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Game at a glance: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8
EAST RUTHERFORED, N.J. – A recap of the Seahawks’ 43-8 Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night:
PLAYER OF THE GAME: MALCOLM SMITH
“Malcolm had some injuries early on in his career, and then he started at two positions this year,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said in the Seahawks’ locker room. “He’s got great football instincts. I think that’s one of the things I most admire about him. He understands routes. He understands things. He’s one of the brightest guys we have.”
And Sunday night, he also was one of the most opportunistic. Smith’s interception came on a play where defensive end Cliff Avril hit Broncos QB Peyton Manning has he was releasing the ball. Smith’s fumble return came after cornerback Byron Maxwell stripped the ball from Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas after a 23-yard completion.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Jermaine Kearse’s run after the catch for a 23-yard touchdown once he took a pass from Russell Wilson in the third quarter. Run after the catch? It was more carom after the catch, as Kearse was hit by three Denver defenders but spun away to get into the end zone.
Defense: Smith’s interception return, of course. On a night when the defense made so many big plays, it was the biggest.
“It just shows that with the way our defense plays, there’s always going to be opportunities for plays to be made,” said Smith, who picked off a pass in the end zone that was tipped by All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman to seal the victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. “It’s guys playing with such great effort out there. I’m just proud to be a part of this.”
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“This is not the finish. This is just the start. We’ve got a young team. I don’t see this stopping at all.”
Special teams: Percy Harvin’s 87-yard touchdown return with the second-half kickoff.
“It was a counter to the right, and those guys (his blockers) pretty much had wiped the whole right of the field off,” Harvin said. “There were only two guys out there. I just picked the hole and there was only the kicker left.”
Doug Baldwin had a team-high five receptions for 66 yards, while Harvin needed only two carries to get his game-high 45 rushing yards.
The Seahawks converted 7 of 12 third-down situations, or 58 percent.
The two teams were a combined 0 for 5 on fourth downs.
Manning had passes for 300-plus yards 13 times this season, but had 280 on Sunday night. So the Seahawks finished the season by allowing only two 300-yard passing performances, and they won both those games.
The Broncos had 27 yards on 14 carries for a 1.9-yard average; the Seahawks rushed for 135 yards on 29 carries, a 4.7-yard average.
The Seahawks won so convincingly despite being penalized 10 times for 104 yards.