Bust of a Super Bowl Has More than Meets the Eye

Dylan Snyder

Sunday marked one of the biggest beatdowns in Super Bowl history, with the Seattle Seahawks winning 43-8 after leading the Denver Broncos for 59 minutes and 48 seconds of the 60 minutes of game play  This win marked the Seahawks’ first ever Super Bowl victory and the first major title for Seattle since 1979.

The game got off to an auspicious start when the first play from scrimmage included a mistimed snap and ensuing safety to give the Seahawks a 2-0 lead just seconds into the game. After that, the rout was on and the Seahawks never looked back. They had to settle for field goals in the first quarter, but in the second quarter they were able to take advantage of two Manning interceptions en route to two touchdowns to close out the first half. To say the whole world watched in shock would be an understatement, as even the most optimistic Seattle fans would not have predicted the highest scoring offense in NFL history to be utterly useless for an entire half. This was only the second first-half shutout in Super Bowl history. The first was a 10-0 shutout of the New York Giants by the legendary Baltimore Ravens defense in 2000.

Coming into the game, the oft-injured Percy Harvin was predicted to be influential in leading the Seahawks to victory. During the first half, we got a preview of what Harvin was capable of as two jet sweeps resulted in substantial gains for the Hawks. His magnificence really came out after the opening kick-off of the second half. Broncos kicker Matt Prater kicked off short, potentially in an effort to limit Harvin’s running lanes,  but Harvin took the kick on a bounce and raced down the middle of the field to put the Seahawks up 29-0.

Moving forward it seemed the Broncos were dead in the water, struggling to mount anything on offense. Things went from bad to worse when Manning finally got the ball downfield to Demaryious Thomas only to see Byron Maxwell punch the ball out of Thomas’s hands.

The Broncos were able to finally get on the board, but it was way too little way too late, and the Seahawks ended up with a 43-8 victory in a game that will be remembered by most as one of the most disappointing Super Bowls in recent memory.

Not only was the game a complete bust of a competition, but also only two of the players’ major story lines got played out. At the Super Bowl, legendary Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning lost his 12th playoff game, making him the quarterback who has lost the most playoff games of all time. Since he is 37 years old and has a history of neck surgery and nerve damage, this was presumably his last realistic shot at a title.  Manning is coming off the greatest statistical season ever for a quarterback, which would have made this victory even sweeter––the perfect end to the perfect season.

On the other end of the spectrum, this victory solidifies the Seahawks’ defense as one of the most dominant defenses ever, along with the 1985 Chicago Bears and the aforementioned 2000 Ravens.

In the grander scheme of things, this could mark a changing of the guard at the quarterback position, sending off the era of Brees, Manning and Brady and ushering in the era of Wilson, Luck, Kaepernick and Newton. Power running is back in the NFL after a trend toward three- and four-receiver sets, and the young brash up-and-comers are looking to become all-time greats. In an exciting time in the NFL, this game failed to live up to its hype, but my hat is off to one of the greatest regular seasons in history.

And the combine is on Feb. 19, so football fans can look forward to that.