I don’t know about you, but I was unprepared for the events of Sunday night. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks were both supposed to have played a game in New Jersey, but only one team showed up. And man did they show up on the biggest stage possible. It’s time for The Final Drive of Super Bowl XLVIII!
(16-3) Seattle Seahawks 43
(15-4) Denver Broncos 8
It was a seemingly normal first quarter of a Super Bowl, with some sloppy play and penalties galore on both sides. But Denver took that sloppy to a new level, starting off with a unruly snap by center Manny Ramirez, who hiked it right over Peyton Manning’s head before he was ready. It resulted in a rare safety and some lucky bastard somewhere made a SHIT TON of money on the prop bet. But that first play proved to be foreboding as hell. Denver’s defense stayed strong (even after giving up a 37 yard catch to Doug Baldwin) on the next few drives, forcing field goals in the hopes that Manning and that offense would get their shit together. The Broncos didn’t manage a first down until the second quarter (but had turned it over once already due to a Kam Chancellor pick), so there was plenty of complaints to be made regarding Denver’s poor execution. Man, we DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT WAS COMING.
A 69-yard Super Bowl BOOMERANG would put the score at 22-0. That was because Cliff Avril knocked Manning’s arm during his throwing motion, resulting in the airball that Malcolm Smith ran under. And again, someone (not me) made a crap-load of money on that bet.
As much as the first half was about Manning’s supposed inadequacies, it was also just as much about Seattle’s imposing pass rush. The two interceptions were clearly caused by pressure on Peyton, who didn’t have time to even glance down the field. But he’ll be fine, right? He’ll get the ball to start the half and make things right again, surely.
After avoiding a coma at halftime (Nutella cups and balls of meat were the offenders), I was ready for the second half to begin, anxious to see the adjustments Manning and the Broncos would make. And that’s when Percy Harvin blew the doors off the game with an 87-yard kickoff return. But it didn’t stop there. Another accurate Wilson pass found Jermaine Kearse, whose catch and double-spin’s made me fall in love with the NFL all over again.
Demaryius Thomas ruined Denver’s first half-decent drive with a fumble caused by a Peanut Tillman-like punch-out from Byron Maxwell. But that slight glimmer of hope was just rudely snuffed when Wilson found Doug Baldwin near the goal line on the ensuing drive. Baldwin made about five defenders miss on the second hottest football play of the night.
It was about that time when I decided stop taking copious notes and just enjoy the epic level beatdown the Seahawks were dishing out. You watched the game, why read it all over again? When those rooting for Denver in the room (not me, because I wanted to be right) realized that the Broncos wouldn’t make a comeback, we just found other ideas to latch onto. We were cheering for the shutout. That was ruined by Demaryius when he made a wicked catch in the endzone, capping off a drive aided by a Seattle pass interference penalty. A Welker 2-point conversion and the Broncos had an adorable eight points. When the shutout fell through, we wanted the fifty-burger. And by god did the Seahawks ruin two perfectly good chances to make that happen. What assholes. Still… it wasn’t all bad for yours truly…
My 2014 NFL Playoffs Prediction Record: 5-4-2
That GIF is just dripping with sarcasm.
Other Notes of Note
-I did question Seattle’s decision to not go for the first down early in the game. They had been spotted two points by the crazy safety. I would’ve been a little ballsy and tried for the touchdown there. The field goal put them up 5-0, so we were in full-on baseball score for a few minutes there. (Fucking safety.)
-The halftime show was adequate, but there was no legitimate crossing over between Mars and the Peppers. I call shenanigans. Why would you get two artists and not actually let them perform a duet? Still, if the NFL could have a similar halftime show every year, they would. It was non-offensive and sorta appealed to a wide audience.
-On a night when you had plenty of Seahawks to choose for the game’s MVP, Malcolm Smith was a good a choice as any of them. His pick-six was the nail in the first half coffin and put Manning in a 22-point hole. Oh, and that fumble recover later on didn’t hurt either.
-Percy Harvin changed the entire game for Seattle. He had 137 all-purpose yards, including his kick return. Does that trade seem fair now? (Maybe.)
-Peyton Manning looked distressed most of the night. He usually gets the ball out quick, but his offensive line didn’t give him any protection at all. Almost every QB would look like crap against that kind of rush.
-Seattle fans were nearly scared shitless by an injury to Kam Chancellor, but he only missed a single play. Unfortunately, Richard Sherman went down later in the game with what sure looked like a ACL tear. It’s been reported as a high ankle sprain. Lucky him.
-I gave no shits about any commercials. I honestly don’t remember any of them at this point, aside from the Captain America and Spider-man spots. *Next morning note: I did piddle a little because DINOBOTS.
-I didn’t hear 28 Omaha’s tonight. I’ll be interested to see what the result of that prop bet was. (Or more likely I’ll forget because I’ve been hearing him and Eli say “Omaha” for years now.)
I’ll be back with Final Thoughts later this week (probably Tuesday), but let’s look at the bigger picture for a second here. I’d caution viewers to not put too much blame on the Broncos here. They certainly did not perform up to their lofty standards, but the Seahawks simply blew them off the ball tonight. It’s easy to just chalk it up to the offense sucking, but this is really what elite defense looks like. Good defense looks like shitty offense. This isn’t just about Denver’s struggles. It’s certainly about Seattle’s successes too. The 2013 Seahawks are now on the same level as units like the 2000 Ravens or 2003 Buccaneers, teams that won on the backs of tremendous defenses. And now they get to live it up with the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl win.
And on that note, this guy is going to go and collapse on his bed.