EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks had their way with the Denver Broncos.
And, with help from their relentless top-ranked defense, the Seahawks won their first Super Bowl title, beating Peyton Manning & Co. 43-8 on Sunday night.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith returned an interception of Peyton Manning 69 yards for a touchdown late in the first half Sunday, and Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff of the second half 87 yards for another TD.
Smith was named Super Bowl MVP.
The Seahawks led 36-0 before Denver finally scored on the last play of the third quarter.
Manning was 34 of 49 for 280 yards, but most of that came after Seattle had all but put the game away. He was flustered by Seattle’s defense for most of the first half, throwing two interceptions. The second fluttered into Smith’s hands after Cliff Avril struck the five-time NFL MVP’s arm as he was releasing the ball.
Manning and Denver’s high-powered offense looked uncharacteristically sloppy and unproductive, with no first downs in the first 19 minutes.
On the first play from scrimmage, Broncos center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball by Manning, who was walking up to the line and didn’t have his hands ready. The ball was recovered by running back Knowshon Moreno in the end zone for a safety.
The Seahawks led 2-0 after 12 seconds, the fastest score in Super Bowl history. It was 2 seconds faster than Devin Hester’s kickoff return for a score in 2007.
The first Super Bowl played outdoors at a cold-weather site was an abnormally warm 9 degrees Celsius at kickoff at MetLife Stadium and hardly the winter wonderland many expected for the NFL’s biggest game.
Many fans in the jam-packed stands were able to shed their heavy winter coats, sporting their orange Manning jerseys and blue and green Wilson and Sherman jerseys.
While the New York-New Jersey area was expected to get hit with snow Monday morning, the record for coldest Super Bowl remained the 1972 game in New Orleans, where it was 4 degrees.