Super Bowl 2014 Stats: How Top Stars Fared in Seahawks vs. Broncos

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IFebruary 3, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks throws the ball during the second quarter  of Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Super Bowl offers the NFL's brightest stars the chance to shine with brilliant stats while the entire world watches, but not all are able to live up to expectations. 

For instance, Russell Wilson shockingly outplayed Peyton Manning, and the Seattle Seahawks rolled over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, winning by the blowout score of 43-8. 

Manning—the most recognizable star in the game—and the Broncos finished the regular season with historic offensive numbers, as the legendary quarterback ripped through secondaries to the tune of 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns.

However, during the Super Bowl, Seattle's secondary lived up to its "Legion of Boom" moniker, forcing him into two costly interceptions—one of which was returned for a touchdown. 

Here's a look at Manning's stats in the big game, along with those of the other big stars in Super Bowl XLVIII:

Stats for Top Stars in Super Bowl XLVIII
Denver Broncos
PlayerPositionStats
Peyton ManningQB34-of-49 passing, 280 yards, one TD, two INTs
Knowshon MorenoRBFive carries, 17 yards; three catches, 20 yards
Demaryius ThomasWR13 catches, 118 yards, one TD
Wes WelkerWREight Catches, 84 yards
Eric DeckerWROne catch, six yards
Julius ThomasTEFour Catches, 27 yards
Seattle Seahawks
PlayerPositionStats
Russell WilsonQB18-of-25 passing, 206 yards, two TDs; three carries, 26 yards
Marshawn LynchRB15 carries, 39 yards, one TD
Percy HarvinWRTwo carries, 45 yards; one catch, five yards; one kickoff return, 87 yards, one TD
Doug BaldwinWRFive catches, 66 yards, one TD
Jermaine KearseWRFour catches, 65 yards, one TD
Malcolm SmithLBNine tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery, one TD
ESPN.com

 

Biggest Surprise: Manning's Horrid Night

Manning attempted 49 passes and came away with just 280 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per attempt. 

For a point of reference, Blaine Gabbert's career average is 5.61 yards per attempt. 

Shockingly, Seattle's vaunted defense was able to effectively shut down Manning all night long. It wasn't until the second quarter that the Broncos managed a third-down conversion, which proved the worst start by a Manning-led team since 2005, per ESPN Stats & Info:

“To finish this way is very disappointing,” Manning said after the game, as noted by Jere Longman of The New York Times. “It’s not an easy pill to swallow.”

Watching the game, former NFL defensive back and B/R NFL expert Matt Bowen remarked about how the rest of the league would be studying the tape of this game all winter long:

The #Seahawks defense created a teaching tape tonight for the rest of the NFL to study this offseason.

— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 3, 2014

 

The way Seattle was able to clamp down was a sight to behold for defense-loving football purists, but not many predicted this poor showing by Manning. 

 

Biggest Impact: Percy Harvin's Instant Offense

Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) returns a kick for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos in the third quarter in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sp
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Before the game, Percy Harvin had managed to participate in just 40 snaps for the Seahawks all year long, thanks to a hip injury and then a concussion. 

That didn't stop him from making the biggest impact in the game—a fact that seemed to make Marc Sessler of NFL.com marvel:

Harvin got things started off with a bang for Seattle in its opening offensive drive, as he took a fly sweep 30 yards before stepping out of bounds. He nearly took that first touch to the house, but Denver managed to corral him at the last second. 

The speedy receiver also took another carry 15 yards later in the game, and he caught one pass for five yards. 

However, the biggest play of the game came when Harvin took the opening kickoff of the second half 87 yards to paydirt, scoring a touchdown to put the Seahawks up 29-0 before Denver could even touch the ball in the second half. 

 

Biggest Non-Factor: Eric Decker 

After finishing the regular season with 87 catches, 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns, one might have expected Eric Decker to make an impact in Super Bowl XLVIII.

He did, but it wasn't the kind he hoped to achieve.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02: Wide receiver Eric Decker #87 of the Denver Broncos is tackled  during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Decker achieved invisibility in Denver's humiliating loss, catching just one pass for six yards on five targets. 

His poor performance in the biggest game of his career will surely impact his pocketbook. Decker is going to be a free agent, and he could have earned some big cash with a money performance. Instead, the last thing a potential new team will remember is his failure to launch at MetLife Stadium.

That said, many, including B/R's Collin McCollough, are of the opinion the receiver will still cash in on free agency:

Heck, if Mike Wallace can cash in, then it's highly likely Decker will, too. 

 

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