6. Conservative offense, aggressive formations: Carroll meets with his QB on Mondays and for big games reminds Wilson of the value of protecting the football. As he says, turnover ratio is the path to victory in the NFL. With Harvin available for full duty, the Seahawks spread the field with some fanciful formations. Twice on the first offensive possession, Bevell used a four-receiver set that featured Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate and Jermaine Kearse -- no back, four receivers and a tight end.
On Seattle's first possession, Wilson hit Kearse with two short completions. "We used the first series as a fact-finding mission," Bevell said. "We wanted to see their alignments and how they were going to play things." The Seahawks sprinkled in a few changes to that formation as the game proceeded, including using Harvin out of the backfield, and the results were strikingly efficient: The Seahawks had 341 yards on 55 plays -- an average gain of 6.2 yards per play, compared to Denver's 4.8 -- and held the ball for 31:53, enough to dominate the game. The Seahawks set a Super Bowl record by scoring 36 unanswered points to start the game, with contributions from the offense, defense and special teams.
7. Injuries caught up to Denver: In the four games leading up to the Super Bowl, including two in the postseason, the Broncos' defense became very stout against the run despite losing five starters to injury. They allowed only 280 yards of rushing in those four games. Against a younger Seahawks offense, the Broncos looked unathletic and slow. The myriad injuries left the Broncos with just a handful of regulars -- two starting defensive linemen, linebacker Von Miller, cornerback Chris Harris and safety Rahim Moore were out. Champ Bailey, the team's senior cornerback, played only five regular-season games because of a foot injury and looked slow when Baldwin got behind him on a 37-yard completion.
8. Top offenses don't translate into Super Bowl rings: The 2013 Broncos owned the No. 1 scoring offense in the history of the NFL, and high-scoring teams had high hopes of changing a trend. Not so fast, said the Seahawks' defense. Including Sunday night's Denver debacle, the nine highest-scoring teams in NFL history have failed to win a Super Bowl. Manning set a Super Bowl record with 34 completions -- and it meant nothing. The Broncos were blown out. The Broncos averaged 36.8 points per game during the regular season and went 13-3, and yet they failed to score against Seattle until the final play of the third quarter. This is a lesson of the extremes. Scoring is everything in the NFL, but if you are going to be No. 1 in anything, it's better to be No. 1 on defense.
9. The Seahawks have their quarterback: Wilson was reliable and his numbers were solid, but not great. They never are. Carroll restricts him to roughly 25 passes a game, and it's Wilson's job to make most of them. He did just that in Super Bowl XLVIII, completing 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Though not spectacular, Wilson was efficient -- as always. "He's the general," Harvin said of his QB. "I haven't seen anybody prepare the way he prepares. There were three minutes on the clock, still ticking, and he's still in our faces telling us, 'Stay ready,' and we're like, 'Man, the game's pretty much over.'"