EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Seattle Seahawks make it hard on sportswriters. Their defense is so incredible at every level that we aren't quite sure where to start.
There isn't one All-Pro pass rusher; there are four guys who can create havoc on any play. The Legion of Boom is so deep that two of its players canceled each other out in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. And there were so many candidates for MVP that a backup linebacker like Malcolm Smith somehow took home the award.
In the ultimate pass-first era, Seattle's defense shut down the ultimate passing team. And they made it look easy.
- Denver's offensive line was a disaster. Center Manny Ramirezstarted the game with an ugly snap that wound up as a safety. Crowd noise seemed to be a factor. (Score one for the 12th man!) Offensive tackle Chris Clark was manhandled a few times by Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons. Cliff Avril flew around the edge and helped force both of Peyton Manning's interceptions with pressure.
- It felt like a prayer anytime Manning threw the ball deep. His receivers weren't open, and he rarely was close to being on target.
- The game essentially was over by halftime. And it was a very strange first half. The Seahawks could not have dominated the first quarter more convincingly, yet the score was "only" 8-0. (Yardage at one point was 161-11 for Seattle.)
"It's not embarrassing at all. I would never use that word," Manning said. "That word embarrassing is an insulting word to tell you the truth."
- Yes, the Seahawks scored 12 seconds into the first half and 12 seconds into the second half. Football is weird.
- This was ultimately a disappointing ending to an incredible season. We expected the best two teams in the league all season to produce a memorable Super Bowl. It was memorable, but not for the right reasons. It was a beat down of epic proportions that brought to mind so many ugly Super Bowls from the 1980s and '90s.