We did it.
The Seahawks are Super Bowl Champions.
We endured the final days of the Ruskell/Mora era. Debated the merits of the 2010 quarterback class. Wondered if this team would ever make it back to the big game.
And here we are, right at the top of the mountain.
Winning in style on the biggest stage imaginable.
We all we got, we all we need.
From the very first play it was destined to be Seattle’s day. A botched snap led to a safety, and the momentum built from there.
The Seahawks led after 12 seconds and never looked back.
The narrative of Seattle’s ‘mediocre’ offense being unable to keep up with Peyton Manning was truly redundant. Not only did they keep up, they dominated Denver’s vastly overrated defense.
I don’t recall hearing the words ‘pot roast’ once.
The #1 defense in the NFL didn’t just shut down the most prolific offense in NFL history.
This was a massacre.
They did the little basics they needed to do to win the game. Tackle well, limit the damage, bend but don’t break.
They also did what they needed to do to take complete control. Manning was constantly under pressure and had no answers. The defense took the ball away time and time again.
Let’s reflect on what this unit did tonight.
This wasn’t some random offense they faced. This was Peyton Manning, coming off the best statistical season by a quarterback.
He and the Broncos attack scored eight points, having averaged 38 per game during the regular season.
Something aint right if we’re not talking about this unit like the ’85 Bears.
What else do they need to prove?
But it wasn’t just the defense who turned up in what has to be one of the best Super Bowl performances ever.
Offense, defense, special teams.
Seattle was just better in every single department — and that’s why they won 43-8.
Has there ever been a more balanced Super Bowl Champion?
Don’t make the mistake in thinking this is just something that happened over the last fortnight.
Think back to the pre-season. Seattle faced three playoff teams (San Diego, Denver and Green Bay) plus the Oakland Raiders.
It was pretty obvious even then that the Seahawks had the deepest and most talented roster in the NFL.
They haven’t always played lights out football. The three defeats were all avoidable, while some of the wins were closer than they needed to be.
Injuries played their part — and very few teams could’ve coped losing both starting tackles, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and Brandon Browner.
And yet they made it all the way to the final game, providing the opportunity to prove what we found out in the summer…
That this is the best roster in the NFL.
It was fitting that pretty much every active player had a role tonight.
A few highlights:
Kam Chancellor — set the tone on defense immediately with a sledgehammer hit on Julius Thomas. It wasn’t the only blast of the night. He also had a key interception and played at an unbelievable level in the post season this year.
Malcolm Smith — the MVP. He ended the season with four interceptions in five games, including two touchdowns. His pick six tonight was the killer — it ended a long Denver drive as they tried to recover from a 15-0 start. They chewed a ton of time off the clock and gave up seven points. That interception was the really the first point in the game that we knew this was going to be a beat down.
Russell Wilson — didn’t we say it? Didn’t we all point out that this defense wouldn’t be able to contain him? Unlike the Rams, Cardinals and 49ers — they don’t have the edge rushers to bottle him up and cause problems. Wilson did what he does to any average defense — moved around and made big plays with ice in his veins. He made some crucial third down conversions when the game was still a contest.
Jermaine Kearse — duck’s all across New Orleans will be rushing to emulate Kearse’s touchdown run. After two weeks of blah blah blah about Denver’s receivers, an undrafted free agent playing for his hometown club had the biggest impact. And that touchdown was pure Beast Mode.
Percy Harvin — So, who wouldn’t trade for Percy after all? Denver had no idea how to stop him on a very basic sweep play. He was explosive, a complete game changer. And that kick return to start the second half ended the contest. Imagine a full season of this…
Cliff Avril — his pressure forced Manning’s first interception to Chancellor, and his QB hit led to Smith’s pick six. As the 2013 progressed, Avril developed into a huge X-factor for this team. And the best thing is he’s signed up for the 2014 season.
Doug Baldwin — scored a touchdown eerily similar to the one he got at Metlife against the Giants, but also made some big conversions along the way. What a post season he’s had. A huge day against the Niners, the key third down grab against the Saints and now a decent stat line in the Super Bowl.
I’ve singled guys out there, but make no mistake — this was a complete team display.
A performance for the ages.
A night to look back on for the rest of our lives.
Here’s a couple of interesting facts — Manning broke a Super Bowl record for pass completions tonight (33). Demaryius Thomas broke the record for most receptions (13).
It equated to one touchdown and eight total points.
It’s yet another example of a better overall team dominating a side that has total reliance on one aspect (passing game).
I remember listening to Pete Carroll’s first press conference when he revealed the Seahawks would run the ball and play tough defense.
It seemed like a dated approach at the time. The NFL was all about big name quarterbacks throwing for hundreds of yards.
Now the entire league will be scrambling to mimic Carroll’s approach.
He hasn’t just won Seattle’s first Super Bowl title, he’s changed the game.
The way teams approach the draft. The way they treat their players. The way they set up on offense and defense.
Everyone will be rushing to copy the Seahawks.
You can’t expect to get by with just a great quarterback. Not with teams like Seattle around.
You have to be balanced. You have to play tough defense. And that’s why the teams that pose the greatest threat to this franchise are all in the NFC West.
This isn’t something that is easily copied by outsiders. Carroll is unique. An underrated coach for the ages.
A legend in the making.
To have the success he’s had at USC and now in Seattle is really unprecedented. And yet you get the feeling we’re just getting started.
By the end of next week I sincerely hope and expect he’ll have a new contract. His current one runs out at the end of next year.
It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s already signed and sealed, waiting to be announced.
The Seahawks have the best coach in the league, supported by the best GM.
And now they officially have the best team too.
They’ve received no accolades along the way. No ‘Coach of the Year’ for Carroll or ‘Executive of the Year’ for John Schneider. Despite going 13-3 and winning the NFC, none of Seattle’s players came close to winning any ‘Player of the Year’ awards.
This is a team that couldn’t stop the Broncos, according to 27/37 “experts” on ESPN’s web site.
Nice words and praise don’t suit this bunch.
I guess winning titles kind of does.
It won’t stop here either. Aside from this being a young group, you better believe every pending free agent — every young draft prospect — wants to play in Seattle tonight.
They see these players enjoying themselves — and winning Championships in the process.
In fact one of the greatest challenges this front office will face going forward is identifying those who will really cherish the opportunity to be part of this thing, versus those who expect an easy ride.
It’s a great problem to have, as Carroll and co go about trying to turn this into a rare (and yet somehow achievable) dynasty.
There are two other things I want to mention quickly.
Firstly — the Seahawks officially own the #32 overall pick in the 2014 draft.
I’ve waited a long time to write that.
Secondly — we deserve this.
I bought into this team after one visit to watch them play. Not because of anything I necessarily saw on the field. It was the way this franchise valued its fans, plus the way those fans valued each other.
It felt like home. It felt right — and I had to be part of it.
Carroll’s podium interview had me choked up.
“This trophy is for you”
Yet again it reminded me how much this team values the people that matter the most.
So many sports, so many teams take their fans for granted. They’re viewed as customers — there to be exploited and abused.
Not in Seattle.
Not with these Seahawks.
Tonight, the 12th man can celebrate.
We did it.
And we did it in style.
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