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Superbowl Debrief

If this was your first Superbowl, I am sorry you witnessed a mediocre game. As an event, the Superbowl is probably unparalleled around the world. Something like 115 million viewers and countless parties cheered the final game of the NFL season. In the end, it was a bloodbath.

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The Game

We all knew that Seattle had a fearsome defence. We all knew that the players would prepare for this game like no other in this season or perhaps their careers. What we didn’t know was that the Denver offence would be unprepared, not for the game, but for the onslaught they would face from the very first play.

It is quite common for the first series of plays or even first drive to be pre-determined days out from the game. There is room for the QB to change the play if the defence sets up in a certain formation. On the very first play, Denver QB Peyton Manning decided to do exactly this and changed the play. As he walked up behind his centre, the ball was snapped and went flying towards the end  zone. Knowshon Moreno jumped on the ball and Seattle swarmed him to force a safety (2 points and a kick to the opposition). From that moment, and in hindsight, the Denver Broncos never recovered.

Seattle played the same style of defence that they had perfected throughout the season; they were athletic, relentless and confident. Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and co. started to assert dominance and from there it was curtains for Denver. Forced fumbles, a pick 6, interceptions and struggles on 3rd and 4th downs led to a 36-0 score line at one point.

Undoubtedly, the biggest play of the night was Percy Harvin and his kickoff return for a TD to begin the second half and shut the door on any miracle Denver comeback. Harvin was an off-season signing from the Vikings and had only played 2 games all season for 2 total receptions. He was paid $15M for the season and proved his worth with a stunning play to add to Denver’s misery. Twitter went into meltdown and the game fizzled out from there.

Peyton’s Legacy

Say what you will but this game will probably add to the narrative that Peyton Manning cannot get it done in big games and particularly, in the biggest of them all. He is 1-2 in Superbowls and has gone into all 3 games with high expectations.

Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos

Demarius Thomas fumbles a catch, the Centre snaps at the wrong moment to result in a safety, Knowshon Moreno fumbles a rushing attempt, dropped passes by Decker and co. as well as forced mistakes from the Seahawks resulting in interceptions. How much of this is Manning’s doing? It doesn’t matter. The mainstream view will be that he is the GOAT in the regular season (as evidenced by his 5 MVP trophies) but in the clutch he just cant produce like a Michael Jordan or Joe Montana. Even his brother Eli has 2 rings with the New York Football Giants.

Seattle Defence

There was talk after the game as to how good this Seattle defence is. Comparisons to the revered ’85 Bears and the 2000 Ravens were common. Somewhere in the top 3 or 4 defences of all time was the consensus and it is hard to argue with what we saw against one of the greatest offences in history.

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Seattle played their way, their style and used blunt force to eradicate any hope of Denver putting up points. There was a chance that they were going to shut out the all-conquering Broncos.

On top of that, they are one of the youngest Superbowl winning rosters of all time. Words like dynasty were uttered after the win and if they can keep the core group together, you would be hard pressed detailing why they wont figure again, or at least next year anyway.

12th Man

Here is a scary thought, 12 seconds into the game the Seattle defence forced a safety. The chances of that were something like 50-1 with bookmakers and more like 200-1 in reality.

Crazy, right?

12 Seconds into the second half Percy Harvin turned on his after burners and took the ball to the house from the kick-off.

Most people thought that without the 12th man (loudest crowd in the NFL at Seattle home games) the Seahawks would lose some energy and confidence on defence. Oh how wrong they were. The 12th man was replaced by the 12 seconds at the beginning of each half.

What’s next.

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The NFL draft is the next port of call for NFL diehards. Names like Bridgewater, Manziel and Bortles will hold the hopes for the struggling teams needing a franchise QB. If you have had enough NFL for now, March madness is not far away and you can follow LeBron as he aims to win another NBA Title with the Miami Heat.

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2014 by in NFL, Sport and tagged , , .

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