Super Bowl: Seahawks Cruise To Big Halftime Lead
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Peyton Manning was intercepted twice, Seattle's top-ranked defense scored a game-opening safety, and the Seahawks dominated the Denver Broncos to build a 22-0 halftime lead Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium.
On third-and-13 from the Seattle 35 late in the second quarter, Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril crashed off the edge and tipped a Manning pass. The ball floated to outside linebacker Malcolm Smith, who returned the interception 69 yards to give the Seahawks a three-touchdown lead.
The interception ended a 15-play Broncos drive after Denver ran just seven plays and didn't convert a first down in the first quarter.
Smith's interception return for a touchdown was the longest in a Super Bowl since Manning was intercepted by New Orleans Saints cornerback Tracy Porter for a 74-yard touchdown in Super Bowl XLIV.
Manning went to the halftime locker room with a 48.3 passer rating and the largest halftime deficit in a Super Bowl since 1990 (XXIV). He threw a critical incompletion on fourth-and-2 from the Seattle 19 with 1:01 remaining, when coach John Fox passed on a field goal before Manning skipped an out route to the far sideline, giving the ball back to Seattle.
Running back Marshawn Lynch plowed for a 1-yard touchdown to stake the Seahawks to a 15-0 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter, capping a seven-play drive that began with strong safety Kam Chancellor's interception at the 37-yard line.
The Seahawks dominated the first quarter, but two extended drives stalled inside the Broncos' 10-yard line and Denver limited the damage to two Steven Hauschka field goals after starting Super Bowl XLVIII with a safety.
The Seahawks ended a 13-play, 58-yard drive with a 33-yard field goal with 2:16 left in the first quarter after a 31-yarder ended a nine-play drive on Seattle's opening possession.
On the first drive, the Seahawks challenged the spot of a third-down run by quarterback Russell Wilson, and coach Pete Carroll opted not to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the 9 when the ball was placed inches shy of the first down after the replay review.
Late in the first quarter, Manning was intercepted by strong safety Kam Chancellor, who snagged a pass floating over the head of tight end Julius Thomas at the Broncos' 37. Denver's seven offensive snaps in the quarter resulted in a safety, an interception and 11 total yards.
Seattle kicked off and scored on the first snap of the game from Broncos center Manny Ramirez at Denver's 14-yard line. The ball sailed over Manning's right shoulder and was recovered by Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno in the end zone for a safety. The score was the fastest in NFL history -- 12 seconds into the game.
NOTES: The record for the largest Super Bowl comeback is 10 points, accomplished twice. ... Officially, the temperature at game time was 49 degrees. Super Bowl VI at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans -- the site was changed with Superdome construction behind schedule -- remains the coldest kickoff temperature for a Super Bowl. It was 39 degrees for that game in 1972. Super Bowl XLIX will be played in February 2015 in Glendale, Ariz., where the temperature was 65 at 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday. ... Denver's Peyton Manning became the third starting quarterback in Super Bowl history to lead two different teams to the game, joining Craig Morton (Broncos and Dallas Cowboys) and Kurt Warner (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals). Manning reached two Super Bowls with the Indianapolis Colts. ... Broncos CB Quentin Jammer was a surprise inactive, replaced on the active roster by CB Marquice Cole, who was signed three weeks ago when CB Chris Harris suffered a torn ACL. ... Broncos backup DT Sione Fua (calf) was the lone player to miss practice due to injury this week and was inactive. ... Among the Seahawks' inactives were TE Kellen Davis, OL Michael Bowie and DT Jordan Hill. ... Super Bowl winners Joe Namath (New York Jets) and Phil Simms (New York Giants) served as honorary game captains. Namath was outfitted in a full-length fur coat.