Malcolm Smith isn’t one of the best-known names on the Seahawks No. 1 defense, but in Super Bowl XLVIII, he made his name known to the nation watching.
Smith’s 10 tackles were a season high and led Seattle’s defense, but they went relatively unnoticed because of his 69-yard interception returned for a touchdown in the second quarter. The pick-six gave the Seahawks a 22-0 lead and pretty much put the game out of reach for the Broncos.
Overall though, he was at the center of a Seattle defense that simply suffocated one of the best offenses in the history of the game.
They forced four turnovers and shutout the Broncos through the majority of three quarters. The Seahawks 35-point margin of victory was tied for the 3rd-largest in Super Bowl history.
Therefore, it was only appropriate that a defensive player be named the MVP of the game.
Malcolm Smith, in this third year out of USC, became the first defensive player since Tampa Bay’s Dexter Jackson in Super Bowl XXXVII, to win Super Bowl MVP.
“It’s unbelievable,” Smith said to USA Today. “I’m in shock. We expected a great fight from them. We kind of just dominated the game.”
But in the big picture, the versatile linebacker represented the “outcasts” that the Seahawks were known as to the outside world.
A former 7th-round pick, no one imagined Smith would have the game-saving interception against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship two weeks ago. Or become Super Bowl MVP in his third NFL year.
The same can be said about so many other Seahawks.
Russell Wilson was too small to succeed in the NFL. Pete Carroll could never win in the NFL.
And yet, this group of “misfit toys” came together to make history.
Wilson is the 3rd-youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Carroll is the third coach to win a national championship (at USC) and a Super Bowl.
Malcolm Smith deserved to win MVP, but what he represented was a player who nobody believed in, that stepped up to help a team bring home a championship for the first time.
It was only appropriate.