The Seattle Seahawks soared into MetLife Stadium like birds of prey Sunday night and claimed their first Super Bowl title by defeating the Denver Broncos. Football fans had gotten used to exciting Super Bowls in recent years, with the previous seven championships having been tight games. But this year was a blowout, with a final score of 43-8.
Things went downhill for five-time MVP quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos from the start of the game. On the opening play, Manning stepped up toward the line of scrimmage just as center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball. It sailed past Manning’s head and into the end zone, resulting in a safety for Seattle. The Seahawks then kicked a field goal on their next possession, to give them a quick 5-0 lead.
Seattle charged towards victory with a powerful defense that did not allow Manning to get going. "The only way we could say we were the best defense was to take down the best offense," Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. The Seahawks went on to dominate with a 69-yard interception return touchdown by linebacker Malcolm Smith to make the game 22-0 by halftime. It was Denver’s biggest loss of the season and the third-largest halftime lead in Super Bowl history.
Seattle’s Percy Harvin opened the second half of the game with an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 29-0 lead. It wasn’t until the third quarter that Manning connected with Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for a 5-yard touchdown pass.
Though at times the game was slow, musical performances helped keep up the energy in the stadium. Soprano Renee Fleming opened the event with the National Anthem. In honor of New York and New Jersey hosting the Super Bowl together, the marching bands from Syracuse University in New York and Rutgers University in New Jersey performed together before the game. Bruno Mars delivered a spirited performance during the halftime show, alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, NJ, was packed with thousands of fans to watch both the game and the variety of musical performances. This year marked the first time an outdoor Super Bowl was held in a cold-weather city—though temperatures were mild and didn’t threaten the game. Next year’s championship game is scheduled to take place in Arizona, so the only cold threat will be the competition.