Five most satisfying games of the Seattle Seahawks' Pete Carroll era

The Seahawks have a lot to look forward to in new head coach Mike Macdonald, but it's never a bad idea to look back on fond memories of the recent past.
Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks
Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The Seahawks dominate Super Bowl XLVIII to win their first Super Bowl, 43-8 (2013)

It was the historically great offense, led by legendary quarterback Peyton Manning versus the historically great defense as Super Bowl XLVIII kicked off at the chilly MetLife Stadium. The storyline coming into the game was if Seattle's vaunted defense could stop the high-powered Denver offense. It was projected to be a fantastic game that would likely come down to the wire.

That was not the case. Seattle dominated every facet of the game from the opening snap, which sailed over the head of Peyton Manning, mid-check, and flew out of the back of the Denver end zone. Seattle jumped out to a 2-0 lead only, fittingly, 12 seconds into the game. Seattle received the ball after the safety and on their second offensive play of the game, Percy Harvin took an end-around 30 yards to set the Seahawks up with a 5-0 lead.

Denver's ensuing possession didn't go much better than their first as they suffered a quick 3-and-out. Kam Chancellor made his presence felt early with a 2nd down hit stick on Demaryius Thomas that sent the Pro Bowl wide receiver flailing three yards backward after catching a shallow drag. Seattle would get the ball back with an early lead. Seattle drove down to the Denver 14, but settled for another field goal, extending their lead to 8-0.

On Denver's next possession, Kam Chancellor made his presence felt again. On third and seven, Manning was pressured by Cliff Avril and threw an errant pass well behind tight end Julius Thomas. Chancellor was in a perfect position to intercept the pass at the Denver 37. It took Seattle seven plays to find the end zone for the first time of the night, and with just over a minute left in the first quarter, it was 15-0, Seattle.

Denver got the ball back and finally, their offense began to produce. After looking rattled and discombobulated for the entirety of the first quarter, Manning and the Broncos' offense started to get into a rhythm and was in the midst of a productive drive. A touchdown would cut the lead to five, and Denver looked well on their way to the end zone.

However, on 3rd and 13 on Seattle's 35-yard line, the dagger of the game, in my opinion, Malcolm Smith intercepted a pop-up ball after Avril provided pressure, and took it 69 yards to the house. Seattle led 22-0 with just over three minutes left in the half and Denver was deflating quickly.

By the time the second half kicked off, the Broncos were hoping for a defensive stop and a chance to get the offense back on the field to turn the game around. But the Denver defense didn't even have the chance to get a stop. Denver kicked a short, sky ball, designed to keep it away from Percy Harvin. However, the ball bounced perfectly to Harvin, who took it 87 yards to the house. With only, fittingly again, 12 seconds off the clock into the second half, Seattle had jumped out to a commanding 29-0 lead.

After trading punts, Denver had the ball back down 29-0, needing a score for any sliver of a chance for a comeback. Two plays later, Manning found Demaryius Thomas for a 23-yard gain, down to the 21-yard line. But Byron Maxwell cocked back and punched the ball right out of Thomas's hands, and Seattle took over.

It felt like everything that could go right for Seattle, was going right. The Seahawks took only three minutes to drive 58 yards, culminating in an incredible Jermaine Kearse touchdown. Seattle was then on top 36-0 late in the third quarter and there was no doubt about this game anymore.

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The fourth quarter was fairly uneventful, other than Denver finally getting on the board and avoiding a shutout. But it was a slow burn to the final official end of the game. As the clocks hit double zero, Seattle had won their first-ever Super Bowl in dominant fashion, 43-8.

All the fantastic draft picks, sneaky-good free agent signings, and the culture built by Pete Carroll culminated that night in February 2014 as the Seahawks were crowned world champions. It was the most satisfying night to be a Seahawks fan -- and even today, I still enjoy going back and watching the game in its entirety.

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