— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 3, 2014
Before the beginning of Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman was quoted as saying, “This weather is awesome. I’m ready to go.” Apparently, he was speaking for all of the Seahawks—at least with the latter sentiment.
Early seconds of the game left Denver fans—and viewers in general—shaking their heads: On the opening offensive play of Super Bowl XLVIII, Broncos center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball over quarterback Peyton Manning’s head as Manning stepped forward to communicate with his offensive line. The ball sailed past him, and out the back of the end zone for a safety, leading to a new Super Bowl record: the fastest score in Super Bowl history.
2 points. 2 points. That’s how the Super Bowl started …
— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) February 2, 2014
Since then, the Seattle defense has displayed its typical relentlessness and the Seahawks have dominated early. What does this mean for the Broncos? The largest first-half deficit of the season, with Seattle up 22-0 at the half.
SB NATION SPORTS BUREAU: The Broncos tie a record scored for least points in a half of a football game (zero)
— SB Nation (@sbnation) February 3, 2014
Seattle may have “only” scored two field goals in the first quarter, but they also picked up an impressive 148 yards and six first downs and kept up the pressure. Arguably, they’ve found success due to a multifaceted approach involving Percy Harvin and Russell Wilson, who combined for nice yardage early on while the Broncos were focusing on Marshawn Lynch.
The use of Harvin on the perimeter will open up big holes for Marshawn Lynch later. Stretch the D horizontally, then pound it inside.
— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) February 3, 2014
Peyton Manning, who won his fifth MVP award on Saturday night and who threw 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards in leading the Broncos to the AFC’s best record during the regular season, has arguably been flustered.
“A frustrating half for Peyton Manning” is the understatement of the year. #stooperbowl
— Dan Povenmire (@DanPovenmire) February 3, 2014
Thus far, Manning has thrown two interceptions, the second of which Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith returned 69 yards with 3:21 left in the opening half to give the Seahawks their their 22-0 lead going into the half.
Viewers watched as Manning’s arm was hit by Cliff Avril as he attempted to throw a pass to Knowshon Moreno. The ball fluttered in the air to Smith, who exploded down the sideline and into the end zone untouched. It was the fourth-longest interception return for a score in Super Bowl history.