EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Pedestrian? Appetizers? Not at the Super Bowl.
Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse had big nights during the season’s biggest game, helping them shed the title of overlooked or underrated.
Baldwin’s five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown led the Seahawks. Kearse was right behind him with four catches for 65 yards and a score of his own.
Prior to the game, the Seahawks receivers had often been derided. ESPN analyst Cris Carter referred to them as the “appetizers.” Carter also said if Baldwin needed more information on his accomplishments, to Google him.
Baldwin was stern and specific after the game when referencing Carter’s comments.
“I’m not going to say the name, but he knows who he is,” Baldwin said. “I respect what you did on the field. But, stick to playing football because your analytical skills ain’t up to par yet. We need to slow down and go back and not do it half-assed. Put some effort into it."
Baldwin took Carter up on his directive to search out information about him.
“I didn’t see any Super Bowl appearances,” Baldwin said. “I also saw two losses in the conference championships. So, I have a Super Bowl ring and I would gladly show that to him. If he doesn’t have time to come see it, tell him he can Google it.”
Kearse was a bit more diplomatic.
He, too, feels the receivers are overlooked. Kearse was undrafted out of the University of Washington and has progressively moved up since signing with the Seahawks in 2012.
Kearse’s 35-yard touchdown catch on fourth-and-7 in the NFC title game helped seal the Seahawks’ visit to the Super Bowl. His 23-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter of the Super Bowl helped the Seahawks continue their drubbing of the Broncos, putting them up 36-0 at the time.
“The receiving group, we don’t get enough credit,” Kearse said. “We battle every day, going against the top defense in the NFL every day. We make plays when we need to make them.”
SHERMAN HURT, BUT NOT BOWED
Richard Sherman left the game with a high ankle sprain in the fourth quarter and did not return. Sherman said X-Rays of his ankle were negative. He was on crutches postgame.
Sherman said he hurt the ankle in the third quarter. He was able to jog off the field, but later in the game, when he was converged on while making a play, needed to be helped off the field before being taken to the lockerroom.
The Super Bowl concluded a year where Sherman rose to fame for his on-field work and his talkative nature. He said the injury is not something that will keep him from any celebrations.
WILSON MAKES HIS MARK
Twenty six years after Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams was named Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXII at San Diego, the Seahawks' Russell Wilson joined Williams on Sunday as the only other black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
"To be the second African-American," said Wilson, "that's history right there. There are so many guys before me who have tried to change the game and done a great job at it. God's so good. It doesn't mater what you look like. It doesn't matter if you're black, white, Latino, Asian. It doesn't matter if you're 5-feet-11. It doesn't matter how many people tell you know. It's the heart that you have. That's why I try to prove every day."
Wilson, 25, also became the third youngest QB to win a Super Bowl. Only Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and New England's Tom Brady were younger.
BEAST GOES OUT QUIETLY
After a week of hoopla around how much Marshawn Lynch said or did not, he finished the season with another quiet night.
Lynch had 15 carries for 39 yards against a Denver defense predicated on stopping him. His 15 carries were his fewest since an Oct. 8 offensive debacle in St. Louis when he carried just eight times.
Per usual, Lynch did not stay on the field to celebrate. He headed right back to the lockerroom, where he was eventually asked if this was the best day of his life.
“Next to being born,” Lynch said.