Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The Seattle Seahawks lead the Denver Broncos 36-8 entering the final quarter at the Super Bowl, after their defense forced three turnovers in stopping the National Football League’s top-ranked offense.
The Seahawks jumped out a 22-0 halftime lead by scoring two second-quarter touchdowns following interceptions thrown by Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, then opened the third quarter with an 87-yard kickoff return by Percy Harvin.
Russell Wilson added a 23-yard scoring pass to Jermaine Kearse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, putting the Seahawks up 36-0. The Broncos got their first points on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Manning to DeMaryius Thomas on the final play of the third quarter and then converted a two-point conversion.
No team scored more consecutive points to start a Super Bowl than the Seahawks, who are 15 minutes away from the first title in the franchise’s 38-year history.
This is the fifth time the NFL’s No. 1 offense and No. 1-ranked defense are playing in the Super Bowl, with the defense winning three of the previous four meetings. Denver was a 2 1/2-point favorite, according to oddsmakers, yet failed to gain a first down for the first 19 1/2 minutes of the game.
The Seahawks scored 12 seconds into both halves, also recording a safety on the opening play from scrimmage as the Broncos snapped the ball over the head of Manning and into the end zone. After Steven Hauschka added field goals of 31 and 33 yards on the Seahawks’ next two possessions to push its lead to 8-0, Seattle scored two touchdowns in the second quarter.
Marshawn Lynch had a one-yard touchdown run seven plays after Manning’s first interception and linebacker Malcolm Smith scored on a 69-yard interception return. Smith also recovered a fumble in the third quarter and kept the ball as a souvenir, stuffing it under his jersey as he walked off the field.
The first Super Bowl held outside in a cold-weather city failed to set a record for the lowest temperature at kickoff in the 48-year history of the game.
The temperature was 49 degrees Fahrenheit (9 Celsius) for the start of the game about 10 miles from New York. The lowest temperature at the start of a Super Bowl played in an outdoor venue was 39 degrees at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans after the 1971 season. Only one other Super Bowl played in a non-domed stadium had a gametime temperature below 50 degrees, also at Tulane Stadium after the 1975 season, when it was 46 degrees.
The Seahawks lost their only previous Super Bowl appearance following the 2005 season. The Broncos are 2-4 in the Super Bowl and would set a record with a fifth loss.
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