Speaking of the Super Bowl, you need not look further than the title of this article to ascertain my feelings about last night's debacle of a football game. I didn't watch firsthand some of the championship thrashings of the eighties but I have never seen such a talented team collectively shit themselves in such a big spot. Once Manny "Not Being Manny" Ramirez threw the ball ten yards over Peyton's head while Manning was shifting protections I knew it was going to be a slippery slope from there. I know 2-0 is by no means an insurmountable deficit but the tone was set from that point that the Big Orange had a 53 man case of the yips.
The offensive line couldn't block a three man rush. Every time a Denver wideout caught the ball he ran backwards. Seahawk receivers seemed to always find themselves in acres of space. All this and the score was still just 8-0 after one quarter. NFL conspiracy theorists ran through all the scenarios of how a team could play so putridly and still come back. Then the snowball turned into an avalanche.
The turning point of the first half was not Manning's horrendous interception to Kam Chancellor but Tony Carter's needless pass interference on Golden Tate as the beleaguered Denver defense was on the brink of forcing Seattle into a third straight field goal. Even if interference wasn't called a holding penalty was definitely in order as Carter held the former Notre Dame product during the entirety of his route and then mindlessly shoved him out of the back of the endzone as Russell Wilson's pass barely grazed his fingertips. A dumb penalty turned 3 into 7 as Marshawn Lynch, who was disappointing himself, plowed it in from the one.
Denver's next possession is when the avalanche started to pick up steam. Manning was throwing fadeaway jumper screens the entire time as his offensive line did their best Back To The Future reenactment by fading out of the picture. The one time Manning had time to throw he got jumpy and completely overshot Demaryius Thomas. In retrospect it was probably better that he overthrew the new record holder for receptions in a Super Bowl because Zane Beadles was called for tripping. I missed the replay of the trip but with the way Denver was playing I didn't need to see it. The avalanche was barreling down the Rockies and the townspeople could not be saved. After a lovely bubble screen to Jacob Tamme got blown up for a loss and Knowshon Moreno somehow managed more than three yards on second down, Peyton "choked" again. Both tackles got roasted and Manning's pride got the best of him. Instead of taking the sack and pinning Seattle back or hell even giving the rocket launcher leg of Matt Prater a chance at a 56 yarder he moronically tried to dump off to his running back and johnny on the spot and soon to be Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith channeled Tracy Porter and took it to the house. I hope Malcolm Smith gets him some Larry Brown money.
The Broncos just flat out gave up from that point on. The next drive got into Seattle territory in no time at all and even saw Richard Sherman get injured (the first time). After two Manning overthrows, a listless Montee Ball draw for a loss led to a punt. A punt down 29 in opposing territory during the fucking Super Bowl!? You could just turned the game off there. That is unless you wanted to see more commercials (which I swear the league was telling Seattle players to just stay down so they could run more spots). Malcolm Smith sealed his MVP by recovering record breaker Demaryius Thomas' sloppy fumble as fans clamored for a running clock to just end the misery. Though this game was ugly from jump street, it was a win for fans of the way football used to be.
This game was a win for fans, like myself, that just want a winning team to become Shang Tsung and just stomp out the throat of the losing team and take their soul (not morph into them or shoot fireballs though). Seattle did just that and should be applauded for doing so. They scared Peyton's offensive line from the first snap of the game and made the quarterback who just finished the greatest regular season in NFL history look like his replacement in Indianapolis. I don't mean Andrew Luck. I was referring to the one year of Curtis Painter. What I couldn't wrap my head around at the time is how shocked so many people were by the result (Seattle winning not by the margin they won). Sorry New Englanders, this is not the point where I call Peyton Manning a choke artist who sucks in big games and shouldn't be in the conversation as a good quarterback Eli's better Tom Brady has three rings what a slob inbred horse face loser. It is the point where I bring up what the #1 offense vs. #1 defense matchup has done to some of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, HALL OF FAMERS EVEN!!
Super Bowl I saw the AFL's high powered Chiefs and Hall of Famer Len Dawson get humbled by the Green Bay Packers 35-10. Mr. Dawson went 16/27 for 211 yards with 1 TD and 1 pick before getting pulled against a team that allowed 11.6 points per game.
Super Bowl IV saw Dawson (and his now top ranked defense) took on a Hall of Famer in his own right (Canadian and NCAA) in Minnesota's Joe Kapp. Coming from the CFL Kapp led the surprising Vikings to a 12-2 record and the most potent offense in the NFL, including a game where he threw 7 TD's like Peyton did this year, but what did it get him against Kansas City's top ranked defense...2 picks, under 200 passing yards, and getting carted off the field in the fourth quarter and watching his backup throw an INT to add insult to injury in a 23-7 loss that should have been much worse.
Super Bowl XIII was the one time this matchup wasn't a debacle. Hall of Famers Roger Staubach and his Dallas Cowboys squared off with Steel Curtain Defense (and some bald guy named Bradshaw at QB). This one was on its way to laughability until Staubach orchestrated two quick strike drives in the final half of the fourth quarter to make it a respectable 35-31. In terms of the game being a blow out when #1's collide, this is the outlier.
Super Bowl XIX featured Hall of Famer Dan Marino (or Peyton Manning Beta Version to the hater nation) and the Miami Dolphins took on the immortal Joe Montana and his 49ers, who just so happened to boast the stingiest defense in the league along with a great offense. The Niners fell behind early 10-7 but then the Ronnie Lott led D shut down the record setting Marino while Montana and Roger Craig ran roughshod over a putrid Fins' D 38-16.
Super Bowl XXIV is the one time the #1 offense prevailed though prevailed is a nice way of saying physically and mentally dismantled the opponent. San Francisco dropped a 55-10 drubbing on John Elway and the Denver Broncos who gave up an average of just 14.1 points that season. To be fair though San Fran had the third ranked D so it is a bit of a wash in that department. Remember when John Elway couldn't win the big one? Then that 6th round nobody Terrell Davis showed up and ruined Elway hating forever.
It took just one year for the next incarnation of 1 v. 1 as the Giants took on the Bills in the first of Buffalo's four straight Super Bowl losses. Even with Jeff "Pornostache" Hostetler at the helm the Giants D was able to hold the trio of Buffalo HOF'ers (Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, and Thurman Thomas) at bay enough to win 20-19. Thomas had 135 yards rushing and Reed caught 8 of Kelly's 18 completions but when you leave a game at the feet of a kicker, you get what you get and you don't get upset.
Pundits will always get caught up in the glamour of a flashy offense. As a Colts fan I've been caught basking in the glow more times than I care to admit. In the end though if you have the personnel to stop an overpowering offense and even slight competency in your own offensive huddle you can win a championship. If you have that personnel though along with an All-Pro running back, a burgeoning superstar at quarterback, a great return game, and a coach that lets all three play to their strengths you win 43-8.
Trevor, like everyone else on the planet, didn't see that scoreline coming. If you did then it just means you are Biff Tannen.
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