Seattle boasted the No. 1 defense in the NFL this season, while Denver fielded the best offense in NFL history. On Sunday, Richard Sherman and company lived up to the hype while Peyton Manning and friends fell far short of expectations.
Here is the Super Bowl's final score, top storylines and more.
Final Score: Seattle 43, Denver 8
Did Peyton Manning Choke?
Manning entered the Super Bowl with only 11 interceptions on the season. He threw two on Sunday night, marking just the third time this year he threw multiple picks in a single game.
The NFL MVP finished with 34 completions on 49 attempts, 280 passing yards and one touchdown. Many of those numbers came in garbage time. Manning's passer rating of 73.5 paled in comparison to his regular-season rating of 115.1.
Some will blame the weather. Some will blame Manning's offensive line. The fact of the matter is that not the Seahawks' offense, but their defense won the Super Bowl.
It did so by abusing Manning.
2013-2014 Seahawks an All-Time Great Defense
No defense surrendered fewer yards than Seattle during the regular season. Entering the Super Bowl, it was no mystery as to which unit claimed the title of NFL's best.
The Legion of Boom's rank among the all-time great defenses, though, remained unknown.
After holding the highest-scoring offense in NFL history to a measly eight points and forcing four turnovers, its name deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with the greatest defenses ever.
Sherman and Seattle backed up every single word they uttered this season.
Super Bowl MVP: Malcolm Smith
Out of all the Seahawks' outstanding defenders, Smith played the best on Sunday. He led the team in tackles with 10, returned an interception for a touchdown and recovered what was essentially a game-clinching fumble from Demaryius Thomas. Smith earned the Super Bowl MVP award by outplaying the NFL MVP on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
Zimmer (@NFLhistory) February 3, 2014
When Seattle drafted him in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL draft, it couldn't have imagined that he would be the first linebacker since future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis to dominate the Super Bowl more than any other player.
Numbers That Mattered
Russell Wilson's 5'11" frame failed to stop him from outperforming Manning. The 25-year-old passer threw for 206 yards, two touchdowns and a 72.0 completion percentage.
Percy Harvin, also once deemed undersized at 5'11" and 184 pounds, suited up for just the fourth time this season. Neither rust nor Denver could slow the speedster, who finished with 45 rushing yards on two carries and an 87-yard kickoff return touchdown.
And while Seattle's pass defense attracts most of the attention, its run defense impressed just as much on Sunday, holding the Broncos to just 27 rushing yards on 14 carries. Its ability to shut down the running game and make Denver one-dimensional is what sparked the blowout.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.
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