Super Bowl XLVIII: Top 5 Plays Of The Big Game

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Top 5 Plays Of Super Bowl XLVIII

Super Bowl XLVIII
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Images

The Super Bowl sets a stage like no other sporting event worldwide and when a place such as New York City gets to play host, there's no telling just how entertaining it can be.

From the celebrities in attendance to the millions of parties going on worldwide, there's no shortage of entertainment value involved when it comes down to 2014's biggest sporting event to date. So much happens leading up to Super Bowl Sunday that the game itself often gets lost amidst all the hype. It's no mystery that people seem to forget that an important football game is actually being played, whether they are die hard football fans or not.

However, even those that wait until early February to watch their first football game of the season year after year couldn't ignore the abundance of great plays that took place outdoors at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. From the very first snap of Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seattle Seahawks put on a defensive clinic for the world to see, while the Denver Broncos struggled to get anything going in what was a surprisingly lackluster performance all night long.

The NFL's premier defense and Russell Wilson's ball protection were the real stars in New York City, while Denver's high-flying offense failed to do what they have done all season long: make big plays. Peyton Manning and company were out of sorts all night long and were clearly overwhelmed by the pressure put on by Seattle's defense.

Super Bowl XLVIII's highlight reel was absolutely dominated by the Seahawks as they managed to prove that they are worthy of being dubbed the NFL's new Super Bowl Champions. Here are the top five plays of Super Bowl XLVIII, pretty much exclusively brought to you by your new champions.

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5. Nate Irving's Long Reach

Nate Irving
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Filling in for an injured Von Miller, Nate Irving's nerves didn't get the best of him as he managed to stop the Broncos' first-quarter performance spiraling out of control. Denver's outside linebacker managed to break up a pass by Russell Wilson to Seattle wide receiver Jermaine Kearse at the very last second and held the Seahawks to a field goal attempt. Denver's defense would answer back in a big way shortly after Irving's play became the Broncos' only bright spot of the game.

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4. The Safety

The Safety
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Watching a botched snap fly over his head and into his very own end zone for a safety isn't exactly how Peyton Manning envisioned the first 12 seconds of the Super Bowl playing out for him and his Denver teammates. This was a massive way for the Seahawks to start off their first defensive stand of Super Bowl XLVIII, and it probably made a chosen few somewhere on Las Vegas Boulevard extremely happy at the same time.

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3. Cliff Avril Manhandles Denver's Offensive Line

Cliff Avril
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril made his mark rather quickly for the Seahawks as he managed to bust through Denver's offensive line and get in the face of Peyton Manning. Avril helped force a third first-half turnover that was returned for a touchdown by Malcolm Smith, culminating what was an absolute nightmare of a first half for Manning and the Broncos.

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2. Jermaine Kearse Breaks Tackles And Hearts All At Once

Jermaine Kearse
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

After being denied in the end zone during the first quarter, Jermaine Kearse got his revenge by breaking two tackles after catching a pass from Russell Wilson in the third quarter. The Seattle wideout impressed by spinning off what were weak tackling attempts by Denver's defense and found himself in the end zone while helping seal the championship for the Seahawks.

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1. Percy Harvin's Monster Return

Percy Harvin
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back, Percy Harvin. The Seattle wideout made some noise on special teams when he opened the second half with an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, making the bad dream a reality for the Broncos faithful everywhere. The impressive return should go down as one of the best in Super Bowl history.