is that since they had deferred, that they would essentially get the ball at the start of BOTH halves and would be getting the ball back again. The Seahawks led a decent drive that ended in a field goal, and it was obvious from the start that Denver’s defense looked rough. And since Denver’s defense looked rough anyway, they were able to still get away with 3 points even though they tensed up in the red zone. Denver went three and out, and after two dumb challenges from both coaches, the Seahawks added another field goal to make it 8-0. I have in my notes that Chevrolet ran an ad somewhere around here that encouraged cow sex, which is pretty risqué in the first period.
The next time Denver got the football, Manning was intercepted and the quarter ended with Seattle having possession – something that they had done for over eleven minutes in the first period.
Score at the end of the First Quarter: Seahawks 8, Broncos 0
Seattle continued their domination of the time clock by running down the field and pounding it into the endzone via Lynch, putting the Seahawks up 15-0 with the game’s first touchdown. This was the time for Peyton Manning to get the ball back with twelve minutes left in the quarter and finally begin to construct some kind of comeback.
That didn’t happen. He briefly hit his stride but it was looking quite forced. Shortly thereafter, he was picked off for six points by Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith . On the ensuing kickoff, Trinidon Holliday lost the ball again and they just barely got it back. But they weren’t able to do anything with it, and ended up turning the ball over on downs. As Wilson packed it in, the Hawks headed into the locker room with a shutout.
Score at the half: Seahawks 22, Broncos 0
The Broncos decided to come out on the opening kickoff and pull some trickery on Percy Harvin, trying to get him on a ground ball that was supposed to bounce awkwardly. But like every single other thing Denver was trying to do, that didn’t work either and Harvin returned it for a touchdown. This put Seattle up 29-0 and it was pretty apparent that while Manning has had his share of second half comebacks, this wasn’t going to be one of them. Denver got the ball back, punted almost immediately and had Seattle back up deep in their own goalpost shadow. They would give it back to Denver who would have great field position at midfield. Denver ran a great play to DeMaryius Thomas (who was the only thing they really had going for them Sunday night) but then once again fumbled to Malcolm Smith.
It was at this point (with about seven minutes left in the quarter) that Wilson and the crew really started to grind clock, and call the game very conservatively. You can hardly blame them, because all they had to do was play their cards right and that’s what they did. And since the Broncos couldn’t tackle a tumbleweed, this was the perfect time to do just that. Denver got the ball back (now down 36-0) with four minutes left in the period and decided that now would be a great time to run that hurry up offense they hadn’t seemed to be able to get going early on in the game. In fact, up until (and during) this drive it was pretty apparent that the only thing moving the chains for the Broncos was drawing penalties. But even I was getting worried that this team could find a way to screw up an automatic first down. That’s why I was a little shocked when Demaryius Thomas caught his twelfth catch of the game for the Broncos’ only touchdown.
Score at end of 3rd Quarter: Seahawks 36, Broncos 8
To begin the fourth quarter, the Broncos attempted on onside kick. It failed, and Zac Miller recovered the ball at midfield. It was an awful kick, and very symbolic of the way Denver couldn’t get it done. This team couldn’t execute a group of eighty year old death row inmates with a truck full of poison gases, and on that drive Seattle capped off a short field by getting Doug Baldwin in the endzone for yet another score. It was now 43-8, and the game would end that way after about ten minutes of meaningless play.
Final Score: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8
The game was pretty slow moving in the last ten minutes, but can you blame Seattle for playing super-conservative like that? And can you believe I just used the words “Seattle” and “super-conservative” in the same sentence? This was a blowout in every way, shape and form. The Broncos didn’t get ran, treated, housed, or any of those other street terms – they got ruined. Whereas last year’s loss to the Ravens was in a close game, this was one where they were out of it before they even got the ball in the second half. It could change everything for the future of that franchise. Those guys are never going to be the same, and there are pictures to prove it.
This was a fitting way to end a year where offense ruled the landscape. In the era where quarterbacks are protected to an almost sickening degree, finally a defense came along that couldn’t be messed with. It was more of a “defense wins championships” thing, it was a celebration of why we all really like football. We love to see a team that dominates like that, and we loved this game.
But what we really loved was to see the game’s MVP be a defensive player, and not have the trophy handed to the quarterback of the winning team simply because he happened to have that job. Russell Wilson played well, but I have to admit I voted for Malcolm Smith and it was great to see him win it.
I’ll go further into depth with how the whole season went overall within the next week, but I am satisfied with its ending. As I always say: “more from me later”…In the meantime, once again thanks for stopping by First Order Historians all season long and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated NFL content.