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Denver quarterback Peyton Manning (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning

(Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

FOOTBALL

MacLeod: Broncos 'helpless, hopeless and hapless' in Super Bowl loss Add to ...

Forget all that hype suggesting how a championship game featuring the top offence against the No. 1-ranked defence posed such an intriguing matchup.

The Seattle Seahawks, led by the precise signal-calling of second-year quarterback Russell Wilson, totally crushed the Denver Broncos, 43-8, a lop-sided game that had many reaching for the television remotes after Bruno Mars entertained at halftime.

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As far as Super Bowls go, this National Football League so-called showcase was a super bore, thanks to a rollicking Seattle defence that transformed Denver’s record-setting quarterback Peyton Manning into a mere mortal.

While Manning will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, on this night he and the Broncos were “helpless, hopeless and hapless" in falling quietly to the Seahawks.

The game was a poignant reminder that while potent offences such as Denver’s attracts most of the attention it is defenses that wins championships as the Seahawks convincingly showed.

The NFL took some initial heat when it awarded the game in the first place to East Rutherford, N.Y., making it the first outdoor Super Bowl to be played in the north.

But the weather was not nearly as cold as Manning, with the temperature at kickoff an unseasonable 9.4 Celsius, the same as for the first pitch of Game 6 of the World Series at Fenway Park in October.

There were some who would suggest that Joe Namath’s ridiculous fur coat that he wore to the field to handle the official pre-game coin toss – which he embarrassingly botched – was the star of this affair.

Once the game started, it didn’t take long – 12 seconds in fact – before you got a sense that this was not going to be Denver’s game.

Lining up in shotgun formation on the game’s first offensive play, Manning was not ready when the snap was made from centre and the ball sailed all the way into the end zone for a two-point Seattle safety.

It was the fastest opening score in Super Bowl history and Manny Ramirez, the Denver centre, said he had no explanation for what transpired.

Thereafter, Seattle utterly dominated the game and maintained constant pressure on Manning, who never allowed to create any sort of a rhythm.

“Seasick” was the lead headline in Denver Post and it was as fitting a description as any.

"The word embarrassing is an insulting word, to tell you the truth," a forlorn Manning said after it was all concluded.

It wasn’t until early in the second quarter that the Broncos were able to secure its first first down of the contest, and by that time the Seahawks were already up 15-0.

Then Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith intercepted a wobbly Manning pass and returned it 69 yards for another Seahawks’ score.

While security for the big game was tight, it wasn’t rigid enough to prevent this 9/11 interloper from crashing the stage during Smith’s post-game press conference.

Trailing 22-0 at the half, the Broncos desperately required a strong start to the second half to make a game of it.

Instead, Percy Harvin took the kickoff for the Seahawks and returned it 87 yards for a touchdown that destroyed any lingering hopes the Broncos still had.

After the game, Smith – who also recovered a fumble in the contest - was awarded the game’s most-valuable-player award for which he received a brand new Chevy Silverado.

And in Seattle, the fans – celebrating the city’s first major sports championship in more than 30 years – went just a little berserk, hitting the streets with gusto after the game’s conclusion.

 

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