Super Bowl 2014: Seattle Seahawks give a perfect demonstration of the old motto 'offense wins you games, defence wins you championships’
The crushing victory over the Denver Broncos puts the Seahawks defence rightly among the greatest the NFL has ever seen
If ever the saying ‘offense wins you games, defence wins you championships’ needed an exclamation mark, last night’s Super Bowl was probably it’s crowning moment.
Jumping ahead early when a botched snap led to their first points of the game, the Seattle Seahawks were unexpectedly composed, bettering Denver in every facet of the game on their way to a 43-8 win, their first in franchise history.
It should have hardly come as a surprise however as, entering the showpiece event ranked as the league’s best defensive unit, Seattle and their ‘Legion of Boom’ were largely flawless – playing a near perfect game while making Denver’s high-powered offence seem little more than an afterthought.
Peyton Manning, who was named the League’s MVP only the day before, was efficient – set a Super Bowl record with 34 completions for 280 yards – but was under constant pressure from Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril who ensured he was never settled in the pocket.
On the odd occasion that the Broncos’ blocks paid dividends, Manning still struggled to find open receivers as Seattle’s swarming defence made plays all over the field. K.J Wright and Bobby Wagner were superb and so too, albeit to a lesser extent, was Malcolm Smith who was named the game’s MVP following his pick-6 and fumble recovery.
However, to give the Seahawks secondary the true credit it deserves you need to look beyond the Legion of Boom. The simple reason that they are so good (and rightly now in discussion as one of the all-time greats) is because they excel at all the small things.
“They have an excellent defence,” Manning said afterwards as he elaborated on what had contributed to the Broncos’ struggles.
“Certainly to get behind and give them the lead played into their hands.
“That’s what they do to a lot of teams.
“We got behind early and never could make a run to catch up. From that standpoint, it was a disadvantage for us and advantage for them.”
Seahawk linebacker Bobby Wagner summed it up best, “Everything, from the special teams to the offense to the defence, I feel like everybody was clicking.
“Everybody was doing their job and we peaked at the right time.”
The product of four years’ work, Pete Carroll and the Seattle defence deserve all the credit they get – dominant up front, flawless on the back end and with rangy all-down linebackers – the unit is now in consideration for the best ever and it’s a case that’s hard to argue against following the total domination of the highest scoring in NFL history on the grandest stage of them all.
As for the Broncos, the loss marks a sad end to a season that has seen them set all kinds of records, from points scored to touchdowns thrown, and the lacklustre nature of their defeat wasn’t lost on Wes Welker who described it as ‘embarrassing’ – a judgement that Manning felt was undeserved in his post-game press conference.
“It’s not embarrassing at all. I would never use that word.
“That word embarrassing in an insulting word to tell you truth.”
It’s hard to agree with him though, the Broncos were easily beaten in every aspect of a game that was so epically one-sided it will, largely, be remembered as a disappointing end to a truly memorable season.
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