Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and executive vice president of football operations John Elway celebrate after the 2013 AFC championship playoff football game against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII: Reaction and Analysis

The Broncos are playing in this year’s Super Bowl.

Hold on, gotta go change my pants.

When will this feeling really sink in? I can’t imagine how surreal it is for the Broncos players, coaches, front office, and generally every person who is around the team on a day-to-day basis.

We’ve seen Tebow-mania. We’ve endured complete heartbreak in year one of the Manning era. And now this. Broncos fans being treated to arguably the greatest season in team history, and Denver has been rolling since a loss to the San Diego Chargers in week 15.

I don’t care about trends, cold weather, or hurricane force winds. All I care about is winning, and the Broncos obviously feel the same.

They haven’t had to score 55 points to beat San Diego and New England, two teams that a lot of people thought could come into Denver and win. They haven’t had to have defensive superstars like Von Miller, or a staple of the franchise at left tackle like Ryan Clady.

As incredible as it may seem, all the hype surrounding this team in the pre-season has turned out to be accurate. Every ounce of faith has been rewarded to this point. The Broncos are one game away from being world champions. They made it.

Permit me to say–WE made it.

Broncos Country has rallied, united in orange, and I don’t mean this to be a cheesy post at all, but I’ve never actually been able to comprehend what it’s like for the Broncos to be in the Super Bowl.

When John Elway was running the ship from under center, I was nine, 10 years of age. Hopefully that doesn’t make any of you feel too old.

Now that the feeling is starting to sink in, let’s see how the Broncos did it. It all started with seven touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens, the first game on the Denver Broncos revenge tour.

It’s culminated with two playoff wins in Denver, a win over the Chargers who made a close game out of what was otherwise a blowout, and a beatdown of the New England Patriots, who also came up short of a comeback bid in the fourth quarter.

The Broncos relaxed and watched as Seattle made a sick play at the end of regulation to send San Francisco home packing, fulfilling the most popular prophecy of this year’s NFL season–Broncos vs. Seahawks for all the marbles.

Denver’s defense is playing its best ball of the season, and to be honest with you I don’t know what exactly the secret formula is. All I can say is, the Broncos are using a variety of personnel groupings and guys are making plays when it matters most, and as we’ve seen the last two weeks, the pass rush has stepped up to make plays that we haven’t seen much of the year.

Terrance Knighton? Can you say game MVP? Pot Roast played out of his mind. And if he doesn’t like that nickname, he can pick whatever one he wants.

Shaun Phillips snatching Shane Vereen’s ankle was as big a play as any in this game, as it forced the Patriots into a two-score deficit late in the fourth quarter.

I’ve been saying this since the Houston game when Peyton broke the record, but Mike Adams’ interception of Matt Schaub must have lit a fire underneath the Denver defense, because they’ve been playing great ever since that game, giving up 13, 14, 17, and 16 points in their last four games.

And holding Tom Brady’s crew to 16 points just a week after they were easily into the 40s is a huge deal.

Personally, I think the mental hurdle of beating the Patriots in the playoffs is the toughest any NFL team has to overcome in the playoffs. Beating Tom Brady is like beating the boss on a video game. Obviously there is still an ultimate goal ahead, but mentally I don’t think anyone is tougher to play against than the Patriots, but you’re free to disagree with that.

Either way, I won’t change my opinion of the Super Bowl now based on what we’ve seen through 18 games. The Broncos are the best team in the league, and they’ll prove it in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks are great, they have a great defense, and they are tough. They have been a strong team all season, but I don’t think anyone’s as good as Denver.

I can’t wait to see that game go down in New Jersey next month, and I know the Broncos will be ready.

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Tags: Afc Championship Denver Broncos Super Bowl

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