It's very rare to see a defensive player win the Super Bowl MVP award, but that's exactly what happened at Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night with Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, who had a terrific game.
The Seahawks had no problem taking down the Denver Broncos, winning 43-8. The entire team played well, including sophomore quarterback Russell Wilson, who completed 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
Wilson was one of a few Super Bowl MVP candidates in this game. Percy Harvin was another option, running for 45 yards on two carries and coming up with a big 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half. Even Kam Chancellor was an option, making big plays to come up with nine total tackles, two passes deflected and an interception.
But at the end of the day, Smith was named the MVP. He had a great day, recording nine total tackles, a pass deflected, a fumble recovery and a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, it is the first time a defensive player has won the award since Dexter Jackson from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned it back at Super Bowl XXXVII.
Smith's story is certainly an interesting one. He spent his college career at USC, but he wasn't a big name that NFL teams had high on draft boards. He fell all the way to the seventh round in the 2011 NFL draft, selected by the Seahawks at No. 242 overall.
But that didn't keep Smith from moving up the depth chart and finding the field more frequently during this past season. He was a solid contributor during the regular season, putting up 54 combined tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and two interceptions.
However, even Smith didn't think he'd end up being named the Super Bowl MVP. He probably didn't even think he was going to make NFL history, but he did that as well. ESPN Stats & Info tweeted that Smith was the first player to ever record an interception for a touchdown and a fumble recovery in the same game.
While many didn't know who Smith was before this game, it was clear that at least one player from the defense deserved the award. Despite the fact that they were playing arguably the most explosive offense the NFL had ever seen, they still held them to just eight points and 306 total yards of offense.
From unknown seventh-round pick to Super Bowl MVP, it's safe to say that Smith is going to be enjoying his offseason, as well as the rest of the Seahawks, as they'll be returning to Seattle as champions.