EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin sat out most of the season after having hip surgery. Then he suffered a concussion and was not allowed to play in the NFC championship game.
So how the Seahawks might deploy the speedy Harvin was something of a mystery going into Sunday's Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos.
Harvin made an immediate impact by carrying the ball twice for impressive gains and catching two passes in the first half. Then he put a dagger in the Broncos by returning the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown, sending the Seahawks to a 43-8 victory at MetLife Stadium.
"I was finally able to give my team something for four quarters," said Harvin, who signed a $67-million, six-year contract in the off-season.
Harvin took the kickoff and showed the breakaway ability that made him a star in college at Florida and in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.
"We hadn't put it on film all year so we knew there was a great chance that we would catch them off-guard," he said. "Those guys pretty much cleared out the whole right side of the field.
"I think there were only two defenders over there. I just took the gap and hit it as hard as I could."
Playing the dozens
All season, the Seahawks have been inspired by their 12th Man crowd.
Sunday, all the way across the country, 12 was still Seattle's favorite number.
The game opened with a high snap to Peyton Manning resulting in a Seattle safety with 12 seconds to play — the fastest scoring play in Super Bowl history.
Seattle's first touchdown came with exactly 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
And Harvin opened the second half with a kick return for a touchdown that took — you guessed it — 12 seconds.
Harvin, incidentally, wears No. 11 for Seattle — although his jersey number with Minnesota was 12.
"That's what I'm talking about," said Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll. "That's the magic of 12s."
Not even close
The lopsided result Sunday ended a streak of six Super Bowls decided by six points or fewer, and 10 in a row decided by 12 points or fewer.