As if the Seahawks had not exerted their dominance over the Denver Broncos enough after going up 22-0 in the first half, Harvin took the opening kickoff of the second half back 87 yards for a touchdown:
It proved to be a rude, shocking case of deja vu for Denver fans, as Mike Chappell of The Indianapolis Star illustrates:
Seattle scored 12 seconds into 1st quarter (safety) and 12 seconds into 3rd quarter (Harvin 87 KOR/TD). 29-0. Say goodnight, Gracie.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) February 3, 2014
In other words, Denver needed 29 points in 29 minutes.
Simply put, the Broncos responded with a whimper that suggested they had thrown in the towel. Down 29 points, Denver head coach John Fox elected to punt after the ensuing drive stalled. Keep in mind, this is the Super Bowl.
Fox can be forgiven, though. His defense finally responded and forced a punt—the first for Seattle all game, as John Boyle of the Everett, Wash. newspaper The Herald points out:
First punt of the game for the Seahawks with 7:15 left in the third quarter.— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) February 3, 2014
As fans can probably guess, the defensive stop mattered little. Denver got the ball back, ran three plays and gave it right back via a Demaryius Thomas fumble:
Forget trends—fate was clearly at work by this point.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks took the ball back, and rather than playing it conservative to take time off the clock, they attacked through the air and made short work of a Broncos defense that simply forgot how to tackle.
Short and sweet is the best way to put it. Six plays after Thomas' fumble, it was Jermaine Kearse weaving his way in and out of orange jerseys from 23 yards out to give the Seahawks a 36-0 lead:
Peyton Manning finally awoke from his slumber on the next drive, and Thomas atoned for his fumble as the two hooked up for a 14-yard touchdown as time expired in the third quarter:
Still down 30 after their first score, Fox and the Broncos went for the two-point conversion, which was successful after a Manning connection with Wes Welker.
Seattle gets the ball back with a hearty lead to start the fourth quarter, with the outcome of the game seemingly a foregone conclusion. While the Denver score is nice, a 36-8 deficit is tough to overcome in just one quarter of play—even for the league's MVP.