Sports

NFL.com's Top 5 Plays of Super Bowl XLVIII

5.

Denver's trailing 15-0 but moves the ball semi-deep into Seattle territory, down to the Seahawks' 31 yard line. If Denver scores, the game goes to 15-7 and Hall of Famer Peyton Manning retains a sliver of control. Instead, Manning is put under insane pressure, the Seahawks' D rams him as he lets his throw go, and the ball bloops into the air and into the arms of Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith.

Smith returns it 69 yards for a touchdown, upping the deficit to 22-0 and grabbing himself the Super Bowl MVP in the process.

4.

There has never been a shutout in Super Bowl history, and Demaryius Thomas's incredible catch for the score made sure of that. Manning led the Broncos to a six-play, 80-yard scoring drive and Thomas added a touchdown to a 13-reception, 118-yard day that didn't really matter. It decreased the lead to 36-8 (with a two-point conversion completed by Wes Welker) and, for Denver, made this whole debacle of a championship a little less embarrassing than it already was. So, congrats.

3.

Doug Baldwin really doesn't like being called pedestrian, and he backed it up.

All the offensive hype heading into Sunday rested on Denver's five wideouts, especially Eric Decker, Wes Welker, and The Thomas's. Instead, it was Baldwin answering the bell again for Seattle, grabbing Russell's pass and spinning away from four defenders to find the endzone.

In Baldwin's wise words from two weeks ago: "Pedestrian... But we're going to walk our asses to the Super Bowl."

2.

Percy Harvin played about a game and a half before tonight, and a lot was made about whether he would play and whether he would be a factor.

He responded with 45 yards rushing and an 87-yard kickoff return for the TD, which opened up the second half and essentially sealed it for Seattle, running the score to 29-0 before the Broncos even knew the clock had started up again.

It was Harvin's only return of the game, and it was rather Desmond Howard-like. (That's a good thing.)

1.

'The Super Bowl Kearse'.

I spent all afternoon trying to come up with a joke that would link the last name Kearse to Denver's Hearse. As in, something about this being the Broncos funeral and it being because of Jermaine's underdog incredible-ness. I never came up with anything clever.

But it didn't change just how sweet Kearse can be, and his EA Sports-ish series of spins toward the endzone (R1! R1! JUKE STICK!) was perhaps the tastiest play in a 60-minute Seattle showcase.

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