Not sure if you’ve heard, but the Super Bowl is this Sunday. The up-and-coming Cincinnati Bengals will face off against the “trade anything to win now” LA Rams. In honor of the big game, let’s take a quick look back at the three times the Seattle Seahawks made an appearance in the biggest Sunday of them all (at least in terms of the NFL).
Super Bowl XL – Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10
The Seahawks’ first-ever Super Bowl appearance left quite a sour taste in most fans’ mouths as controversial officiating will forever be linked to this one. Led by head coach Mike Holmgren, Seattle was the NFC’s No. 1 seed after compiling a 13-3 record through the regular season. Running back Shaun Alexander took home the NFL’s MVP award after an incredible season that saw him rush for 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns.
After rolling through Washington and Carolina, the Seahawks were viewed as underdogs heading into a Super Bowl matchup against Jerome Bettis and the sixth-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers, who went 11-5 that year. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but Pittsburgh came out on top despite various questionable calls made by the officiating crew.
Alexander ran for 95 yards on 20 carries to lead Seattle, while Joe Jurevicius recorded 93 yards on five catches. Jerramy Stevens had three receptions for 25 yards and the Hawks’ lone touchdown. Hines Ward was named the game’s MVP as he hauled in five catches for 123 yards and a score. Though the biggest highlight was likely Willie Parker’s 75-yard TD run.
Super Bowl XLVIII – Seattle 43, Denver 8
There’s no question this will resonate as Seattle’s best Super Bowl performance as the team rode a dominant defense all the way to a championship following the 2013 season. The Seahawks again went 13-3 to claim the top seed in the NFC. They then beat New Orleans and San Francisco to reach the big game, where they matched up against a historic Denver Broncos team that broke nearly every regular season offensive record on their way to an identical 13-3 record and were also the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Denver set NFL team records with 606 points and 76 touchdowns scored, among others. Peyton Manning threw for more yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55) than anyone before or since. All of those records still stand today.
Seattle didn’t care about the Broncos’ offensive prowess as the Legion of Boom defense dominated from start to finish en route to the only title in the franchise’s history. Denver didn’t help itself as the first snap of the game flew over Manning’s head and into the end zone for a safety. The Seahawks never looked back and rode the momentum to a blowout victory.
Malcolm Smith was named MVP as the linebacker recorded 10 tackles, a fumble recovery, and took an interception 69 yards to paydirt.
Super Bowl XLVIII – New England 28, Seattle 24
The Hawks followed up their Super Bowl-winning campaign of 2013 with another SB appearance following the 2014 season. Seattle went 12-4 and again locked up the NFC’s top seed, downing Carolina and Green Bay for a second-consecutive trip to the big game. The Seahawks found themselves matched up a guy named Tom Brady – back when he was still with New England. The Patriots had also gone 12-4 and were the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
In what would go down as one of the best Super Bowls of all time, Seattle famously came up short as Russell Wilson’s pass from the 1-yard line was intercepted by New England cornerback Malcolm Butler with 20 seconds left. (We won’t get into whether the Seahawks should have run the ball.)
Despite being intercepted twice, Tom Brady was named the game’s MVP after completing 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch ran for 102 yards, and a touchdown on 24 carries to lead the Hawks.
It was easily Seattle’s greatest heartbreak as the team hasn’t reached the Super Bowl since.
And finally, let’s look ahead to Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup:
Cincinnati (13-7) vs. Los Angeles Rams (15-5)
This could be a fun one. The Bengals were an inconsistent team during the regular season, going 10-7, but have found ways to win in the playoffs. Cincy took care of Las Vegas at home before knocking off Tennessee and Kansas City on the road to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 1988 – when they fell to San Francisco, 20-16. It’s the Bengals’ third appearance, and they’re 0-2 in Super Bowls.
The Rams were viewed as a top team throughout the 2021 season en route to a 12-5 record, and they solidified why during the postseason. LA defeated Arizona, Tampa Bay, and San Francisco to reach the big game. It is the Rams’ fifth Super Bowl appearance, with their only win coming after the 1999 season (SB XXXIV). LA lost its last appearance following the 2018 season to New England, 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII.
While logic says to go with a Rams team that has more veterans and experience, there’s something about this Cincy squad. I’m going with the underdogs to get their first-ever Super Bowl win.
Pick: Bengals 31, Rams 27