Doing it better than it had ever been done before

During his introductory news conference, Pete Carroll uttered a line on that January afternoon in 2010 that sounded audacious at the time but proved to be prophetic.

“We’re going to do it better than it’s ever been done before,” Carroll proclaimed on his first day as coach of the Seahawks.

During the 2013 season, Carroll’s fourth with a franchise that had captured one conference championship and played in a title game just twice in its first 37 seasons, the Seahawks went out and did just that. They not only won Super Bowl XLVIII, they did it in emphatic fashion by throttling the productivity out of the most-productive offense in NFL history during a 43-8 romp over the Denver Broncos and QB Peyton Manning at MetLife Stadium.

The Seahawks not only made it look that easy, it was — even if they were the only ones who could see it coming against a Broncos offense that had done so much so right all season.

“I knew we’d play well, just because the guys had prepared so well,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said in the locker room after the game. “We’ve all heard about, ‘That guy, he’s got a chip on his shoulder.’ We’ve got a bunch of them. Big chips.”

In a game that was over long before it was finished, linebacker Malcolm Smith returned a first-half interception 69 yards for a touchdown, a pick-six that paved the way to Smith being named Super Bowl MVP, Percy Harvin returned the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a TD that made it 29-0, Russell Wilson threw second-half TD passes to Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, Marshawn Lynch also scored, and the defense made life miserable for Manning and any other Bronco who dared cross their determined and dominating path.

“I told the guys before, when we were watching film, I was like, ‘We’re going to come out and dominate these guys,’” linebacker K.J. Wright said of how the Seahawks’ confidence had grown despite a week of everyone telling them they had no chance to keep pace with the Broncos.

In the end, the Seahawks became the first team in Super Bowl history to score via a safety (on the first play of the game), kickoff return and interception return — as well as passing and rushing on offense.

What followed three days later was almost as mind boggling as the Super Bowl outcome: a victory celebration of a parade through downtown Seattle and an estimated crowd of 700,000 delirious 12s.

Obviously, that long-awaited first Super Bowl victory was well worth the wait.

“My mind is blown. My body is cold,” All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said as he was climbing out of the 29th — and final — vehicle that carried the players and coaches along the parade route on the chilly afternoon.

“But we’ve got the best fans in the world.”

And those fans — the 12s, as they have become known — had plenty to cheer about even before the Seahawks’ impressive run to the Super Bowl that included victories over the New Orleans Saints in the playoff opener and a dramatic six-point victory over the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers in a game that wasn’t decided until Sherman made what has been dubbed the “Immaculate Deflection” in the end zone that Smith intercepted with 22 seconds left in the NFC Championship matchup.

The Seahawks’ No. 1-ranked defense was paced by Sherman, whose eight interceptions led the league, the All-Pro safety tandem of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, who finished second and third on the team in tackles and combined for eight interceptions, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, the team’s leading tackler, and linemen Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, who combined for 16.5 of the team’s 44 sacks.

“We put together a couple of seasons — back-to-back really big-time seasons in scoring and playing good, solid defense in a similar fashion,” Carroll said of the defense following an impressive 2012 season with an even better one in 2013. “And that’s pretty cool.”

The defense also led the NFL in interceptions (28) and takeaways (39), two big reasons why the Seahawks were a league-best plus-20 in turnover differential during the regular season and a playoff-best plus-7 in the postseason as well as average points (14.4), yards (273.6) and passing yards (172.0) allowed.

On offense, Wilson and Lynch provided a 1-2 punch that KO’d opponent after opponent, especially while shoving the zone-read option into a ridiculously productive gear. Wilson’s ability to escape pressure and Lynch’s knack for breaking tackles played off another, and into one another.

Wilson twice set the franchise record for rushing yards by a quarterback, first with 77 in a Week 4 overtime win against the Texans in Houston and later with 102 in a Week 5 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis. But Wilson’s best plays were those he did not allow the defense to make because his mobility — no, escapability — made it impossible to catch him.

“He’s Houdini,” Sherman said of Wilson’s ability to not only escape from pressure situations but put the pressure on the defense because of it. “There’s some Houdini in there somewhere. I don’t know if he’s a relation.”

Lynch, meanwhile, produced 14 touchdowns during the regular season while rushing for 1,257 yards and catching 36 passes for another 316 yards. In the postseason, the team’s Beast Mode back added a playoff-leading 288 rushing yards and four more scores. As with Wilson, some of Lynch’s best plays were those he should not have been able to make after being hit at or behind the line of scrimmage.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to block for a back that creates yards like that,” Pro Bowl center Max Unger said. “When he does that and he’s throwing piles, and he’s carrying people before he goes down, it just makes you want to do your job that much better.”

On special teams, kicker Steven Hauschka scored 143 points — second in franchise history to the 168 that Shaun Alexander put up during his league MVP season in 2005 — and punter Jon Ryan had 28 of his punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

In the end, the sum of all this was obvious: The Seahawks had a chance to go where so few teams have by winning back-to-back Super Bowls, because they finally won their first.

Preposterous? Definitely not, as Carroll put it when he met the media one last time following the victory celebration, which also attracted 50,000 fans to CenturyLink Field and another 27,000 12s to Safeco Field across the street.

“It’s an extraordinary opportunity, because it’s so difficult for teams to come back and play well after winning the Super Bowl,” Carroll said. “We take that challenge on now, nose to nose. We’re going to go after it and see what we can do about it.”

Year in Review
Record
13-3 (first in the NFC West)
Playoffs
3-0. Beat New Orleans in a divisional game; beat San Francisco in the NFC Championship game; beat Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII
Owner
Paul Allen
Coach
Pete Carroll
Captains
QB Russell Wilson (offense), DE Red Bryant (defense), LB Heath Farwell (special teams)
MVP
FS Earl Thomas was selected by Seahawks.com
Man of the Year
WR Doug Baldwin
Largent Award
Thomas
Leading Passer
Wilson (257 of 407 for 3,357 yards, with 26 TDs and nine interceptions)
Leading Rusher
Marshawn Lynch (1,257 yards)
Leading Receiver
Golden Tate (64 receptions for 898 yards)
Leading Tackler(s)
MLB Bobby Wagner (119)
Special Teams Tackles
Farwell (15)
Interception Leader(s)
CB Richard Sherman (8)
Sack Leader
DL Michael Bennett (8.5)
Leading Scorer(s)
K Steven Hauschka (143 points)
Pro Bowl Selection(s)
SS Kam Chancellor, Lynch, Sherman, Thomas, C Max Unger, Wilson
All-Pro
SS Kam Chancellor, Lynch, Sherman, Thomas, C Max Unger, Wilson

2013

2013: Doing it better than it had ever been done before

In their fourth season under coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks won the franchise’s first Super Bowl title and did it in emphatic fashion to cap a magical march.

2013 Games
Key Date
February 01, 2013

Walter Jones became the third original Seahawks member to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame joining Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy.

Re-signed Kam Chancellor
April 22, 2013

Signed SS Kam Chancellor to multi-year extension.

Key Date
December 14, 2013

Chuck Arnold was promoted to Chief Operating Officer for the Seahawks.

Key Date
December 22, 2013

The Seahawks club record 14-game home winning streak was snapped versus the Arizona Cardinals in a 17-10 loss. It was QB  Russell Wilson’s first loss at CenturyLink Field in two seasons as a starter.

Key Date
January 17, 2013

Named Dan Quinn defensive coordinator after Gus Bradley accepted the head coaching position with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Walter Jones Voted into Pro Football Hall of Fame
January 17, 2013

Former tackle Walter Jones was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Jones spent his entire 12-year career with Seattle and was a nine-time Pro Bowler.

Key Date
February 13, 2013

Named Travis Jones defensive line coach. Named Nick Sorenson coaching assistant/special teams.

Key Date
March 12, 2013

Traded a 2013 first-round and seventh-round draft choice and a 2014 third-round draft choice to Minnesota for WR Percy Harvin.

Key Date
June 20, 2013

Tag Ribary promoted to Director of Team Operations and Trent Kirchner promoted to Director of Pro Personnel.

Win First Franchise Super Bowl
February 02, 2013

The Seahawks won the franchise’s first Super Bowl after defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8 at MetLife Stadium. The Seahawks first score came on a safety 12 seconds into the game becoming the quickest score in Super Bowl history.

Key Date
November 03, 2013

The Seahawks erased a 21-0 first half deficit vs Tampa Bay to come back and win 27-24 in OT, the largest come-from-behind victory in team history.

Key Date
June 28, 2013

Cortez Kennedy named Team Ambassador.

Defeat Saints in Playoffs
January 11, 2013

Seattle defeated the New Orleans Saints 23-15 in a Divisional Playoff Game.

Tie Franchise Record
December 29, 2013

The Seahawks tied a franchise record by limiting the St. Louis Rams to just 13 rushing yards in the season finale.

Advance to Super Bowl
January 19, 2013

The Seahawks advanced to the second Super Bowl in franchise history after defeating division rival San Francisco 23-17 in the NFC Championship Game

Super Bowl Victory Parade
February 05, 2013

The Seahawks victory parade through downtown Seattle culminating at CenturyLink Field was celebrated by an estimated crowd of more than 700,000 fans.

Key Date
June 21, 2013

Seahawks General Manager John Schneider signed extension.

Key Date
September 08, 2013

Seahawks won their season opener at Carolina 12-7, the first of a team-record tying 13-win season.

Key Date
April 01, 2013

Traded QB  Matt Flynn to the Oakland Raiders for a conditional draft choice

Add ProShop at CenturyLink Field
June 07, 2013

New remodeled and expanded Pro Shop opens at CenturyLink Field.

It’s an extraordinary opportunity, because it’s so difficult for teams to come back and play well after winning the Super Bowl. We take that challenge on now, nose to nose. We’re going to go after it and see what we can do about it.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
We put together a couple of seasons — back-to-back really big-time seasons in scoring and playing good, solid defense in a similar fashion. And that’s pretty cool.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
But we’ve got the best fans in the world.
CB Richard Sherman
We’re going to do it better than it’s ever been done before.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
2013 Season Schedule
Click on any game
to see full statistics.
DateOpponentScoreW:L
9/8 AT Carolina 12-7 W
9/15 San Francisco 29-3 W
9/22 Jacksonville 45-17 W
9/29 AT Houston 23-20 W
10/6 AT Indianapolis 28-34 L
10/13 Tennessee 20-13 W
10/17 AT Arizona 34-22 W
10/28 AT St. Louis 14-9 W
11/3 Tampa Bay 27-24 W
11/10 AT Atlanta 33-10 W
11/17 Minnesota 41-20 W
12/2 New Orleans 34-7 W
12/8 AT San Francisco 17-19 L
12/15 AT New York Giants 23-0 W
12/22 Arizona 10-17 L
12/29 St. Louis 27-9 W
POSTSEASON
1/11 New Orleans Divisional Playoff 23-15 W
1/19 San Francisco Conference Champ. 23-17 W
2/2 AT Denver Superbowl 43-8 W
2013 Record
133
Playoffs: 3-0
2013 Offense
PosPlayerStarts
C Lemuel Jeanpierre 0
C Max Unger 13
G James Carpenter 10
G J.R. Sweezy 15
OT Caylin Hauptmann 0
OT Michael Bowie (R) 7
T Breno Giacomini 9
T Alvin Bailey 0
T Russell Okung 8
T Paul McQuistan 8
T Paul McQuistan 6
TE Zach Miller 11
TE Luke Willson 0
TE Kellen Davis 0
WR Doug Baldwin 10
WR Bryan Walters 0
WR Percy Harvin 0
WR Golden Tate 13
WR Ricardo Lockette 0
WR Jermaine Kearse 0
QB Tarvaris Jackson 0
QB Russell Wilson 16
FB Derrick Coleman 0
FB Michael Robinson 3
RB Marshawn Lynch 16
RB Christine Michael 0
RB Robert Turbin 0
+ View All-Time Roster
2013 Defense
PosPlayerStarts
DE Benson Mayowa 0
DE Cliff Avril 0
DE Michael Bennett 0
DE Red Bryant 15
DE Chris Clemons 11
DT Tony McDaniel 15
DT Clinton McDonald 0
DT Brandon Mebane 16
DT Jordan Hill 0
LB O'Brien Schofield 0
LB Heath Farwell 0
MLB Bobby Wagner 14
OLB Bruce Irvin 12
OLB Malcolm Smith 8
OLB K.J. Wright 13
OLB Mike Morgan 0
CB Walter Thurmond 0
CB Richard Sherman 16
CB Byron Maxwell 5
CB Jeremy Lane 0
DB DeShawn Shead 0
FS Chris Maragos 0
FS Earl Thomas 16
SS Kam Chancellor 16
+ View All-Time Roster
2013 Special Teams
PosPlayerStarts
K Steven Hauschka 16
LS Clint Gresham 16
P Jon Ryan 16
+ View All-Time Roster
2013: World Champions

VIDEO: 2013: World Champions

On this Day in Seahawks History