EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – After just one play, the tone was set.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the first snap of the game sailed over quarterback
Though not a technically a turnover, it gave the ball and two points to the Seahawks.
Before halftime, the Broncos would give the ball to the Seahawks three more times.
“When you don’t have that many possessions to start with and then you end it with turnovers and you just cut yourself short and you get behind a good team, it snowballs,” wide receiver
“You have to give credit where credit is due and they played one heck of a game.”
That snowball was picked up speed when with a little more than two minutes left in the first half Manning missed tight end
That interception eventually led to the first touchdown of the game – a 1-yard run by Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch. On the ensuing Broncos drive, Manning was hit as he threw a pass in the direction of Moreno and that interception led directly to a touchdown as Malcolm Smith took it all the way to the ends zone.
“They have an excellent defense and certainly to get behind and give them the lead played into their hands,” Manning said. “That’s what they do to a lot of teams. They can get the lead on a team. It definitely benefits their team and their defense. We certainly didn’t want to do that. We wanted to keep the game on the field, keep the score even. Got behind early, never could make a run to catch up. From that standpoint, it was definitely a disadvantage for us and an advantage for them.”
With the Seattle lead growing quickly, the Broncos failed to convert a fourth-and-two on the Seattle 19 inside the final two minutes of the first half but Manning’s pass fell incomplete.
By halftime, the lead was 22-0. Just 12 seconds into the third quarter, the lead was 29-0.
And when a glimmer of hope shone through in the third quarter as wide receiver
When the confetti settled on Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos had four turnovers to the Seahawks zero; that coupled with a Seattle offense that was forced to punt just once proved to be too much.
In that vein, the final score and the final stats don’t necessarily align. Manning threw for nearly 75 more yards than Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and the Broncos held Lynch to just 39 rushing yards. But the Seahawks ability to put points on the board in other facets of the game proved to be the difference.
“That just goes to show that you need all three phases and they beat us in all three phases,” defensive end
“Those are things you just don’t want to happen, especially in the Super Bowl.”