I can’t remember another Super Bowl that was so one-sided. Even when the Baltimore Ravens dominated the New York Giants a decade ago, the score was only 10-0 at halftime. Yesterday, it was 22-0 at the half and when Percy Harvin took the second half kickoff all the way to put the Seahawks twenty-nine points ahead, I knew it was over. Any faint hopes of a comeback by the Broncos died at that point. That’s when I switched channels.
I was rooting for the Broncos because of Peyton Manning. Winning the Super Bowl after returning from neck surgery and equaling kid brother Eli’s two Super Bowl rings would have been a fairy tale come true. I had known about the Seahawks stellar defense but I hoped that Peyton would be able to work his usual magic and propel the Broncos to an early lead that the Seahawks would not be able to overcome. Those hopes were dashed with the very first play of the game which I missed because I’d gone to the door to let our guests in. By the time I returned ,Seattle was up 2-0 having scored a safety on the very first play of the game. When they scored FGs on their next two possessions while holding Denver without a first down , I sensed that it was going to be a long evening.
The Seattle defense was tremendous. I’ve never seen Manning look so rattled. He was constantly under pressure, had to hurry his throws and forced into interceptions. When he did connect with his receivers, it was for short gains because Demaryius Thomas and the others were immediately leveled with punishing hits by the Seahawks secondary. Meanwhile, Seattle was moving up and down the field with relative ease and scoring FGs. Then Manning threw an interception that was returned for a TD and the floodgates opened. For a Broncos rooter it was painful to watch. Kudos to Seattle who were superior in all departments of the game.
How could the odds makers have been so wrong? Denver opened as one-point favorites and , at game time , they were actually two point picks. By contrast, four of the sportscasters on the Fox pre-game show, picked the Hawks; only Jimmy Johnson went with the Broncos. Those four certainly got it right.
Yesterday’s game underlined how good the San Francisco 49ers were in the NFC title game. They lead for a good part of the game and actually had a chance to win it at the end. And they did it in on Seattle’s home field where the fans give the Seahawks a huge advantage. For the other NFL teams, the frightening thing about this Seattle team is that they are so young and will be a threat for the forseeable future. Most of the players are lower round picks playing under their rookie contracts. There are no huge contracts ( except perhaps that of Percy Harvin) and that means the Seahawks have more money available for young impact players. Other than the 49ers , I can’t think of any team in the same position.