The Denver Broncos suffered a crushing 43-8 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII to close out one of the best seasons in team history.
Starting with the first play of the game things went nightmarishly for the Denver faithful. A communication issue between Peyton Manning and Manny Ramirez resulted in a bad snap and a safety. It certainly wasn’t the start the Broncos were looking for and it clearly rattled the team to a point from which they would never recover.
Things quickly went from bad to worse and the resulting loss was the worst of the Peyton Manning-era.
Here are some thoughts on the Super Bowl loss to the Seahawks:
- First, the Seattle Seahawks deserve a ton of credit. They played with poise and reckless abandon. They were the team that rose to the occasion instead of shrinking from the moment, and they deserve to be Super Bowl Champions.
- Losing the Super Bowl is devastating but I can live with getting beaten by a better team. The thing that will stay with me a long time is how poorly they played, and the fact that they didn’t even compete in the biggest game of the year. Outside of the introductions there was not much to cheer about all night. They looked like a different team than the one we’ve seen all season long and it was the worst Denver performance I’ve seen in more than two years.
- The Broncos were completely outcoached in all phases. Denver looked unprepared for the game even though they were the team with veteran players and Super Bowl experience at the head coaching position. They looked nervous and tight and went into a hole when things went wrong early. The offensive game plan was unimaginative and it made Denver look scared of the Seattle defense. They desperately started chasing points in the second quarter by going for it on 4th down instead of taking 3 point when they just needed something positive to happen. On special teams, the Broncos called for a pooch kick to open the second half when Prater should be able to drill the kickoff through the uprights. The resulting kick return for a touchdown was the dagger and it prevented Denver from even having a chance at a comeback. All in all, it was a disgusting performance on the sidelines.
- As I wrote prior to the Super Bowl, the only way to gain a clear advantage on Denver is with turnovers. That was proven true in spectacular fashion on Sunday. The Broncos lost the turnover battle by a 4-0 margin, and for good measure they threw in a safety and a kickoff return. No team can win a game when they make that many massive mistakes.
- Denver held Marshawn Lynch to 39-yards rushing and Russell Wilson to 206 yards through the air. I would have signed up for that before the game! The problem was that Denver allowed Seattle to win the game with their defense which is exactly what they wanted.
- I give the Broncos defense credit for hanging in there despite getting zero help from the offense. Denver’s first 2 drives lasted a total of 4 plays and ended with a safety and a punt. To only be down 8 points when they got the ball for the third time was a big gift and Denver could have gotten right back in it with a solid possession. Manning and the offense responded with a 3 play drive that ended with an interception.
- The Denver offensive line got exposed badly by the Seahawks. For the first time this season Ryan Clady was missed dearly, and Orland Franklin had one of his worst performances of the year. With the strength of the Seattle defense being their secondary it was imperative to keep their front seven in check. The Broncos failed miserably and the pressure on Manning sunk the offense.
- This season ended on a very bitter note, but I fully expect the Broncos to make their way back to the Super Bowl next season. They’re going to get a ton of talent back from the injured reserve including All-Pros Clady and Von Miller, and the AFC isn’t exactly a juggernaut right now. The Broncos will also be making moves to improve throughout the offseason. It will be interesting what happens in free agency since Denver has several contracts expiring, but it should give them quite a bit of freedom to pick and choose their spots. If they can improve in the right areas they’ll have as good a shot as anyone to win it all next year.
- Denver failed to bring home the ultimate prize and it will take a while to get over this loss, but they had a great run this season. I can honestly say I had about as much fun this year as you can have without winning the Lombardi Trophy. I got the chance to go to six games in person and Denver won them all, including awesome performances against Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, and San Diego and New England in the playoffs. Seeing the Broncos score 606 points in the regular season, and seeing John Elway, Peyton Manning and the rest of the Broncos celebrate an AFC Championship in Mile High Stadium are things I’ll never forget. It’s true that this season will ultimately be remembered for the Super Bowl failure, but I hope everyone can look back and say they enjoyed the ride. Life is about the journey, and the Broncos took us on a great one in 2013.
- What the hell, let’s try again next season! Now and forever, go Broncos!!!