Super Bowl 2014: Five things we learnt from Super Bowl XLVIII

 

Defence still wins Championships

It’s no secret that the NFL is an offence driven league, with teams favouring a high powered passing game that puts points on the scoreboard.

Tonight’s Super Bowl showed that defence is still an integral part, if not the most important part of any NFL team that wants to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy.

Seattle’s defence, led by the Legion of Boom, was aggressive, hard hitting and dominant on every single play of the game. By midway through the second half, a sense of sorrow seemed to befall the crowd at Met Life Stadium as the Broncos continued to be beat down by the Seahawks.

For a defence to be so controlling in the final game of the season is unique; to achieve this feat against the number one offence in the NFL, one which includes MVP Peyton Manning, is staggering.

Tackle Russell Okung #76 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after winning Super Bowl XLVIII  

Peyton Manning is a great quarterback, but not the greatest.

Where does this defeat put Peyton Manning in the discussion of all time great quarterbacks? Well, despite his mistakes and relatively poor performance in the Super Bowl, Manning is still one of the league’s best players.

His bid to become the greatest quarterback of all time is in serious jeopardy however. Success in the NFL is not solely defined by the records you possess, or even by how many games you win.

Success in this league is defined by the number of championships you hold, and for a player with such a prestigious career, Manning holds too few to be considered the greatest of all time.

Even if his Broncos did manage to beat a far superior Seattle team tonight; for him to be considered better than Montana or Bradshaw would be a push.

The worry for Manning now is that he missed his chance tonight. He has just completed his 16th season at the age of 37, so time to win more Super Bowls in running out.

With one win in three attempts at holding the Lombardi Trophy, Manning is gaining a damaging reputation as a quarterback who thrives in the regular season, but falters in the postseason. A reputation the greatest quarterback of all time couldn’t possibly possess.

Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos walks off the field after their 43-8 loss  

Seattle’s win could be the start of a string of NFC Super Bowl champions

The NFL has been blessed in recent years with close; crowd pleasing Super Bowls. This year was an obvious exception.

The real Super Bowl this season was between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game two weeks ago. The hard-hitting struggle between the two West Coast powerhouses was what tonight’s game should have been, and more.

What tonight’s Super Bowl, as well as the rest of the season has shown is that the NFL may be drifting back to the days of dominant NFC teams.

Seattle possesses a young squad with strengths in all three phases of the game, not unlike their division rivals, the 49ers, and the surprise team of the season, the Carolina Panthers. Green Bay remains a strong contender with Aaron Rodgers, whilst New Orleans are still continuing to challenge on a regular basis with Drew Brees at the helm.

The NFC won 13 straight championships between 1985 and 1997 so have traditionally been a stronger conference. Tonight’s Super Bowl quite possibly became the start of a brand new NFC streak.

The Seahawks mascots celebrates  

Pete Carroll did it his way

For a coach who has faced such adversity throughout his career, what better place for Seattle head coach, Pete Carroll, to win his first Super Bowl title.

Nearly 20 years after being fired by the New York Jets in his first season as an NFL head coach, Carroll has proved to the organisation as well as the league that his way really does win championships.

A true player’s coach, Carroll was originally deemed too personal, too friendly with the teams' players to be taken seriously. However his coaching style has become an integral part of the culture in Seattle. By granting players such as Richard Sherman free reign in their positions, Carroll has allowed his team to play the way they want to play, a system that has clearly worked, now that he holds Seattle's first Lombardi Trophy.

Tight end Zach Miller #86 and quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks dump Gatorade on head coach Pete Carroll  

Russell Wilson has a bright future ahead of him

“Russell, why not you?”. These are the words of Russell Wilson’s late father earlier in the young quarterbacks career.

The 5”11 Super Bowl winner was constantly reminded before his career took off, that he was too small to play quarterback in the NFL, and that his arm wasn’t strong enough.

Drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson joins an elite group of starting quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl in just their second season. What’s promising for Wilson, along with the rest of the Seahawks organisation, is that he hasn’t been the hindrance most second year QB’s often are, if anything he improved his team’s chances of a Super Bowl this season, decimating defences with his legs as well as his arm.

To win such a significant title so early in his career will raise questions as to whether his desire for another Super Bowl is as strong as his desire to win the first.

For a player with the substantial talent and ability to prove doubters wrong, Wilson looks set to reach the game’s elite in the years to come.

Related articles:
Seattle Seahawks thrash Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII
The most talked about Super Bowl commercials
Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers - The Half Time Show
'We're being demonised': SodaStream chief speaks out over censored Scarlett Johansson advert ahead of Super Bowl
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution