NFL training camps are about to open, and I’ve done something I have not done in a couple of decades, maybe more: play the APBA Pro League Football Game. (I’ve been playing the company’s baseball game – again – for a while now, but its football offering was my gateway drug into this tabletop gaming thing back in 1980, and I’ve just recently purchased a new copy of the game.)
The game I bought comes with four teams: the Super Bowl combatants from the 2013 season (Seattle and Denver) and the BCS Championship Game opponents from that same year (Florida State and Auburn). I decided to make my first foray back into APBA Football a replay of Super Bowl XLVIII. The title of this post probably gave it away, but you can see what happened below.
Beastly! Lynch Runs Seahawks to Title
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Marshawn Lynch ran for a Super Bowl record 209 yards and scored three touchdowns, the last on a gutsy fourth-down call with two minutes to play, as the Seattle Seahawks won their first NFL championship Sunday evening, 48-35 over the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium.
After Peyton Manning‘s fourth touchdown pass of the game – a 55-yarder to Eric Decker – got Denver within six points at 41-35 with 6:45 to play, the Seahawks went on an 80 yard drive that took up nearly five minutes. Steven Houschka kicked a 36 yard field goal to make it 44-35 with just over two minutes left, but Denver was offside on the kick, giving Seattle a fourth-and-one at the Denver three. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll gambled, taking the points off the board and giving the ball to Lynch for the 36th time in the game. The back nicknamed “Beast Mode” paid off his coach’s confidence as he burst through the middle and scored to put the game out of reach.
“I figured we could either be up by nine with two minutes left or put them away,” Carroll explained. “When you have a big back like Marshawn and the game’s on the line, you’d be pretty dumb not to give him the ball in that situation.”
The Seahawks, playing in their second Super Bowl, jumped out to a 14-0 lead on Lynch’s first touchdown (an 8-yard run) and a 1-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin.
Denver finally cranked up its offense in the second quarter, scoring three touchdowns on four possessions. Knowshon Moreno scored on a 6-yard run to make it 14-7, and after Wilson threw his second touchdown pass of the half (a 6-yarder to Golden Tate), Peyton Manning threw two of his own. A 63-yard catch-and-run by Demaryius Thomas cut the lead to 21-14, and a 2-yard fade route to Julius Thomas on the last play of the quarter tied the affair at 21 at the half.
The third quarter belonged to the Seahawks. Seattle had the ball for 11 minutes and scored 17 points, with Wilson finding tight end Zach Miller in the seam for a 50-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring. Lynch later ran for his second score from four yards out, and Steven Houschka kicked a 20-yard field goal. Denver ran just seven offensive plays in the period.
When Houschka kicked his second field goal – a 36-yarder – with just over 10 minutes to play, Seattle led 41-21 and the outcome seemed settled. But Manning brought the Broncos back again, hitting Demaryius Thomas down the right sideline for a 65-yard score to make it a 41-28 game with 9:45 to play. After Seattle went three-and-out, Manning found Eric Decker across the middle for a 55-yard score. The two touchdowns in three and a half minutes brought the AFC champions within a touchdown with just under seven minutes left.
That’s when Lynch took over and cemented his MVP performance. He carried seven times for 67 yards on the ensuing, critical drive, including a 46-yard gallop around right end on third and five from the Seattle 36 with 4:30 to play. Six plays later, after Carroll eschewed the made field goal in hopes of putting the Broncos away, Lynch gave Seattle its final margin with his final, three-yard scoring run. Lynch’s 209 yards on the evening broke Timmy Smith’s Super Bowl record of 204 yards set in Washington’s 42-10 rout of – coincidentally enough – Denver in 1988. With Wilson throwing for 274 yards on 17-of-25 passing, the Seahawks racked up 518 total yards, the third most in the game’s history.
Richard Sherman intercepted Manning’s 47th pass of the night – the Bronco quarterback completed 28 for a near-record 407 yards and four scores – to seal the victory with 1:15 to play. As the confetti streamed down on the Seahawks after the final gun, Seattle had won its first Super Bowl in its 38th season in the NFL and Denver had been denied for the fifth time in seven tries.
Seattle Seahawks 14 7 20 7 - 48 Denver Broncos 0 21 0 14 - 35 SEA - Lynch 8 run (Hauschka kick) SEA - Baldwin 1 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick) DEN - Moreno 6 run (Prater kick) SEA - Tate 6 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick) DEN - Thomas 63 pass from Manning (Prater kick) DEN - Thomas 2 pass from Manning (Prater kick) SEA - Miller 50 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick) SEA - Lynch 4 run (Hauschka kick) SEA - FG Hauschka 20 SEA - FG Hauschka 36 DEN - Thomas 65 pass from Manning (Prater kick) DEN - Decker 55 pass from Manning (Prater kick) SEA - Lynch 3 run (Hauschka kick)
Seattle – Lynch 36-209, 3 td, R. Wilson 7-18, Turbin 5-13, Robinson 6-4
Denver – Moreno 11-53, 1 td, Ball 1-2, Manning 2-0
Seattle – R. Wilson 17-25-0, 274 yards, 3 td
Denver – Manning 28-47-2, 407 yards, 4 td
Seattle – Miller 6-142, 1 td, Lynch 3-68, Tate 3-32, 1 td, Robinson 2-19, Baldwin 2-6, 1 td, Rice 1-7
Denver – J. Thomas 8-76, 1 td, D. Thomas 6-169, 2 td, Decker 6-93, 1 td, Moreno 4-49, Welker 4-20
Super Bowl records set, tied or approached in this replay game:
- Marshawn Lynch‘s 209 yards broke Timmy Smith‘s record of 204 set in Super Bowl XXII. With 18 points and 3 touchdowns, he tied a record set four times and his 3 rushing touchdowns tied Terrell Davis‘ mark set in Super Bowl XXXII. His 277 combined net yards gained was within 13 yards of Jacoby Jones‘ record of 290 set in XLVII. His 39 combined rushes and receptions tied John Riggins‘ mark set in XVII and his 36 rushes were two shy of Riggo’s mark.
- Seattle’s 32 first downs broke San Francisco’s record of 30 set in XIX against Miami and the 55 combined first downs was better than the 50 racked up by Miami and San Francisco in XIX.
- The 82 combined points was a new record (75, San Francisco vs. San Diego, XXIX), as were the 671 combined passing yards (649, New England vs. Carolina, XXXVIII), 10 combined PATs (the old record of 9 was set in XIII and XXVII) and 970 combined offensive yards (929 in XXII between Washington and Denver).
- Four combined kickoff returns was a new record low (the record of five was set on three occasions).
- Denver’s 0 punt returns ties a record set 8 times. (Seattle, incidentally, had 0 punt returns in the real Super Bowl XLVIII.)
- With 0 combined punt return yards, Seattle and Denver tied the mark set in XXXII and XXXIII.
- Peyton Manning‘s 407 yards passing was 7 yards shy of Kurt Warner‘s record set in XXXIV when he played for the Rams against the Titans. With 397 net passing yards, the Broncos were 10 yards behind St. Louis’ 407 in that same game.
- The seven combined touchdown passes tied the record set in XIII and XXIX.
- Ten combined touchdowns tied the record set in XXIX.
- Seattle’s 518 yards of total offense was third all time (the record is the 602 yards by Washington in XXII), their 14 first-quarter points tied the record (accomplished 7 times), their 4 first downs by penalty tied the mark set 6 times and their 54 rushing attempts were just 3 behind Pittsburgh’s mark of 57 set in IX against Minnesota.
- Finally, just as in the actual Super Bowl XLVIII, Russell Wilson was not sacked, tying the mark for fewest sacks accomplished on nine previous occasions.