EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Seattle Seahawks held the Denver Broncos scoreless through nearly three quarters, and held on to win 43-8.
--Game blog --
Seattle won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, meaning the Denver Broncos' high-powered offense will take the field first.
Joe Namath of the NY Jets and Phil Simms of the NY Giants participated in the coin toss, honoring the two teams who usually play in MetLife Stadium. The toss was nearly derailed, however, as Namath went to flip the coin before the referee grabbed it out of the air and remembered to say that Seattle got to call heads or tails.
Perhaps that error was a sign of things to come?
Trindon Holliday received the kickoff for the Broncos in the end zone and brought it out to the 14-yard line, from which the offense prepared to start their work -- but it did not go as planned. An apparent miscommunication led to an ugly fumbled snap and a safety.
It was the fastest score in Super Bowl history.
Seattle's first possession was more successful, but they were not able to reach the end zone despite a 30-yard play from Percy Harvin. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll challenged the ruling that quarterback Russell Wilson was short of a first down that would have kept the series going, but the referees did not agree.
Kicker Steven Haschka was called on to kick a 27 yard field goal, but a false start penalty on J.R. Sweezy lengthened it to a 31 yard attempt. Haschka made it successfully, making the score 5-0.
On the subsequent kickoff, wide receiver Ricardo Lockette was called for a late hit on Omar Bolden, giving the Broncos slightly better field position. Still, Seattle's defense held strong and Denver went three and out.
Seattle started their next drive from the 28-yard-line.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin's 37-yard reception helped to move his team into the red zone, but after a penalty the Seahawks were again forced to settle for a field goal. The final third down, a pass deep into the end zone, was disrupted by Nate Irving to prevent the Seattle touchdown.
The score became 8-0.
During that series, Broncos coach John Fox burned his challenge arguing that an incomplete pass was actually a fumble. As a result, both coaches have just one challenge remaining.
Denver fumbled again on the second play of their next drive, but guard Zane Beadles recovered the ball to keep the Broncos on the field. On the next play, Manning's pass to Julius Thomas was tipped and intercepted by Kam Chancellor.
The first quarter concluded with the ball in Seattle's possession.
Just over two minutes into the second quarter, Seattle was again in scoring position and Broncos Cornerback Tony Carter was called for pass interference against Golden Tate in the end zone. It put the Seahawks at the 1-yard line, and Marshawn Lynch was able to carry the ball into the end zone two plays later.
After the extra point from Hauschka, the score was 15-0.
Chancellor was injured while tackling Holiday during the kickoff return. Three plays later, the Broncos earned their first first-down of the game with less than 11:30 remaining in the half.
Denver tried to march methodically down the field, eating more than eight minutes off the clock, but their progress was disrupted again by the "Legion of Boom." Manning was hit while trying to trow a pass deep down field and Marcus Smith intercepted the ball for a 69-yard pick-six.
Manning and the offense returned to the field after Holliday was ruled down on what Seattle fans hoped was a fumble during the kickoff return. However, Denver was unable to capitalize on the opportunity and Seattle had the ball back for the last minute of the half.
At halftime, the only major statistics in which Denver led was passing yards and turnovers. In all other key areas, first downs (9-6), total yards (166-123) and time of possession (15:42-14:18), the Broncos trailed the Seahawks.
Manning had two interceptions for the Broncos, but still threw for more yards than Seattle's Russell Wilson in the first half. Manning had 104 on 17 completions, while Wilson had 94 yards on 9 completions.
The second half began in the same shocking fashion, with Percy Harvin returning the kickoff 87-yards for a touchdown.
After their next possession, the Broncos had the lead in time of possession but still had not scored a point.
With 5:55 remaining in the third quarter, Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell punched the ball out of Demaryius Thomas' hands and it was recovered by Seahawks linebacker Malcom Smith. In addition, a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty was called against Denver offensive lineman Orlando Franklin.
Jermaine Kearse, another Seattle wide receiver, broke several tackles to score another touchdown for his team about two minutes later.
Finally, at the close of the third quarter, Demaryius Thomas was able to pull in a hard-thrown pass from Peyton Manning in the end zone. Wide receiver Wes Welker caught the pass on the successful two-point conversion that brought the score to 36-8.
Denver kicker Matt Prater attempted an onside kick at the dawn of the fourth quarter, but it was recovered by the Seahawks.
Seattle was also able to turn that drive into points, culminating in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Baldwin.
Denver's next drive almost went three and out, but was kept alive by a defensive pass interference penalty called on cornerback Walter Thermond. On the next set of downs, Denver kept the offense on the field to attempt a fourth down conversion, but they failed.
With 3:47 remaining, the ball was knocked from Manning's hand by defensive end Chris Clemons and recovered by defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. It was the fourth turnover for the Broncos.
Denver regained the ball before the end of the game, but there was not enough time to make a difference and the Seahawks won their first world championship in franchise history.
-- Pre game information --
The best offense in NFL history is about to face the best defense in the NFL to see who will prevail as world champions.
The Denver Broncos went 13-3 during the regular season, breaking records in single-season points in the process. Quarterback Peyton Manning also set new benchmarks for passing yards and passing touchdowns.
The Seattle Seahawks had an identical regular season win-loss record, but in the process held opponents to much lower scores. The Seahawks allowed only 231 points to be scored, while the Broncos' opponents scored at total of 399.
Seattle's "Legion of Boom" defense will be taking aim at Denver's Manning. That defense had 44 sacks throughout the season and will try to keep Manning off-balance even if they can't hit him through the offensive line that allowed only 20 sacks in the season.
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey is much warmer than most people had anticipated, with temperatures reaching around 54 degrees before sunset. As the temperature falls, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will play with temperatures in the 40s.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
The teams' lists of inactive players for the Super Bowl was released about 45 minutes before kickoff. For the Seahawks the list included WR Bryan Walters, RB Christine Michael, T Michael Bowie, T Caylin Hauptmann, TE Kellen Davis, DE Benson Mayowa and DT Jordan Hill. The Broncos' list included QB Zac Dysert, RB Ronnie Hillman, CB Quentin Jammer, T Vinston Painter, G Chris Kuper, TE Joel Dreessen and DT Sione Fua.
Before the start of the game, New Jersey native Queen Latifah sang America the Beautiful and New York State native Renee Flemming will sing the National Anthem. Bruno Mars will perform at halftime, with help from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
--7NEWS will be updating this game blog throughout the Super Bowl with statistics, observations and more. Keep refreshing this page for those updates.
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