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Analysis: Why Seahawks’ Percy Harvin Will Be Super Bowl MVP

There’s only one sensible way to end Percy Harvin’s strange season.The Seattle Seahawks will beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, and Harvin will be named MVP.Super-Bowl-Seahawks-Harvin-Football

There’s no crystal ball here. There’s no logical path to the conclusion, other than the fact Harvin can miss almost an entire season and return as the Seahawks’ most dangerous offensive weapon.

He’ll return kickoffs Sunday. He’ll be in the game plan on offense, too, probably more than anyone expects.

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Just look at how the Seahawks leaned on him in their divisional playoff win Jan. 11 over the New Orleans Saints before Harvin was knocked from the game with a concussion.

He spent one snap on the sideline before entering and catching a screen pass. Russell Wilson’s next throw went Harvin’s way, too, drawing an unnecessary roughness flag for a high hit by Saints safety Rafael Bush.

Cleared in the locker room, Harvin returned, gained 9 yards on a jet sweep to set up Seattle’s first touchdown and caught two more passes — including a sensational 16-yard grab on third-and-8 to extend another scoring drive — before getting drilled again and leaving for good.

That last play showed the impact Harvin can make even without the ball in his hands, drawing two defenders towards the run fake before turning upfield and having Wilson’s pass graze off his fingertips in the end zone after things broke down.

It also showed Harvin’s greatest blessing and curse: a fearless, often reckless playing style that wins respect from teammates, but also puts him in harm’s way.

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This is a guy who played 19 offensive snaps the entire regular season, a guy who hadn’t played in an NFL game in more than a year, and the Seahawks felt comfortable featuring Harvin’s skill set in what they hoped would be the start of a Super Bowl run.

Why? Because Harvin is a difference maker, no matter how many injuries pile up, how volatile he can be behind the scenes and how much of a battle it can sometimes be to get him to game day.

Any other player probably would’ve been placed on injured reserve long ago after undergoing hip surgery the Seahawks didn’t think he needed at the start of camp and having the hip flare up repeatedly thereafter, including in the Nov. 17 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The pain didn’t stop Harvin from making an impact that day either, catching a 17-yard pass and creating a key momentum swing with a 58-yard kick return against the team that traded him last March for three draft picks.

The Vikings were never going to give Harvin the $25.5 million in guarantees he received on the six-year, $67 million contract he got from the Seahawks, knowing all they did. But they also know he’s the rare player who commands 11 men to the football every time he touches it.

For whatever Harvin lacks in route craft, he makes up in raw speed, quickness and surprising power. He was playing at an MVP level for the Vikings last season before suffering an ankle injury in a midseason loss at Seattle that greased the skids for his exit.

“Going into the offseason, we felt very good about our team and our core of players,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider told USA TODAY Sports in July, a day after Harvin was a surprise scratch for the start of training camp.

“The opportunity to acquire a guy like Percy was extremely unique for us. We had to. We had to do that. … We’re all somewhat disappointed that he wasn’t able to start from Day 1 this season. But that being said, we know that it’s a long, long season, and it’s a marathon, and we’re going to do whatever we can to put our arms around him and help him out.”

The course has turned directions the Seahawks couldn’t have imagined. But here they are, 26.1 miles in, and Harvin has a chance to carry them across the finish line.

If he can stay on the field.


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