Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) runs with the ball against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond (28) during the second half in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Test Seattle’s Secondary/Offensive Line Play
In two days, the best offense in the NFL will be facing off against the best defense in the NFL.
There’s no avoiding that.
In the Super Bowl, the Broncos passing attack led by Peyton Manning didn’t comply, and eight points was the result. An offense that scored 606 points during the regular season managed only EIGHT points in their biggest game of the year.
While many factors contributed to the embarrassing outcome, the Broncos’ offense plain and simple didn’t test Seattle’s secondary enough. They stayed away from anything that resembled either cornerback Richard Sherman, or safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said it best before they had to take on the defending champs last Sunday.
"“Well, I can certainly understand why (Aaron Rodgers never threw Sherman’s way Week One)” Rivers said. “He is a great corner. But at the same time, I think you have to be smart. It’s not one of the deals that you want to go after him by any means, but our approach is not going to be to completely eliminate (Sherman) and not throw over there any.”"
The Broncos can’t wipe out sections of the field due to particular players. Their offense has the weapons to do otherwise, especially with receiver Wes Welker returning sooner than expected from a silly suspension earlier this week.
All of this cannot get started without the five men up front.
Some analysts say the reason Denver lost all control in the Super Bowl was because of their horrible offensive line play.
Manning was harassed and hounded by the Seahawks’ relentless pass rush. He had little to no time to throw, and it continued through all four quarters.
He’ll have All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady back for the rematch, and a much improved line that was reshuffled in the offseason.
If the Broncos are able to take control of the game at the line of scrimmage, then their aerial attack will get that much pressure lifted off of them.