In a matchup of No. 1 offense vs. No. 1 defense, Super Bowl XLVIII started with a play that set the tone for the rest of the game.
The Denver Broncos had their offense on the field to start the game, but disaster struck as center Manny Ramirez (not that one) snapped the ball over Peyton Manning‘s head as he was changing the play.
Knownshon Moreno recovered the ball in the end zone and were given an easy two points right off the bat.
The Seahawks’ defense dominated the whole game, taking the ball away from the Broncos four times, not counting all the desperate fourth down attempts.
Kam Chancellor set the tone for the opportunistic defense, intercepting a Manning pass after the Seahawks’ defense forced Denver into a long third down. Linebacker Malcolm Smith had a pick-six after Cliff Avril hit Manning while he was throwing.
Chancellor has made his name as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the league and certainly lived up to that reputation in the Super Bowl. Chancellor was crushing the Broncos’ receivers on those short crossing routes on which Denver’s offense thrives. His early game interception was the first of many turnovers committed by the Broncos.
Smith, a former seventh-round pick, has found himself in the middle of lots of game-changing plays. Smith caught the game-sealing interception in the NFC Championship Game, got a pick-six that put the Super Bowl out of reach and recovered a fumble that ended any hopes of a comeback.
The momentum had by now been long in Seattle’s favor, and after a Lynch touchdown run, the game had been essentially sealed before halftime.
The Seahawks were able to pressure Manning all game. That is not easy to do and is why Manning is one of the best quarterbacks ever.
Whenever Denver finally was able to get something going on offense, a turnover would ensue. Smith, who was named Super Bowl MVP, recovered a Demaryius Thomas fumble that occurred after a long reception.
The Seahawks scored a point in every way possible on Sunday and took the ball from the Broncos five times. That tells you everything you need to know.
It was a pure domination.
The Broncos scored 37.9 points per game in the regular season. Denver only managed eight against the Seahawks’ No. 1 defense. In the classic battle of the league’s best offender and defense, defense has once again come out on top.
Danny Williams is an NFL writer, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DannyWeeumzNFL