From the first offensive play of the game, the Broncos worst nightmare never seemed to end, as they walked out of MetLife Stadium a 43-8 loser in Super Bowl XLVIII.
To put it in plain terms – the Broncos were crushed.
On the first play for the Broncos after the kickoff, Peyton Manning had the ball snapped over his head into the end zone by center Manny Ramirez.
Knowshon Moreno dived on it for a safety to make it 2-0 Seattle just 12 seconds into the game.
“They outplayed us in all three phases,” Broncos coach John Fox said.
It never got any better, as the Seahawks kept the pressure on all night, making it a laugher by the half, going up 22-0.
“They have an excellent defense, they executed better than we did tonight,” Manning said.
“They made more plays on defense than we did, they forced some turnovers, probably a credit to them for forcing them.”
A 69-yard interception return touchdown by linebacker Malcolm Smith, who was the games MVP, made it 22-0 at the half.
If the Broncos had any thoughts of a comeback, the thoughts were dashed as Percy Harvin went back with an 87-yard kickoff return to open the second half to make it 29-0.
“We had a bounce-right, counter-right. We were calling for it all week,” Harvin said.
“We knew it was a good chance. We had to put that on film all year and the guys did a heck of a job blocking. As soon as I caught the ball, it was open field.”
Manning never was able to get the Broncos offense going, and it showed in his numbers.
He threw for 280 yards in going 34-for-49, with two picks and one score. His 24.4 Total QBR was his lowest in a game this season, and the worst in the Super Bowl since Rex Grossman in 2006 (7.1).
The Broncos run game – awful. They ran for 27 yards on 14 carries and were a non-factor all evening long.
“I definitely didn’t expect this type of performance from our team. … It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way it played out,” Broncos CB Champ Bailey said.
It was a tough pill to swallow for the number one ranked offense in the league the entire season.
They watched a young Seattle D be more physical, push them around, and never give an inch as they dominated in one of the biggest Super Bowl blowouts of all-time.
“We just didn’t play like we’re capable of. I was disappointed. Hopefully, we’ll learn from this. It started tough. We just couldn’t seem to get it going,” Broncos VP John Elway said.