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5 Biggest Impact Plays of Super Bowl 2014

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5 Biggest Impact Plays of Super Bowl 2014

Super Bowl
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks are the 2014 Super Bowl Champions! In a game that was never really close, the Seahawks' blowout was driven by their stifling, suffocating defense which held Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in check from the very first snap. The best offense in the NFL could never get things going, turning the ball over on multiple occasions, and Seattle kept the pressure high all night, showing why they’re the best defense in the game.

Though the Seahawks' offense played outstanding as well, the defense continues to be the story behind the success of Pete Carroll and the champions. Bringing home the first title in franchise history, the Seahawks looked every bit as good as any team to win the Super Bowl in recent history. They made Manning, a future Hall of Famer and probably one of the top five quarterbacks of all time, look below average and uncomfortable all night. It wrote the storybook ending for Seattle to celebrate in the confetti-filled MetLife Stadium, leaving the Broncos dazed and confused.

The effect of big plays started right from the first snap and continued until the game was all but over, late in the third quarter. The dynamic performance on both sides of the ball by Seattle led to one of the largest margins of victory in Super Bowl history and an embarrassing loss for Denver. Taking inventory of the performance, it was the defense making an impact all night, scoring, setting up the offense and punching Seattle’s ticket to a victory.

Bob Francis is a contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rfrancisjr, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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#5 Broncos Botched Snap for Safety

Super Bowl
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The game did not get off to the start that the Denver Broncos had hoped for. The first snap from the center to Peyton Manning was an errant one, as he stepped toward the line to make adjustments. It sailed over his head and was luckily covered in the end zone, preventing a touchdown, but sacrificing a safety. It was all Seattle after that, on their way to a lopsided victory.

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#4 Manning Interception to Chancellor

Super Bowl
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Compounding problems in the opening quarter after giving away points on the first series of the night, the Denver Broncos turned it over again just minutes later when Peyton Manning threw his first of two interceptions on the night, this one to Kam Chancellor. It set up the first touchdown of the day for the Seattle Seahawks, when Marshawn Lynch rushed in from just a yard out to extend the lead.

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#3 Demaryius Thomas Fumble

Super Bowl
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As time continued to tick away in the third quarter, it seemed as if the Broncos may be able to get something going that would still give them enough time for a possible miracle. But, after receiving a pass near the Seattle red zone, Demaryius Thomas, who broke a Super Bowl record for receptions on the night with 13, had the ball jarred loose by Byron Maxwell, which was then recovered by Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith. It dashed any hopes that Denver still had of getting back in the game and virtually locked up the Lombardi trophy for the Seahawks.

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#2 Percy Harvin Kickoff Return

Super Bowl
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, the script couldn’t have worked out any better for the Seattle Seahawks. The Denver Broncos kicked off trying to keep the ball out of the hands of Percy Harvin. Instead, he fielded the ball off one bounce and returned it 87 yards for a touchdown, stretching the Seattle lead to 29-0. It was exactly the explosive effect that the Seahawks hoped for from Harvin who hadn’t played a full game all season.

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#1 Malcolm Smith Interception for Touchdown

Super Bowl
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The game was all but over just before halftime when Peyton Manning would throw his second interception of the day. Feeling pressure from the pass rush as he did for most of the game, Manning had an attempt deflected which ended up in the arms of Malcolm Smith who would return it 69 yards to the house. The touchdown solidified the Seattle lead at 22-0 heading into halftime and put Smith at the top of the MVP ballot, where he would remain becoming only the third linebacker to win the award in league history.