Analysis: Seahawks' total team effort stops Broncos

Mon Feb 3, 2014 1:42am EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Seattle's "Legion of Boom" secondary made the noise this season as poster boys for the Seahawks' league-best defense, but it took a team effort to send the high powered Denver Broncos crashing in Super Bowl 48.

Sunday's 43-8 trouncing at MetLife Stadium was one of the most lopsided ever in a Super Bowl and came against a Peyton Manning-led offense that had set an NFL record for points in a season.

Linebacker Malcolm Smith ran off with the Most Valuable Player award by running all the way into the end zone with a second-quarter, 69-yard interception to break open the game.

Cliff Avril set up that pick by getting in Peyton Manning's face with his pass rush, and fellow defensive lineman Chris Clemons had a sack and forced two fumbles.

The defensive backfield certainly weighed in.

Bone bruising hits on Broncos receivers coming across the middle by safety Kam Chancellor seemed to make them jittery, safety Earl Thomas led with six solo tackles while trash-talking secondary mate and fellow Pro Bowler Richard Sherman was largely avoided by Manning's passes.

It was a performance worthy of some of the greatest defensive teams in NFL lore, up there with the work of the Pittsburgh Steelers' "Steel Curtain", the 1985 Chicago Bears with William "Refrigerator" Perry, and the Ray Lewis-led Baltimore Ravens of 2000.

Do not discount the Seattle offense, either.   Continued...

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) celebrates his touchdown against the Denver Broncos with teammates during the fourth quarter in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri