UPDATED: Contrary to early returns, the game ends up topping the 2012 outing by 200,000 viewers to become the biggest show ever to air on U.S. TV.
Looks like I was wrong again, it’s good thing I didn’t go on record with my predictions. Contrary to my expectation, the Superbowl had record-breaking viewership. Based on the lopsided score by half time, I assumed many viewers would tune out (as often happens in blowout games) so, the advertisers should be happy.
Michael O’Connell reports: Final ratings are in for the 2014 Super Bowl — and, contrary to early returns, which saw the game ranking fifth all-time, the NFL season finale ended up being the biggest to date. An average 111.5 million viewers tuned in to see the Seattle Seahawks blow the Denver Broncos out of the water, making it the most watched Super Bowl and the most watched program in U.S. television history.
That’s up 3 million from last year’s Super Bowl, which averaged 108.4 million viewers. That game, between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, though close, suffered an audience drop when a power outage halted the game for 30 minutes.
Sports Illustrated has the wrap-up: Despite employing something of a makeshift unit, the Broncos protected Peyton Manning better than any other O-line guarded any QB in the league. Denver allowed all of 20 sacks in 16 regular-season games, easily the lowest number in the league.
“We are confident in what we can do,” Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril said confidently on Thursday. “We feel like we can definitely rush him. Whenever we get the chance we’re going to try to make it happen.”
Make it happen, they did in a 43-8 win over the Broncos.
Avril came up with one of the most important plays of all up front. The game was still somewhat in the balance at 15-0 in the second quarter when Avril pushed his way into the pocket and hit Peyton Manning’s arm as he went to throw. Manning’s pass attempt fluttered out of his hand and into the arms of Seattle’s Malcolm Smith, who raced back 69 yards for a touchdown — turning the game from an early mismatch into a complete laugher.
Manning took just one sack in the game overall, resulting in a fumble, with 3:50 left to play. He also had little time to set in the pocket and scan the field. That was a focus for Seattle’s aggressive defensive front entering the game: moving Manning off his spots.