Super Bowl XLVIII wasn't exactly a close contest. The Seahawks ran all over the Denver Broncos, winning 43-8. Despite playing the league's best offense led by Peyton Manning, the Seahawks forced four turnovers and allowed just eight points.
With such a dominant performance on offense, defense and special teams, let's take a look at the most impressive performances from all three phases of the game for the Seahawks.
If I had told you before the game that Marshawn Lynch was going to have just 39 yards on 15 carries in the Super Bowl, chances are you would have quickly put a lot of money on the Broncos to win this game. Instead, the Seahawks didn't have to rely too much on their offense thanks to the brilliant play of the "Legion of Boom".
But that doesn't mean the offense was ineffective. They were great, and sophomore quarterback Russell Wilson did a great job leading them to a big win.
At first, it was quite clear that nerves were getting to Wilson. He missed a couple of wide-open throws quite badly to start the game, but he found a groove as the game went on, especially when playing with a lead.
|Russell Wilson vs. Peyton Manning Super Bowl Stats|
Both of Wilson's touchdowns came when the game was well out of reach, but that shouldn't take away from his great game. He completed 18 of his 25 passes, or 72 percent of them. Meanwhile, he made some very nice throws and did a good job not forcing anything, helping his team not have a single turnover.
You can call him a game manager, but with nice throws like this one, I'll take Wilson over a lot of other starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
For a 25-year-old quarterback in just his second season, it's safe to say that Wilson had a great game.
On special teams, it's easy to point to the most impressive performance from this game. Despite playing in two games this season, one in the regular season against the Minnesota Vikings and one in the playoffs against the New Orleans Saints, Percy Harvin reminded the rest of the NFL that he's still a dynamic playmaker.
Harvin was able to seal the win for good for Seattle to start the second half of the game. On the opening kickoff, the Broncos tried to keep the ball away from Harvin on a short kick. The ball bounced around, but Harvin still grabbed it and took it 87 yards for the huge touchdown to start the second half.
It also wasn't like this was the only play Harvin made. He didn't touch the ball a lot, but when he did he made big plays. On two caries in the game, he ran the ball for 45 yards, leading all players in rushing in the game as a receiver. The one below went for 30 yards early in the game.
If Harvin can stay healthy in 2014, the Seahawks are going to somehow be even more scary than they were this past season.
Malcolm Smith may have been named the Super Bowl MVP, but in my opinion, no defensive player had a bigger impact on the game than Kam Chancellor.
Early in the first quarter, Chancellor set the tone early for what the rest of the game was going to be like. Demaryius Thomas was able to get the ball on a crossing route, but Chancellor made absolutely sure that he did pick up any more yards with a massive (and legal) hit.
Near the end of the first quarter with the Seahawks up 8-0, Manning sailed a pass to his intended target, and Chancellor took advantage by getting the interception.
Looking at the box score stats, Chancellor had a great game. He finished with 10 total tackles along with two pass deflections and that big interception early in the game.
But what Chancellor did defensively goes beyond the box score. His recognition in pass coverage helped shut Peyton Manning down, and one play in particular when Chancellor broke up a Manning pass to Wes Welker showed off some excellent recognition skills by the dominant defensive back.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Chancellor had an overall grade of 4.0 and a pass coverage grade of 3.8, which was easily the highest coverage grade of any player in the game.
The Legion of Boom was excellent, and Chancellor led the way with some great recognition and some strong tackling to set the tone early for the Seahawks.
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