EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ —
The Seattle Seahawks' ferocious defense shut down the Denver Broncos and record-setting quarterback Peyton Manning in a 43-8 rout on Sunday to claim their first Super Bowl title.
Seattle, the NFL's top-ranked defense, turned two interceptions into second-quarter touchdowns for a 22-0 lead at intermission, the second coming on a 69-yard interception return by linebacker Malcolm Smith.
The Seahawks also recovered two fumbles in the lopsided contest that gave them their first Super Bowl crown in their 37 seasons.
After Denver's second half kickoff, Percy Harvin also took 12 seconds to score, racing 87 yards into the end zone to confirm the romp was on in taking Seattle's lead to 29-0.
Second-year quarterback Russell Wilson, leading the second youngest team ever to play in a Super Bowl, took the spotlight from five-time NFL Most Valuable Player Manning by completing 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Seattle took charge from the start; on the Broncos' first play from their 14-yard line following the opening kickoff, the snap sailed over quarterback Peyton Manning's head and running back Knowshon Moreno recovered it in the end zone and was tackled for a safety that gave Seattle a 2-0 lead.
The score came 12 seconds into the game, the quickest tally ever in a Super Bowl.
Seattle took the ensuing punt from the Broncos on their own 36-yard line and on the second play, Percy Harvin took a handoff on an end around and dashed 30 yards.
The drive continued to the Denver 13 where Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson's scramble left him one yard short of a first down and the Seahawks settled for a 31-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka that made it 5-0.
A three-and-out by Denver forced another punt, and Seattle took over on their 32. Wilson used his scrambling skills to keep the drive alive on a third-down play and then floated a perfect pass down the left sideline to Doug Baldwin for a 37-yard gain and a first-and-goal from the six.
A penalty pushed the Seahawks back and Hauschka booted a 33-yard field goal for an 8-0 lead in the first quarter.
Two defensive plays by the top-ranked Seattle defense turned into touchdodwns in the second quarter.
An overthrown pass by Manning was intercepted by Kam Chancellor and Marshawn Lynch eventually bulled over from the one for a touchdown that made it 15-0.
Pass-rushing defensive end Cliff Avril hit Manning's arm on a throwing attempt and the ball floated into the middle of the field where linebacker Malcolm Smith intercepted it and ran 69 yards for a touchdown and a 22-0 lead.