What do you take away from the incredible performance from Seattle, and the equally inept display from Denver? It was as complete a lopsided Super Bowl as we have seen since Tampa Bay beat Oakland 48-21 in January of 2003 (that shoulda been the Eagles, I know) and since Baltimore overwhelmed the Giants two years earlier.
There are blowouts from time to time in the Super Bowl and never are they expected. Why did Seattle destroy Denver? Let us count the ways, before talking about how Seattle's victory impacts your Philadelphia Eagles ...
- Momentum is huge in the game of football. Denver opened the game from the line of scrimmage with a botched snap that resulted in a safety for Seattle and that seemed to knock the unflappable Peyton Manning into the land of flap. Denver's offense never got on track, continuing to make mistakes to set Seattle's offense up in great field position. That opening safety was the first of three Broncos turnovers in the first half, one of which was a Manning interception returned for a touchdown. Seattle led 22-0 after the first half.
- Seattle dominated in every phase of the game, including special teams. Percy Harvin (more on him in a moment) returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown and it was 29-0 and long over with nearly a full half to play. Gotta make plays on special teams. The kickoff is part of the game. It is, in fact, a major part of the game when the air is heavy and kickoffs don't sail through the back of the end zone.
- Speed kills in every department. Seattle was just a much faster team in every respect. They were faster off the ball, faster to the ball on defense and so much faster in the skill areas.
- Seattle clearly accomplished much more in the two weeks between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. The game plan was superior for Seattle in every phase. Seattle's pass rush flummoxed Manning with edge pressure and the coverage behind the pass rush was spot on. Did Seattle miss a single tackle? Isn't this the model defense for the entire NFL to try to emulate in terms of intensity, confidence in the scheme, depth, physical nature and trust? Seattle's defense has been building toward this for a few seasons. It doesn't happen overnight. Seattle's defense played fast on every snap.
- Harvin is a special talent and Seattle used him perfectly. Harvin got into the running game and the passing game right away, opened up Denver's defense on the edges and then delivered the killer blow with the electrifying kickoff return. Wouldn't you love to see what Chip Kelly would do with a player like that? We talk a lot about adding to the Eagles' defense, and no doubt the Eagles are going to address that side of the ball. But trust me when I tell you that every coach looks for talent like Harvin has to use in the offense. Playmakers, playmakers, playmakers. You need them, and lots of them, in each phase.
- Russell Wilson stepped up and played a fine game at quarterback for Seattle, completing 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards and a touchdowns. He was composed. He ran away from pressure when it was there. I wasn't big on Wilson until this game. He came through at the biggest moment.
- Manning looked terrible -- fidgety in the pocket, not throwing with authority, making poor decisions. That first turnover put the Broncos and Manning in a funk from which they never escaped.
- What does it all mean for the Eagles? I think everyone has a good idea of where the Eagles are as the 2014 season begins and every team starts at 0-0. This is a promising roster and a team that is moving in the right direction. It's also a team that plays in an NFC that is very tough, and the understanding is clear: The Eagles have a lot of work to do to catch Seattle and San Francisco and New Orleans, for that matter.
- Ahead for the Eagles? The Eagles will soon make their plans for free agency and will assemble their staff for the Scouting Combine and then dig in to the process of upgrading the roster. Can't wait, right? Everyone is excited. The Eagles have a wonderful season ahead as we close the books on 2013. Seattle takes it all, convincingly. The Seahawks played their best game of the season at the right time and took Denver apart. The rest of the league now chases the Seahawks.