The Seattle Seahawks love to talk, and after their victory in Super Bowl XLVIII, any remaining doubters can’t say much to quiet them.
In an epic postgame rant after the team's 43-8 thrashing of the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Feb. 2, Baldwin unleashed a scathing tirade against Carter, per the Everett Herald's John Boyle:
That dude who said that we were appetizers, he told me to Google him, and I did Google him, but I didn't see any Super Bowl appearances, and I also saw two losses in conference championships. I have a Super Bowl ring, and I would gladly show that to him. And if he doesn't have time to come see it, tell him he can Google it.
Baldwin may not have referred to Carter, a current ESPN analyst, by name, but it's clear who the young wideout had in mind when firing off those comments.
Carter, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013, never even reached the Super Bowl stage to compete for a Lombardi Trophy. However, the eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro couldn't stop himself from firing back at Baldwin on SportsCenter following the Seahawks' victory, per NESN.com's Doug Kyed:
"They’re Super Bowl champions. They deserve that," said Carter. "It’s well beyond that. They need to be concerned with OTAs next year when he’s back to being the third or fourth guy. Congratulations tonight."
It's easy for outsiders to be skeptical of the Seahawks receiving corps, which features undersized players such as Baldwin and Golden Tate and the unheralded likes of Jermaine Kearse.
However, Baldwin was far from "pedestrian" (as Carter labeled him) during the Super Bowl, registering a team-high five receptions for 66 yards and a 10-yard touchdown that iced the game. ESPN's Louis Riddick pointed out a skill that makes Baldwin difficult to defend:
I'm telling you...Doug Baldwin is one of THE BEST WR's getting off the line in the league.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) February 3, 2014
Kearse stepped up in his own right by catching four passes from quarterback Russell Wilson for 65 yards and a 23-yard score that saw him fight through multiple tacklers on his way to the end zone.
Who is winning the Cris Carter vs. Doug Baldwin feud?
The last word Carter had is only likely to motivate Baldwin even more heading into next season. For an offense that revolved mostly around the rushing attack driven by Marshawn Lynch all year long, it was up to the Baldwin-led "appetizers" to help deliver the NFL's ultimate prize to Seattle for the first time.
Seattle's band of misfit and discounted receivers did exactly that, converting big third downs throughout the game to keep momentum on the Seahawks' side.
This championship-winning bunch will ultimately be remembered for their shutdown defense, but the play of Baldwin, Kearse and playmaker Percy Harvin shouldn't be forgotten either.