It was a total team effort that led the Seattle Seahawks to a dominating win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. But someone had to win the Most Valuable Player award, and that someone was Malcolm Smith.
Until today Smith was a relatively anonymous third-year linebacker. But Smith picked off a Peyton Manning pass and raced 69 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, a game-changing play that gave the Seahawks a 22-0 lead and signaled that this was going to be a blowout.
Smith also had a fumble recovery, a pass defensed and nine total tackles. In a game when any number of Seattle defenders could have been chosen as the MVP, Smith was a solid choice.
The 24-year-old Smith is the third linebacker to win a Super Bowl MVP, following Chuck Howley in Super Bowl V and Ray Lewis in Super Bowl XXXV.