Seahawks ready to build a dynasty
After rout of the most prolific offence in NFL history, the talk among Pete Carroll's Seattle players turns to repeating their maiden title win
Confetti still covered the field where Seattle had routed Denver 43-8 to win Super Bowl 48, and the Seahawks' merciless defenders were already talking about repeating their title win.
"We are young and we are talented," Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "We feel like we can keep 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 to record 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 defence and we deserve the respect. I hope we etched our names in the history books. That was the number one offence in NFL history."
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 offence but it was our time to show the world we are the best defence and we did it on the biggest stage. A hundred years from 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, marvelled at the turnaround. "It's amazing," he said. "I went from 0-16 to now I am a champ."
Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith became only the eighth defender to be named the Super Bowl's most valuable player.
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 defence 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 defence wins championships can gloat for a little while because it sure did tonight," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "It was a fantastic night on defence. 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."
The Seahawks, owned by Microsoft co-founding billionaire Paul Allen, lost to Pittsburgh in 2006 in their only prior Super Bowl visit.
After waiting decades for a major sports championship win, thousands of Seattleites took to the streets; fireworks popped, horns blared and flags waved.
"I was born here, I was raised here! This is my ultimate dream!" shouted John Caro, who, with his wife Corina, both 59, whooped his way down Lake City Way in North Seattle, high-fiving passersby. "We have waited so freakin' long for this!"
The last time a major Seattle sports team won a championship was in 1979, when the Supersonics took the NBA title.
"We're all in euphoria right now," said Steve McVay, a 43-year-old Seattle IT worker. "It's a huge deal for the city. Since the Sonics, we haven't won anything."
At the age of 62, after being hired and fired by a handful of teams, Carroll finally got his hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Typically, he played down his role, giving praise instead to his young and energetic team for perfectly executing their game plan.
"It's a big deal. It was a big game for us and we played great. We played the way we wanted to play," he said. "It was not really even a question in their mind that we wouldn't perform like this."
Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Associated Press