Fans and nonpartisans alike watched the Seattle Seahawks destroy the Denver Broncos to claim this year’s Super Bowl.

Robert Blaine, Reporter

The Seattle Seahawks jumped out to an early lead over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII and never looked back, winning in a 43 to 8 rout. The game pitted the Seahawks’ top-ranked defense against the Broncos’ top-ranked offense, and ended up being a very one-sided battle.

The game’s first play from scrimmage was an errant snap out of the reach of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, resulting in a safety and a 2-0 Seahawks lead. This was the first time in Super Bowl history that a safety was the first score of the game, and the safety was the fastest score in Super Bowl history.

The Broncos gained only 35 fewer yards than the Seahawks, but turnovers and special teams decided the game. The Seahawks capitalized on the early safety and then a Manning pick later in the first quarter to jump out to a 15-0 lead. The turnovers kept piling on for the Broncos with a pick-six by LB Malcolm Smith later in the second quarter on a play where Manning was hit. Later a Demaryius Thomas fumble at the start of the third helped the Seahawks to a 36-0 lead.

The Broncos’ only score of the game came on a 14-yard connection from Manning to Thomas at the end of the third. Thomas broke the Super Bowl record with 13 receptions.  Manning threw for 280 yards, while the team only picked up 27 on the ground.

While many will question Manning’s legacy after the poor showing, Manning did just have a record-breaking season and played well up until this game. He still owns a place in the pantheon of the all-time greats and will have the Broncos in contention again should he choose to return for another season. Overall, it’s hard to pin the blame on a single player for a loss in which the Seahawks shut down the Broncos in every single facet of the game.

For Seattle, this was the first Lombardi trophy in franchise history. Russell Wilson, in only his second season, led the way with 206 yards through the air and two touchdowns in addition to 26 yards on the ground.

Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse (shown below) each picked up receiving touchdowns, while Marshawn Lynch added one on the ground. Percy Harvin, who missed almost all of the season with a hip injury, added a 87-yard kickoff return to open the second half.  Malcolm Smith was named Super Bowl MVP with an interception return for a touchdown and 9 tackles.