By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA
Seattle Seahawks: Reliving the Road to a Super Bowl XLVIII Win
The Seattle Seahawks are the Super Bowl XLVIII champions. While the destination is what matters, fans should not forget the road the team took to get to this point. The number one defense versus the number one offense — the Seattle Seahawks versus the Denver Broncos.
General manager John Schneider assembled a special roster, and head coach Pete Carroll and his staff led it to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. From the top of the organization to the bottom of the roster, the Seahawks played like champions all year.
No season, not even a Super Bowl season, is ever without mistakes and adversity. The Seahawks had to overcome both just to get to the big game. They persevered. They overcame. They delivered.
The Seahawks started strong, stumbled at times, but ultimately, they made the plays that had to be made. In a way, their season mirrors their performance in the Super Bowl.
For all Seahawks fans, it’s time to celebrate. Begin that celebration by reliving Seattle’s super season.
Seattle made headlines early in the offseason by acquiring one of the most explosive playmakers in the NFL. It traded three draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for wide receiver Percy Harvin, who it quickly signed to a massive six-year, $67 million contract extension.
The Seahawks didn’t stop there. They rebuilt their defensive line by signing defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel in free agency, adding to a defense that was already stacked with talent.
Unfortunately, the team ended up getting very little out of its 2013 draft class. Seattle lacked a first-round pick because of the Percy Harvin trade, and ultimately didn’t make its first selection until the last pick of the second round. It then used that pick on a project running back who rarely saw the field this season.
The Seahawks ultimately ended up drafting just two players that would make an impact on the 2013 season. Tight end Luke Willson, selected in the fifth round, and seventh-round offensive lineman Michael Bowie were the only drafted players to see extensive minutes for the Seahawks this year.
Ultimately, Seattle’s offseason was about quality over quantity. It didn’t add many new faces to the roster, but those few additions proved critical in turning a good team into a Super Bowl-winning squad.
Training Camp Injuries
Training camps are meant to be uneventful. When big news stories break during camp, it rarely means good news for the team. Unfortunately, Seattle’s training camp was full of big stories.
The trouble started for the Seahawks before the players took to the practice field for the first time. Harvin, their headlining offseason addition, arrived to camp with a hip that was still sore from a June minicamp.
The team doctors believed that two months of rest would be sufficient for Harvin’s hip to heal, but that didn’t come to fruition. Harvin ended up having major surgery to repair the labrum in his hip, which caused him to miss all but one game during the regular season.
Things became worse just one week later when Sidney Rice, the team’s other star receiver, suddenly left camp to fly to Switzerland for a procedure on his knee. Rice never played a down in the preseason, and his knee left him limited early in the season. He would later tear his ACL against the St. Louis Rams on Oct. 28, ending his season prematurely.
The preseason injury problem wasn’t restricted to Seattle’s wide receivers. For the defensive line, the injury bug turned into an epidemic.
Defensive tackles McDaniel (groin), Brandon Mebane (groin) and Jordan Hill (biceps) all entered the season limited or ruled out by injuries. Defensive ends Chris Clemson (knee) and Avril (hamstring) both ended up missing the Week 1 game against the Carolina Panthers as well.
By finishing the regular season with the NFC’s best record, Seattle secured both a first-round bye in the playoffs and the right to play both of their NFC playoff games at century Link Field.
A Super Ending
Super Bowl XLVIII got off to a great start for Seattle. On the first play from scrimmage, the snap sailed over Denver quarterback Peyton Manning’s head for a safety and two quick points for the Seahawks. A pair of Seattle field goals stretched the lead to eight by the end of the first quarter.
Seattle’s defense dominated the early portion of this game as well. The Bronco didn’t move the chains for the first time until five minutes into the second quarter, but the drive ended in spectacular fashion for the Seahawks. Smith, who iced the NFC Championship Game with an interception, picked a Manning pass and took it 69 yards for a touchdown and a 22-0 lead.
The Broncos moved the ball on the next drive as well, but that drive ended when defensive end Chris Clemons tipped Manning’s pass on fourth down, causing it to fall incomplete. The Seahawks went into halftime up by three touchdowns.
The second half began in dramatic fashion for the Seahawks. Harvin took the opening kickoff all the way back for an 87-yard touchdown, extending Seattle’s lead to 29-0.
If there was one play that represented the entire game, it was wide receiver Jermaine Kearse breaking four tackles to get into the end zone after catching a pass from Wilson. The score put the Seahawks up 36-0, and the celebration began for Seahawks fans everywhere.
Peyton Manning broke up the shutout in the fourth quarter, but nothing could slow down the Seattle’s march to victory.
The Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43-8 to win the Super Bowl.
A Magical Season
The Seahawks treated their fans to a magical season. It was the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history, and the first major-sports title for the city since the Supersonics won the NBA Championship in 1979.
All that’s left is the parade through the streets of Seattle. It simply doesn’t get any better for the team and their fans.