Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.
And after their 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seattle Seahawks more than proved that point to be true.
The Seahawks entered the postseason as the NFL's top-ranked defense, and in order to become World Champions for the first time in their history, they had to stop the league's top-rated offense, but they were up to the task.
Seattle scored 21 points off turnovers, including linebacker Malcolm Smith's 69-yard interception return for a touchdown. Subsequently, Smith was named the game's Most Valuable Player for his efforts, which also included becoming the first player in Super Bowl history to return an interception for a touchdown and recover a fumble in the same game.
Smith's historic performance came hours after he took to Twitter to express his excitement for the game:
Just how dominant were the Seahawks?
Seattle had the third-biggest halftime lead in Super Bowl history, a 22-point advantage, that was only outdone by the Washington Redskins (25 in Super Bowl XXI) and the San Francisco 49ers (24 in Super Bowl XXIV). Ironically, all three of the top halftime differentials came in Denver losses.
The 35-point margin of victory was tied for the third-highest in Super Bowl history, according to The Seattle Times.
"You can't play a good team like that and make mistakes; they're going to make you pay," Denver cornerback Champ Bailey said. "I'm not surprised that we got here. I'm surprised in the way we played. We definitely didn't play our best football tonight, but we played a good football team that was ready to go. We just didn't match their intensity."
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Seattle's 43-8 victory marked the first time in history that the Super Bowl's winner scored at least 40 points and the losing team tallied less than 10.
And that type of history was not lost on former Seattle Supersonic, and now, Oklahoma City Thunder all-star forward Kevin Durant, who Tweeted:
"Congrats Seattle! You deserve it!!"
Congratulations to the Seahawks on their victory streamed in from all over the football landscape late Sunday night.
"Congratulations @Seahawks teams win #championships! Most dominating Super Bowl performance ever!" said former Pittsburgh Steeler Merrill Hoge.
Added Albert Breer of the NFL Network, "Pretty incredible turnaround over the last four years by John Schneider and Pete Carroll. Complete and total overhaul."
EARLY MISCUE SETS TONE
On Denver's first play from scrimmage, a miscommunication on a snap resulted in a safety, and Seattle was quick to add two field goals that gave them an eight-point lead heading into the second quarter. The team was able to further pad its lead with touchdowns from running back Marshawn Lynch and Smith in the second quarter.
"It's not the way you want to start a game, and for whatever reason, we weren't able to get much going after that," said Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, who finished with a Super Bowl record 34 completions, but had three turnovers in the loss. "I give Seattle a lot of credit. They're an excellent football team and they caused a lot of our mistakes. At the same time, we just didn't play well tonight.
"They have an excellent defense, and to get behind and give them the lead played into their hands. That's what they do to a lot of teams. If they get a lead, it certainly benefits their team and their defense."
HALL OF FAME CLASS
Some long waits for the call from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, finally came to an end for three of the seven members that will make up the 2014 Hall of Fame Class to be enshrined this August.
In addition to Michael Strahan, Walter Jones, Derrick Brooks and Claude Humphrey, former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed, Arizona/St. Louis defensive back Aeneas Williams and Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders punter Ray Guy were selected for induction. Guy and Humphrey were Veteran's Committee selections.
For Reed, getting the call from Canton ended a long, eight-year wait. And now, he will join his quarterback, Jim Kelly, running back, Thurman Thomas, defensive end, Bruce Smith, and coach, Marv Levy, in Canton.
USA Today featured the former wide receiver following the announcement:
"I'm just glad to be with my teammates,'" Reed said. "This is the way it's supposed to be, me and my boys. I look at my teammates and my coach and we were family.
"Yes, I've waited. But my dad always told me, 'Good things come to those who wait.' These guys are immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and for me now to be with them, next to the birth of my kids, there is nothing better."