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Harvin makes major difference for Seattle

by Hiroshi Ikezawa

Staff Writer

Percy Harvin finally did the job the Seattle Seahawks hoped he would when they acquired the injury-prone wide receiver from the Minnesota Vikings via trade last offseason.

In Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night, Harvin recorded 137 all-purpose yards, including an 87-yard kickoff return touchdown on the first play of the second half.

Did the three draft picks and the big money that the team gave up to acquire the fifth-year receiver pay off? Well, sort of.

The Seahawks traded the first- and seventh-round picks of last year’s draft and this spring’s third-round pick to the Vikings for Harvin, then signed him to a six-year, $67 million contract.

The plan was to pair him with Sidney Rice as the main targets for quarterback Russell Wilson. Seattle also expected Harvin to make contributions with his running ability and returning skills.

However, it took 11 weeks until Harvin made his debut as a Seahawk because of a hip injury.

He finally suited up against his old team, the Vikings, but had only a catch for 17 yards before leaving the game after aggravating the hip injury.

He returned for the divisional playoff game against the Saints and made an impact by recording three catches for 21 yards and a 9-yard rush. But it didn’t last long. He suffered a concussion during the first half and left the game. He was not cleared to play against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

In the Super Bowl on Sunday, Harvin carried the ball on the second offensive play, an end-around run, and gained 30 yards. He later added 15 yards on another end-around play and 5 yards on a lone pass catch.

But his best performance was on the kickoff return touchdown that widened the Seahawks lead to 29-0.

This touchdown did major damage to the Broncos, especially when the AFC champion went for a fourth-and-two gamble instead of a field goal attempt, at the Seattle 19 with 1:06 remaining in the second quarter, failed, and finished the first half scoreless.

“I finally was able to give my team something for four quarters, Harvin said. “That meant a lot to me. Being injured all season, it took a toll on me. Being able to finish and being able to give my teammates something back, because I leaned on those guys so much this year to keep me up in spirits and just keep me going, it meant the world to me.

“I really couldn’t believe it because all week, and even on the sidelines, we had a special return that we hadn’t put on film all year, and those guys told me I was going to score. They believed that I was going to get in the end zone. When I broke through and I saw the end zone, I really couldn’t believe it.”

Weather ends up mild

East Rutherford New Jersey AP

The first cold-weather Super Bowl turned out to be unseasonably warm.

The National Weather Service said that temperatures for Sunday’s NFL title game at MetLife Stadium were higher than normal, and not too far below the region’s record high of 17 degrees Celsius set in 1973.

It’s certainly not what league owners expected in 2010 when they awarded the game to the Jets and Giants. The fears that snow, ice and frigid temperatures would detract from the game usually held in either warm-weather cities or in a domed stadium proved unfounded — at least by a day.

The snow is forecast Monday.

Some two hours before kickoff, it was 11 degrees and cloudy. Fans stood in the stands wearing Broncos and Seahawks jerseys, holding their jackets or hanging them over seats.

The coldest kickoff temperature in Super Bowl history was 4 degrees at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans for Super Bowl VI, when Dallas beat Miami 24-3.