The Broncos mascot "Thunder" was probably Denver's only member who put on a solid performance Sunday night.
Denver certainly made a mockery of my prediction of a 28-24 win in its favor. Twelve seconds into the game on its opening possession, a poor snap sailed into the back of the end zone. Following the game, Manning told the media that "crowd noise" was the factor for the errant snap. Crowd noise? Come on, Peyton.
Everyone knows that when Manning was in Indianapolis, head coach Tony Dungy had stadium personnel pump artificial crowd noise into the RCA Dome's speakers to simulate game situations.
If anyone knows how to deal with crowd noise, it should be Manning. Manning sounded like a little kid telling his mother that he doesn't know who broke the vase, when he was the only one home. Accountability, not excuses -- that's what the media wanted to hear from the Broncos signal caller following their 43-8 Super Bowl XLVIII loss to Seattle.
How is it that the NFL's top-ranked offense turns the ball over three times and scores just one touchdown? To put it bluntly, Seattle's defense is good ... really good. Shocking? Not really.
There is a reason why Seattle was the NFL's best defense this season. It was not because of the Seahawks' opponents being weak; it is the strong secondary that locals in the sleepy city of Seattle call "The Legion of Boom."
Well, the Seahawks' defense certainly lowered the boom on the Broncos. Seattle was getting quality pressure on Peyton Manning who passed for 249 yards on 35 attempts and threw one touchdown and two interceptions. Manning was named League Most Valuable Player prior to the start of the Super Bowl, and he surely didn't live up to the title.
Demariyus Thomas led the Broncos with 13 receptions for 118 yards. On the other side, second-year Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 206 yards and two TDS in his first Super Bowl. But, Wilson was not the MVP.
Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith picked off Manning late in the first half and took it back 69 yards for a touchdown. Smith was named the game's MVP and for good reason. Smith's touchdown put Seattle up 22-0 at the half and all but made the game into a laugher. To be honest, I had a hard time keeping interest in the game.
But, nevertheless, I kept watching.
Judging by the television ratings that were released Monday morning, America did, too. This year's Super Bowl, albeit a one-sided bloodbath, was the most watched Super Bowl ever. That's right, ever. The game drew over 111.5 million viewers in the United States, according to the Nielsen company. Sunday night's game falls into the category of being so bad, yet you just cannot look away.
Seattle dominated -- there's no question about it. And, how about that Seahawks' fan base's celebration in Seattle? For the most part, the fans were responsible. Heck, they even waited for the crosswalk sign to signal it was alright to walk before partying in the street. Now, I guess that is to be expected when one of their colors, bright green, is the same that is donned by crossing guards ... I'm just saying.
One of the big stories leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII was what the weather in New Jersey would be like for the big game. It remained relatively dry for much of the evening with a steady temperature of 39 degrees. As the game ended, a snowstorm blanketed the tri-state area with a significant amount of heavy wet precipitation. What do the Broncos do now?
Quite simply, clean out their lockers. That's all they can do. The Patriots laid an egg against Denver in the AFC Championship game, but could they have given the Seahawks a better game? Who knows? It's a hypothetical question. There's always next year. Manning has all-but locked up his fate as the greatest regular season quarterback of all time. Rex Grossman, yes the former Chicago Bears quarterback, has a better passer rating in the playoffs than Manning. Just some food for thought. Manning is a shoe-in for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but it will not be for his 1-3 record in the Super Bowl record, that's for sure.
As of right now, New England is a 14-1 odds-on favorite to win next year's Super Bowl. But first it needs to address some of its needs both offensively and defensively in the NFL draft.