Well, that was anticlimactic.
The Seattle Seahawks steamrolled the Denver Broncos, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII to put the perfect capper on what was a truly dominant season, especially defensively:
The 35-point margin of victory was the third largest in Super Bowl history, per ESPN Stats & Info:
The Seahawks' 35-point victory is tied for the 3rd-largest margin of victory in a Super Bowl.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 3, 2014
The Seahawks took control and set the tone right from the start. On the first play from scrimmage, a bad snap saw the Broncos surrender a safety 12 seconds into the game, and it only got worse from there.
Peyton Manning threw two interceptions, one of which was a pick-six by linebacker Malcolm Smith. Smith parlayed that into MVP honors:
Demaryius Thomas broke the Super Bowl record for most receptions, finishing with 13 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown, while Manning's 34 completions were also the most in history:
Peyton Manning finished with a Super Bowl-record 34 completions. Demaryius Thomas finished with a Super Bowl-record 13 receptions.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 3, 2014
Of course, those will merely be footnotes in history and obscure answers to future trivia questions.
The night belonged to Seattle, and it was a deserved win for a team that was among the best in the league all season. And this Super Bowl established that defense does in fact still win championships.
Here are some of the best Twitter reactions from the lopsided game.
Sir Patrick Stewart won the Internet with this picture:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also added some comedy with this not-so-subtle jab at Fox:
It’s so much more fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed & sacked! #SuperBowl— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 3, 2014
That snapshot of Stewart was only slightly better than the one a Getty Images photographer caught of a weeping Broncos fan, per the Associated Press' Tanner Curtis. Poor little guy:
A couple of the Seahawks' celebrity fans took to Twitter to congratulate their favorite team:
British Columbia happy tonight. Most of us grew up Seahawks fans. Longtime coming.— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) February 3, 2014
First ever Seahawks Super Bowl win!!! AMAZING!!! There’s going to be a lot of happy people in Washington.— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) February 3, 2014
Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke wasn't sure whether to praise the Seahawks for a great performance or bemoan the terrible Broncos performance. Also, he thought this was the worst championship game since Alabama's destruction of Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS National Championship:
This is either the best or worst performance by a team I've ever seen in person. Maybe both.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) February 3, 2014
This is worse than Alabama-Notre Dame.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) February 3, 2014
Jonathan Biles of Awful Announcing envisioned sportswriters across America working on their narratives and hot takes:
Sports columnists open their manuals: "Peyton Manning in cold weather, losing in the playoffs. See: Narratives, Hot Takes."— Jonathan Biles (@Jonathan_Biles) February 3, 2014
Eric Stangel of the Late Show with David Letterman correctly pointed out that the Pro Bowl was more competitive than the Super Bowl:
It's a bad sign when the Pro Bowl is more competitive than the Super Bowl… #SB48— Eric Stangel (@EricStangel) February 3, 2014
NFL Network's Rich Eisen and SB Nation congratulated veteran backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. He's a Super Bowl champion now:
Tarvaris Jackson is playing in a Super Bowl.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) February 3, 2014
Grantland's Bill Barnwell couldn't believe how quickly Seattle recovered from Jim Mora's disastrous run as head coach:
Congrats to Seahawks + Seattle fans. Crazy to think the 5-11 season under Jim Mora was only four years ago.— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) February 3, 2014
The Seahawks put together a complete performance on Sunday night, one of the greatest you'll ever see in a Super Bowl.