When handicapping Super Bowl XLVIII a lot of people figured Peyton Manning leading the Denver Broncos would be too much for the Seattle Seahawks to handle. That Manning, leading a record-setting offense, would pick apart Seattle’s league-leading defense, seemed to be the common wisdom.
Instead, it was Russell Wilson’s scrambling and that No. 1-ranked defense giving Seattle the edge.
Super Bowl XLVIII started with proof that the best of teams can feel pressure. After a weak runback gave the Denver Broncos the ball on their own 14, center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball long before Peyton manning was ready, resulting in a safety.
After the free kick, Russell Wilson marched the Seattle Seahawks straight down the field in 11 plays for a field goal. The Seahawks defense kept the momentum going by forcing a three-and-out.
With the ball back Wilson and the Seahawks receivers showed that their offense was good enough to beat the Broncos defense with a handful of short passes and a 37-yarder to WR Doug Baldwin. Denver toughened up and held Seattle to another three, but still the Seahawks scored eight points in eight minutes and held Denver’s acclaimed offense to 90 seconds on the field.
Knowshon Moreno then fumbled on the first play of Denver’s next drive. Peyton Manning then overthrew Julius Thomas, leaving an easy pick to Seattle safety Kam Chancellor.
Starting with good field position the Seahawks came out with some ground-gaining runs to the Denver 22 before the quarter ended.