What Was The Cause Of The Denver Broncos Devastating Loss In The Superbowl

The result of the 2014 was one of the greatest shocks in Superbowl history, so much so that many people even accused the Seattle Seahawks of cheating. However, when the supposed underdogs beat out one of the greatest quarterbacks who’s ever played the game with a 43-8 victory, suspicion is an understandable reaction. People knew that Seattle’s defense was very good, but most predictions were that, if the weather was fare, Peyton Manning’s greatness would simply outshine the Seahawks defense. Stephen A. Smith from ESPN’s First Take said,

“I just believe that not enough noise has been made about the Denver Broncos defense, I think their offense is big-time, I don’t see them being held to 21 point and I’m going with the Denver Broncos to win the Superbowl.”

Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith’s cohost on the show agreed with him, saying that Denver would most likely win in a close, low-scoring game. But, as roughly 111 million people saw, quite the opposite transpired. The Seahawks completely destroyed Denver with the third largest point differential in Superbowl history.

The reoccurring concern for Denver before the game was the weather. No one was talking about the Seahawks defense as much as they were talking about what problems playing outside in New York would pose for Denver’s passing team. However, the winds were not extreme and it was nearly 50 degrees at kick-off. So the question remains, why did Seattle absolutely obliterate Denver?

The answer is simply the tenacity and intellect of the Seattle Seahawk’s defense combined with Russell Wilson’s surprisingly strong performance. Bayless said, “I mostly give credit to the Seattle defense that deserved a collective MVP, and to the young quarterback, Russell Wilson, who made clutch throw after clutch throw.” Another surprising factor that played towards the Seahawks’ advantage was the noise that the Seattle fans were able to produce. In most Superbowls, the crowd is relatively quiet compared to a home game, because the fan base is virtually split down the middle. However, it has been suggested that, with the pre-weather scare, many tickets were left available and Seahawks fans took advantage of the situation. Whatever the case, the crowd was clearly in favor of Seattle. On the first play of the game, the noise of the crowd was able to confuse the Denver offense, which led to center Manny Ramirez snapping the ball over Manning’s head as he was shifting forward. This resulted in the Seahawks scoring a safety, which was the quickest score in Superbowl history. Bayless also said that he thought the noise of the crowd was so unexpected by the Denver offense that they had trouble calling audibles for the first three series.

Many people’s first reaction was to blame Manning for the truly horrific game, but the blame should not be fully laid at his feet. True, Manning did, by no means have the best game of his career, with two interceptions and a fumble, but both of those things are to be blamed by the tenacity of the Seahawk’s defense. The Denver Bronco’s offensive line consistently caved in, leaving almost no time for Manning to get the ball off, and when he did release, the coverage by the defense was outstanding. Denver did not necessarily play a bad game as much as Seattle (most notably their defense) played and amazing one.

All this being said, and even with the devastating loss, Peyton Manning’s legacy as a great quarterback will remain in tact. Tony Dungy commented, saying, “I don’t think his legacy will take a hit in the long run.” He went on to compare Manning to Dan Marino and John Elway, who both struggled to earn Superbowl rings despite their legacy as great quarterbacks. Even though he has yet to earn a ring, Manning is universally known as a great quarterback.

 

Sources:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9cXeEu4K-w

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDu6UBgZV_c

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYhd0rFVEU0

 

 

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