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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Super Bowl XLVIII is quickly turning into a super nightmare for the Broncos Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

At the end of the third quarter, they are down 36-8 to the faster, more physical, more aggressive and better-prepared Seattle Seahawks.

A Peyton Manning 14-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas, and aq subsequent two-point conversion at the end of the third quarter put a momentary break on the Seattle juggernaut.

The Seahawks' 36 points to open the game was the most consecutive points to start a game in Super Bowl history.

For longtime Broncos fans, Sunday night conjured up flashbacks of the team's first four Super

Any hopes the Broncos had of getting back into the game were sunk when Seattle's Percy Harvin returned the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown for a 29-0 lead.

Seattle's lead expanded to 36-0 when Jermaine Kearse caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson, spinning off three Broncos defenders and dashing into the end zone.

Manning, crowned with an unprecedented fifth NFL MVP on Saturday night, is suffening through a miserable game.

Late in the second half, Malcom Smith picked off Manning's deflected pass and returned it 69 yards for a touchdown, boosting Seattle's lead to 22-0. Manning's first-half passer rating was 46.3, compared to 83.6 for Seattle's Russell Wilson, who's playing in just his second season in the NFL.

The game began with a terrible omen for Denver. On their first play from scrimmage, Denver center Manny Ramirez hiked the ball over Manning's head as Manning moved toward the line of scrimmage. Running back Knowshon Moreno recovered the ball in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 Seattle lead. The 12-second score was the fastest in Super Bowl history.

PREGAME

In their biggest game in 15 years, the Broncos tweaked their lineup a bit for Sunday's Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks.

Activated for the game is recently signed cornerback Marquice Cole. He replaces veteran corner Quentin Jammer.

Denver signed the speedy Cole to replace the injured Chris Harris prior to the AFC championship game against Harris' former team, the New England Patriots.

Harris tore his ACL in the divisional playoff game against San Diego.

Cole had just three practices under his belt before the AFC title games against the Patriots, so he didn't dress out. But Cole is only 30 years old — four years younger than Jammer — and has special teams and nickelback experience.

The Broncos' other inactive are third-string quarterback Zac Dysert, running back Ronnie Hillman, tackle Vinston Painter, guard Chris Kuper, tight end Joel Dreessen and defensive tackle Sione Fua.

Kuper (ankle) and Dreessen (knee) are former starters who never quite recovered from injuries this season.

Seattle's inactives are wide receiver Bryan Walters, running back Christine Michael, tackle Michael Bowie, tackle Caylin Hauptmann, tight end Kellen Davis, defensive end Benson Mayowa and defensive tackle Jordan Hill.

Mobile-friendly LIVE GAMETRACKER The Denver Post's Broncos-Seattlelive blog with updating stats and photos