Malcolm Smith will get a lot of shine for his interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, but Cliff Avril should get just as much recognition.
Rushing from the left end, Avril disrupted the play and hit Peyton Manning’s arm as the Denver Broncos quarterback was trying to throw on 3rd and 13. The result was a wounded duck hanging in the air that Smith intercepted and returned 69 yards for the score to make it 22-0 Seattle.
Smith obviously made the play to put them on the scoreboard, but it was Avril’s pressure and hit that made it possible. Avril also had a tackle for loss in the game.
You want to know something funny about Avril? He turned down a 3-year, $30 million extension with the Detroit Lions before the 2012 season because he thought he could get more money as a free agent. He ended up signing for $13 million for two years with the Seahawks in 2013. Though he took a lot less money, he said he doesn’t regret his decision. Neither does Seattle.