The Seattle Seahawks didn't become the most unlikely Super Bowl champions ever on Feb. 2. Since the Seahawks faced the record setting Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, and since Seattle has a far less prestigious football history and media market, it may have only looked like they were overmatched. Yet it was the Broncos who looked more than overmatched in Super Bowl 48, as the Seahawks pulled off the most unlikely Super Bowl blowout upset of all time by 43-8.
In truth, the score wasn't even that close, as the Seahawks could have easily won by 56-8. Yet when the first snap of the game went past Manning, thanks to massive miscommunication, the Broncos salvaged a mere safety. After that, the Seahawks drove down the field twice and settled for only two field goals - but those were the last breaks the Broncos got.
Manning threw his first interception of the night to Kam Chancellor late in the first, leading to the Seahawks finally reaching the end zone in the second. Afterwards, the Broncos finally got their first first downs of the game and were poised to show a pulse after converting four straight third downs. However, Manning then threw interception number two, which Malcolm Smith converted for a pick-six and a 22-0 lead.
The score held at halftime, with Seattle receiving the second half kickoff. Just as the Broncos gave up points 12 seconds into the first half, they did it again to start the second -- this time on a Percy Harvin kickoff return touchdown. The lead then stretched to 36-0 before Denver scored its first eight points of the game, although they would be its last.
It was the first true Super Bowl blowout since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throttled the Oakland Raiders by 27 points in 2003, and the third most lopsided final score in Super Bowl history. Ironically, the Broncos' last Super Bowl loss in 1989 still holds as the largest blowout.
However, John Elway was used to being blown out on Super Sunday in the 1980s, while Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers were used to winning it all. To have a record setting Manning held to eight points, and to have the Super Bowl rookie Seahawks score 43 of their own, qualifies as a far more shocking blowout -- if not the most shocking of all 48 Super Sundays.