Super Bowl XLVIII is one game Seahawks fans will never be able to relive enough.
So, a week later, here are 10 random notes, thoughts and observations about the greatest moment in the team’s 38-year history.
1SOMEWHAT LOST in the hubbub of the week was that Russell Wilson became just the second African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl, joining Doug Williams with the Washington Redskins in 1988.
The fact it was lost in the shuffle, though, was also generally regarded as a sign of progress. Wilson was rarely asked about it during the week, unlike Williams, for whom it was a constant topic.
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2 A QUICK “DID YOU KNOW?’’ The 43-8 final is the only game in NFL history with that score.
3 NFL NETWORK ANALYST Heath Evans said in a phone interview this week that if Seattle and Denver played nine more times “I’m not sure Denver wins any of them if health isn’t an issue.’’
Evans said the game made clear what he had thought all season — that a predominantly passing team like Denver wasn’t going to match up well against a Seattle squad with the NFL’s best secondary.
“You’ve got big receivers who struggle to get off tough, press, man coverage, and that’s what (the Seahawks) do,’’ Evans said. “Earl Thomas can close gaps in center field better than any safety in the league and you have a quarterback (Peyton Manning) whose arm strength can’t push the ball down the field the way you need to, to hurt a safety like Earl Thomas.’’
4 ANOTHER “DID YOU KNOW?” It was the third Super Bowl in which the first points were a safety. The team scoring the safety has now won all three (the others were Pittsburgh in Super Bowl IX and the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI).
5 ONE STORY LINE that ended up not mattering (which happens often in the Super Bowl) was whether Seattle’s youth would catch up to the Seahawks. At an aggregate of 26.4 years, the Seahawks were the second-youngest team to play in a Super Bowl, according to Pro Football Reference.
What wasn’t noted quite as much is that Seattle became the youngest team to win a Super Bowl. The only younger Super Bowl team was the 1971 Miami Dolphins, who lost to Dallas, 24-3. In a good omen for the Seahawks, though, most of the young Super Bowl teams went on to stay good for quite a while — including that Dolphins team, which went on to not lose another game for more than a year, going undefeated in 1972 and winning Super Bowl VII.
6 ANOTHER “DID YOU KNOW?’’ Malcolm Smith was only the third linebacker to win MVP honors, joining Chuck Howley (Dallas, Super Bowl V) and Ray Lewis (Baltimore, Super Bowl XXXV). Howley remains the only player to win MVP honors with a team that lost.
7 MORE FROM EVANS, who played for the Seahawks from 2001 to 2004 and played in the Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2008, on the effort of the Seattle defense against the Broncos: “Their speed is overwhelming across the defensive front, as well as at the second level. They even came out and showed a little pressure early that Denver wasn’t able to handle, and then the pocket starting getting squeezed and the quarterback (Manning) was pressed in that pocket and you saw him make the kind of mistakes that we have seen him make his whole career.’’
8 IT’S TOO SIMPLE to say “defense wins championships.’’ Seattle did, after all, score 43 points. Still, the Seahawks’ victory is being hailed as another sign that, well, defense wins championships. Teams that led the NFL in total defense, as Seattle did this year, are now 13-3 in the Super Bowl. Denver, meanwhile, became another high-scoring team to lose a Super Bowl. Of the 10 highest-scoring teams in NFL history, only the 1999 Rams won a Super Bowl.
9 SEATTLE HAS SCORED six touchdowns in its Super Bowl history — five by players from Pac-12 schools. And Washington leads the list with two — Jerramy Stevens scored Seattle’s only TD in Super Bowl XL on a pass from Matt Hasselbeck, and Jermaine Kearse scored last Sunday on a 23-yard pass from Russell Wilson.
Seattle’s other Pac-12 TDs were from California (Marshawn Lynch’s 1-yard run), Stanford (Doug Baldwin’s 14-yard reception) and USC (Malcolm Smith’s 69-yard interception return). The one interloper? Percy Harvin, who attended Florida of the Southeastern Conference and scored on an 87-yard kickoff return.
10 ANOTHER PREGAME STORY LINE that ended up not mattering was Seattle’s lack of Super Bowl experience. Seattle, as was repeated ad infinitum during the run-up to the game, was the first team since the 1990 Bills that did not have a single player with previous Super Bowl game experience on its roster (receiver Ricardo Lockette had been on the practice squad of the 49ers in 2013).
A great pass rush and secondary, though, mattered a heck of a lot more than all of the Super Bowl experience of Manning (three previous games) and receiver Wes Welker (two previous games). And when Seattle blew out the Broncos, it continued a recent trend of less-experienced teams winning. Since 1990, the team with more Super Bowl experience has won just eight times.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699
or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @bcondotta