Pete Carroll hadn’t even slept before the Seattle Seahawks coach was facing questions about 2014.
It was Pete and repeat on Monday.
The Seahawks, in the wake of their 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos, opened as 9-2 favorites to win Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix. No team has repeated since the New England Patriots in 2003-04.
“The first meeting that we’ll have will be [Tuesday],” Carroll said Monday morning. “That starts [Tuesday]. Our guys would be surprised if we didn’t. We really have an eye on what’s coming, and that we don’t dwell on what just happened. We’ll take this in stride.”
Seattle, a three-point underdog against the Broncos, dominated from start to finish Sunday. It led 2-0 only 12 seconds into the game, with its lead growing to 36-0 before the Broncos finally scored on the final play of the third quarter.
It was the most lopsided victory ever for a Super Bowl underdog.
“Sometimes it can be kind of like an avalanche,” Carroll said. “The scores start happening. Field position just tilts and everything goes your way. We were really ready. We were really ready for the opportunities.
“The first score, we had nothing to do with that one. [The safety] was just unfortunate for them on the snap and all. From that point on, we really seized the night. Whenever you play turnover football like that, it’s the formula that we try to live by. You get four turnovers, and they get none, the game is going to go that way. We had great kicking game play as well. We really were able to put the whole formula together, and that was the outcome that came out of it.”
The Seahawks began the season as the fourth-youngest team in the NFL. They became the fourth-youngest team to win a Super Bowl, with an average age of 26 years, 175 days, according to STATS.
Their quarterback, Russell Wilson, became the third-youngest to win a Super Bowl behind only Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. And he is scheduled to make only $662,000 in 2014 with a cap number of $817,302, allowing the Seahawks spending flexibility.
The Seahawks have a total salary figure of $126.943 million for 2014, with the cap projected to be $126.3 million. Their only big-name free agents are receiver Golden Tate, receiver Doug Baldwin and defensive lineman Michael Bennett.
“[General manager] John Schneider has done an extraordinary job of structuring this roster contractually and with the vision of looking ahead, so that we can keep our guys together,” Carroll said. “One of the things that happens every so often is teams have a big fallout after they win the Super Bowl. We’re not in that situation. We’ll be battling and competing. We don’t need to be in that situation. We’ve done that with foresight with looking ahead so that we would be prepared, and we’ll go back to work eventually.”
The Seahawks are built for the long haul. They believed they would win it all in 2013, and they already have a belief they can do it again.
“We’ve seen the effort that it takes to get to this point, and, obviously, we’ll try to replicate that and do it again,” linebacker Malcolm Smith, the game MVP, said Monday. “We’re looking forward to the next challenges and guys having a target on their back and people trying to come after us.”
The Seahawks are the early favorite to win Super Bowl XLIX next February in Arizona. A look at the odds for each NFL team:
25-1: Falcons, Panthers, Bears, Bengals, Colts, Eagles
33-1: Cowboys, Cardinals, Giants, Steelers, Chargers, Lions
40-1: Ravens, Texans, Rams, Redskins
50-1: Dolphins, Buccaneers, Titans, Jets
75-1: Bills, Vikings, Raiders
Source: Bovada sports book