EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The common perception is that the NFL is all about the quarterback and that it is a passing league. Much of that is certainly true.

However, when strength meets strength, and the best offense is matched against the best defense, invariably the defense wins, lending credence to the mantra that defense does indeed win championships. At least in title-game matchups.

That was certainly the case Sunday night in the Seattle Seahawks' 43-8 dismantling of the Denver Broncos, and Super Bowl history also confirms it.

--Super Bowl XLVIII was the 16th time since the merger in 1970 in which the defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL during the regular season made the Super Bowl. Seattle's win gives those teams a 13-3 record in the Super Bowl.

--With Denver having led the NFL by scoring an NFL-record 606 points, Sunday's game was the first in 23 years and fifth since the 1970 merger that matched up the team that scored the most points against an opponent that surrendered the fewest. The Seahawks' victory gives the team allowing the fewest points a Super Bowl record of 4-1.

--Finally, this game also matched a team that gained the most yards (Denver, 457.3 per game) against the team that allowed the fewest (Seattle, 273.6) during the regular season. This was just the second time since the merger that the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense met in the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XXXVII, the best defense also won as Tampa Bay defeated Oakland.

Said Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, "It's all about making history. This was a dominant performance from top to bottom. You had guys that stepped up that you wouldn't even think would step up. That's what this team is all about."

Mercy Percy

Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin did little this season because of injuries, and after he finally returned for the NFC Championship Game, he was knocked out early because of a concussion.

But Harvin was fine for the Super Bowl, and he wound up as the team's leading rusher, outgaining running back Marshawn Lynch with 45 yards on just two runs of 15 and 30 yards. Both came in the first quarter as Seattle took an 8-0 lead.

Then, with the score 22-0 at halftime, Harvin opened the third quarter by grabbing a short kickoff at the 13-yard line and dashing 87 yards for a touchdown.

Harvin said, "We had a special return that we hadn't put on film all year, and those guys told me I was going to score. It wasn't just saying it to say it. It was a counter-right, and we knew there was a great chance that we could catch them off guard. When I broke through and I saw the end zone, I really couldn't believe it."

As for being able to contribute in the biggest game of the year, Harvin said, "It's just a big horse off my back. I finally was able to give my team something for four quarters. That meant a lot to me. Being injured all season, it took a toll on me. Being able to finish and being able to give my teammates something back, because I leaned on those guys so much this year to keep me up in spirits and just keep me going, it meant the world to me."

Speaking of Marshawn

Meanwhile, Lynch had just 39 yards on 15 carries, but did score the Seahawks' first touchdown on a 1-yard run that gave Seattle a 15-0 second-quarter lead.

Lynch, who created controversy during the week with his short appearances at media responsibilities, was not surprisingly brief in his postgame comments.

On winning the Super Bowl, he said, "Dream come true." On his touchdown, Lynch said, "Kicked it all off, boss." Asked about not celebrating with his teammates on the field after the game, he said, "Man, they know how I feel about it. This is big time. This has been a tradition since I came, since forever. It's just what I do. Everybody knows it. They respect it."

Finally, in his final three of the 45 words he spoke, when asked if this was the best day of his life, Lynch concluded, "Next to being born."

Worst Blowouts

The Seahawks became the fifth team in history to win the Super Bowl by 30 or more points. Seattle's 35-point win tied for the third-largest margin of victory.

The Broncos are no stranger to title-game blowouts. The San Francisco 49ers' 55-10 win over Denver in Super Bowl XXIV represents the largest margin of victory in Super Bowl history.

Other Super Bowl routs include the Chicago Bears' 46-10 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX and the Dallas Cowboys' 52-17 win over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII.

In addition, the Broncos lost to the Washington Redskins 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII, meaning Denver was the loser in three of the five most one-sided games.

The Broncos also became the only team in history to lose five Super Bowls, and they dropped those games by a combined score of 206-58. Denver also lost Super Bowl X to Dallas, 27-10, and Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants, 39-20.

Only three NFL teams now have four Super Bowl losses: New England, 3-4; and Buffalo and Minnesota, 0-4.

Welcome the New Winner

The Seahawks became the 19th NFL team to win at least one Super Bowl. Nine teams have been in the Super Bowl and never won, while just four current teams have never advanced to the league championship game: Cleveland, Detroit, Houston and Jacksonville.

Asked what it means to bring Seattle its first NFL championship, head coach Pete Carroll said, "It's a big deal to take this back home. We have such a great following. I can't wait to get back there to them so we can give them the trophy."

The club announced after the game that a victory parade will be held in downtown Seattle starting at 11 a.m. Pacific time Wednesday.

Carroll became the third coach ever to win a Super Bowl to go with an AP college championship, which he won at Southern Cal. The other two are Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.

Not the Mannings' Place

The Seahawks totally dominated in MetLife Stadium this season. On Dec. 15, Seattle beat the Giants 23-0 as quarterback Eli Manning threw five interceptions. Thus, in the two games in MetLife, the Seahawks won by a combined score 66-8 and the Mannings threw seven interceptions.

Sunday, Peyton Manning set a Super Bowl record with 34 completions, but the Broncos gained just 280 yards, an average of just 8.23 yards per catch. Manning also passed New England's Tom Brady for the most passing yards in postseason history. Manning now has 6,589 yards to Brady's 6,424.

However, Manning had two interceptions and a lost fumble as the Broncos totaled four turnovers to Seattle's none. Super Bowl teams with the fewest turnovers are now 36-3 and those that score a touchdown on an interception return are 12-0.

Asked what the Seahawks did to disrupt their offense, Broncos coach John Fox said, "There is a reason why they were the No. 1 team in defense during the season. Give them credit. They had a lot to do with it; with a combination of coverage and rush."

Bird, Bird, Bird

It could be said "the bird is the word" after the Seahawks became the second consecutive team to win the Super Bowl that has a bird nickname. The Ravens won last season and also won one other to make those teams 3-5. The five Super Bowl losers are the Seahawks, Cardinals, Falcons and the Eagles twice.