Who Will Win Super Bowl XLVIII?
With light snow falling from the sky and the temperature at 28 degrees, Super Bowl XLVIII was underway as Matt Prater booted the opening kickoff through the end zone, setting up Seattle with a 1st down at their own 20 yard line.
Marshawn Lynch got things started with an 11 yard run up the middle on the opening play. But Denver's defense forced a 3rd and 13 just a few plays later. Russell Wilson was able to connect with wide receiver Golden Tate over the middle for 15 yards, picking up the first down.
Seattle would go on to settle for a 33 yard Steven Hauschka field goal as their drive stalled at the Denver 16 yard line. A 15 yard scramble by Wilson got the Seahawks into field goal range, but on 3rd and 1, Seattle faked a hand off to full back Michael Robinson, and tossed it out to Lynch but both Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nate Irving were there to stop Lynch behind the line of scrimmage and force the field goal.
Down 3-0, Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense would take over from their 26 yard line.
It did not take long for Richard Sherman to make his presence felt, as the Broncos ran a screen play for Demaryius Thomas on the first play of the drive. Sherman was able to get around an Eric Decker block, and bat the pass away as he dove towards Thomas.
After another incomplete pass, Peyton was sacked by Brandon Mebane, forcing a 3 and out.
Seattle started their drive with two Marshawn Lynch runs that picked up 7 yards, but on third down, Wilson misfired on a pass to tight end Zach Miller which would have picked up the first down but the pass was behind him. After a Jon Ryan punt went into the end zone, Denver took over from their own 20.
Denver would use an 11 play drive to score their first point of the game. The drive was capped off by a Wes Welker 10 yard reception in the end zone. Peyton Manning went 7-7 on the drive, picking apart the Seahawks defense. The big play of the drive was an Eric Decker 30 yard catch and run down the sideline.
End of 1st: Broncos 7 Seahawks 3
On a third and 5, Wilson connected on a pass to Jermaine Kearse. Kearse tried to stretch out to the 1st down mark but Champ Bailey made an unbelievable tackle, to keep him 1 yard shy of a 1st down and forced another Seattle punt.
A 12 yard Decker punt return set Peyton up at the Denver 39.
Peyton Manning would continue to fire on all cylinders, as he completed 11 straight passes up to this point in the game, but Chris Clemons made a huge sack on third down to force a Matt Prater 30 yard field goal. This put Denver up 10-3.
Percy Harvin finally made a play in this game late in the 2nd quarter as he made a great catch in traffic, picking up a 1st down on third and long which avoided a Seattle 3 and out.
On this drive, Seattle managed to convert 3 more third downs. Wilson completed passes to Zach Miller, and Harvin again, and Wilson got it done with his legs, as he scrambled for 12 yards picking up a first down.
The drive almost came to a disappointing end, as Wilson completed a pass to Kearse. Kearse dove for the pylon and the ball was jarred loose by Duke Ihenacho and the play was ruled a touch back as the ball went out of bounds in the end zone. However Pete Carroll challenged the ruling and replays clearly showed the ball went out of bounds at the 1 yard line. The play was reversed and on the very next play Lynch would run it up the middle into the end zone to tie the game up at 10-10.
Trindon Holliday would return the ensuing kickoff all the way to the Seattle 37 yard line, but the play was called back thanks to a clipping penalty.
Manning and the Broncos offense would take over from their own 12 yard line with 1:04 left in the half and all 3 time outs.
Peyton would throw an incomplete pass on the 1st play of the drive, ending his streak at 11 completions. On third down, Peyton had a wide open Julius Thomas down the middle of the field but Thomas dropped the pass, and the Broncos would punt.
Golden Tate would give the Seahawks a chance to take the lead before halftime after a nice punt return set them up at their own 45 yard line. On the final play of the half, Wilson threw up a prayer in the end zone which was incomplete. However their was a flag thrown on the Broncos for roughing the passer which put the Seahawks in field goal range. Hauschka nailed it. All we can say is that John Fox was not very happy with Malik Jackson, the man who committed the bonehead penalty.
At the Half: Seahawks 13 Broncos 10
- Russell Wilson has more passing yards than Peyton Manning - 129 to 114.
- Marshawn Lynch and Knowshon Moreno both have 22 rushing yards.
- Richard Sherman is winning the battle with Demaryius Thomas - 2 catches for 25 yards
- Wes Welker leads all players with 4 catches and 41 yards.
Denver would work their way down to the Seahawks 7 yard line, but the drive would stall out thanks to some stellar red zone defense by Seattle. On third down Manning threw a fade to the corner of the end zone for Demaryius Thomas that was nearly picked off by Richard Sherman. Matt Prater would kick the field goal from 24 yards out, tying the game up at 13.
On first down Russell Wilson and Golden Tate connected on a crossing route that picked up 28 yards. The very next play, Lynch picked up 17 yards after breaking 2 tackles. Despite the quick start, Seattle would find themselves in a 3rd and 11. Wilson dumped one off to Robert Turbin who picked up 8 yards and that set up a Hauschka 44 yard field goal that put Seattle back up on top, 16-13.
Desperately needing Demaryius Thomas to get involved in the pass game, the Broncos set up a couple of short plays for him which were completed early in the drive. This helped set up a big 23 yard reception by Decker to get the Broncos down the field. Manning then converted a third and short with a pass to tight end Julius Thomas before Demaryius was able to finally beat Sherman for a touchdown. It wasn't easy as Thomas made a diving 1 handed grab in the end zone from 7 yards out. This put Denver up 20-16.
The quarter would come to a close as Lynch went "beastmode" as he carried a number of defenders for a first down, picking up 12 yards. This was the first time fans were able to throw skittles onto the field.
End of 3: Broncos 20 Seahawks 16
Facing a big third down at their own 43 yards line, Wilson completed a pass to Golden Tate as he was able to get into Broncos territory. The very next play Wilson fired a strike to Doug Baldwin who beat Danny Trevathan across the field and was able to pick up 17 yards.
Facing another third down, the Broncos defense brought the pressure, and Wesley Woodyard was able to get into the backfield and bring down Russell Wilson for a big loss. This forced Seattle to make a decision. Do they attempt a 53 yard field goal in windy conditions with light snow falling to make it a 1 point game or do they punt the ball deep into Broncos territory and let the defense force a punt or turnover? Pete Carroll decided to play it safe and punt it away.
It was a smart decision as Jon Ryan punted it out of bounds right at the 1 yard line.
After back to back Moreno runs set up third and 4, Manning connected with Wes Welker picking up 14 yards and a first down. Three plays later, the Broncos found themselves in another third and short situation, and once again it was Manning to Welker for the 1st down.
Tony McDaniel was able to sack Peyton Manning to set up third and 13 and the Broncos decided to play it safe and run the ball instead of forcing a pass. They handed it off to rookie Montee Ball who got good blocking and appeared to be headed for a first down. However Bobby Wagner made a desperation tackle, as he dove forward towards Ball and was able to get his hand on his foot, tripping him up and Ball would come up 2 yards shy of the first down.
The Britton Colquitt punt would pin Seattle at their 11 yard line with just 3:34 left to play.
On just the third play of the drive from their own 23 yard line, Russell Wilson used a play action to fool the defense. When he looked up to throw, he found Percy Harvin 10 yard past the defenders. He threw a bomb down the field and Harvin was able to catch it in stride, easily taking it to the house for 77 yards and giving Seattle a 23-20 lead with just 2:44 left in the game.
After a holding penalty on the kickoff return, Denver took over at their own 14.
At the 2 minute warning the Broncos were at their own 33 with just 1 timeout left.
On third down, Manning completed a pass to Julius Thomas for 18 yards taking it into Seattle territory. Manning would go back to Julius the very next play for another 12 yards. After an incomplete pass stopped the clock, Manning completed 3 passes in a row to Welker, Ball and Moreno to get it down to the Seahawks 7 yard line with 35 seconds left.
The very next play Peyton saw 1 on 1 coverage on Decker so he threw a jump ball to the corner of the end zone and Decker went up to get it over Byron Maxwell, giving Denver a 27-23 lead with just 25 ticks remaining.
Denver went with a squib kick that Seattle was able to return to their own 37 yard line. Russell Wilson had 2 time outs and 20 seconds to pull off a miracle.
Seattle was able to pick up 21 yards on a quick slant to Golden Tate and quickly called a timeout.
Russell Wilson was chased out of the pocket with 10 seconds left and instead of throwing it away, Wilson forced a throw to Doug Baldwin. The ball hit off Baldwin's hand and was batted up by Woodyard and into the hands of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, sealing the victory for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Final Score: Broncos 27 Seahawks 23
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