EAST RUTHERFORD, February 3 – Confetti still covered the field where Seattle routed Denver 43-8 to win Super Bowl 48, and the Seahawks’ merciless defenders were already talking about repeating their dominating title effort.
“We are young and we are talented,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “We feel like we can keep doing this and doing this and doing this. To be a dynasty you have got to win more than one.”
Seattle forced four turnovers from the most prolific scoring attack in NFL history Sunday to humiliate the Broncos in the third-most lopsided rout in Super Bowl history.
“We showed the world we are up there with the best,” said Seattle defensive back Richard Sherman, who led the NFL with eight interceptions this season. “We’re a complete defense and we deserve the respect.
“I hope we etched our names in the history books. That was the number one offense in the history of the NFL.”
Peyton Manning set passing records for touchdowns and yardage in a season and led Denver to a record 606 points. The Broncos needed almost 20 minutes to manage a first down and were one play from becoming the first Super Bowl shutout victims.
“Very disappointed — we definitely felt like we could have held them to zero. That would have been even better,” said Wagner, who made a team-high 10 tackles.
“They are a good offense but it was our time to show the world we are the best defense and we did it on the biggest stage. A hundred years form now you are going to remember this team.”
Safety Earl Thomas, who made seven tackles and deflected a pass, wants teams to remember his relentless defensive unit next season.
“Once I get success like this, I want more success. When you are at the top you just want to stay at the top,” Thomas said. “It was all about making history. This was a dominant performance from top to bottom.”
Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril, who played on a Detroit team that went 0-16 in 2008, marveled at the turnaround.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “I went from 0-16 to now I am a champ. This feels great.”
Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith, who returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown and recovered a fumble, became only the eighth defender named the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.
“I was just happy to be on the field,” Smith said. “I just represent how our defense played. I’m basically here on behalf of them.
“It’s just a tremendous feeling. I can’t even explain it.”
Wagner said he could see the Broncos fading as a result of being hit time and again by the punishing Seahawks defenders.
“Towards the end of the game we were definitely getting to them. They were getting hit, something they are not used to. They started to fold,” he said.
“They haven’t played a defense like ours, that flies around like we do, that hits like we do. They were going to fall eventually.”
Manning was manhandled by a ruthless bunch that deflected his passes, hurried his throws and made his Super Bowl record 34 completions bittersweet.
“All these people who say defense wins championships can gloat for a little while because it sure did tonight,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
“It was a fantastic night on defense. We got to him in key situations and made the ball come our way.”
Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn stressed the pressure needed to keep Manning in check.
“When you face a quarterback like him you had better be able to affect him,” Quinn said. “Our guys know how to rush. We knew they would have to deal with us in terms of being fired up.