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Seahawks break through as Super Bowl winning NFL power for first time

The Seattle Seahawks had never won a Super Bowl or had much Super Bowl history before Feb. 2. Compared to the prestige of the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, the Seahawks should have been overwhelmed on the big stage -- especially since no Seahawks had played in the Super Bowl before. Yet Seattle looked more like a dynasty than a first-time champion in a 43-8 blowout.

Carroll leads Seahawks to first championship
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The same old franchises tend to win the Super Bowl, or at least franchises that have won before. The Baltimore Ravens won their second title last season, while veteran champions like the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and Green Bay Packers have won in recent years. In fact, the last two times a franchise won a Super Bowl for the very first time was in Manning's last two Super Bowls.

The Indianapolis Colts won it all for the first time when Manning led them in 2007, then were the victims of the New Orleans Saints' first title in 2010. Yet the 2013-14 Seahawks resembled the 2009-10 Saints, in that they had very little real history as a true contender in decades past, before finally breaking through and overwhelming Manning on Super Sunday.

Seattle had some relevancy in the 1980s, when it was led by Steve Largent. But the Seahawks were an afterthought in the 1990s and in the first half of the new century, before reaching its first Super Bowl in 2005-06. However, poor offense and poor officiating doomed the Seahawks against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 40, which was Seattle's only real championship run under Mike Holmgren.

The Seahawks returned to their customary position as an afterthought, until Pete Carroll took over in 2010. Starting with beating the defending champion Saints in the playoffs after a 7-9 regular season, Carroll built the Seahawks up like no one else since the franchise's inception. Once Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Malcolm Smith and more young stars emerged, Seattle was on its way.

This is the very first time that the Seahawks have been a perennial winner, much less a Super Bowl champion. Yet while this franchise has been overlooked by most since 1976 -- when the 0-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers overshadowed their futility even then -- the world now knows there is a new NFL powerhouse in the Pacific Northwest.

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