Monday, February 03, 2014

XLVIII: Give Seattle Credit

Watch the Super Bowl? Everyone was saying how bad Peyton Manning was, but no team could’ve done much against that Seattle defense. Football fans who know their Super Bowl history know that a majority of the games have not been “super” – in fact most have been ordinary / dull. In both victory and defeat too much credit/blame is given to the quarterback. Was it AJ McCarron’s fault that Auburn beat Alabama? You can tell by their comments which people only watch one or two football games a year.

Too little credit is being given to how good Seattle played. The Seahawks deserve 90% of the credit and the Broncos 10% of the blame. The Seahawk defense deserves all the credit. Then Russell Wilson and the offense took advantage of the field position their defense gave them. Take away the pick six and kickoff return and give Denver three field goals they passed up, and suddenly it’s an 11 point game.

The media is heaping blame on Manning’s head. Peyton accepted the responsibility and refused to make excuses – he said all the right things. In fact, there was plenty of blame to go around. Center Manny Ramirez caused the opening safety. The Broncos first two possessions started off with terrible field position because the kick returner ran out of the end zone. That didn’t happen again. WR Demarius Thomas may have caught the most passes in Super Bowl history, but he dropped one pass and only made a halfhearted effort two or three other times. Thomas also lost a fumble after carrying the ball in traffic like a loaf of bread. The defense and special teams could not contain Percy Harvin. The Denver defense missed several tackles.

So many “experts” blame Manning, when he actually did all he could do despite the immense pressure the Seattle defense continued to exert throughout the game. It was in the face of this rush that Peyton completed a record number of passes. Both interceptions came when Manning was about to be sacked – one was tipped high into the air. To his credit as much as the offensive line, Peyton was able to avoid being sacked until the fourth quarter. Under this tremendous pressure Manning still completed 70% of his passes.  

If Broncos fans are anything like Braves fans, by halftime they were calling for the firing of head coach John Fox and record-breaking QB Peyton Manning. Manning has led his team into the playoffs 13 seasons. How many QB’s can say that? Only Brady and Farve have played in more playoff games. It wasn’t Peyton’s fault that no one could tackle Percy Harvin. I am glad Russell Wilson is such a fine young man.   

Everyone was saying how the commercials weren’t any good. Not sure what the expectation was. Most years there are only two or three good ads. People had already decreed the ads were average well before the final two minute warning, when Budweiser aired their puppy ad. The ad after that one was also good. Many companies had leaked their ads a day or two before the game to get maximum exposure.

I kept one eye on the game and another on social media. People probably got tired of my constant chattering. I was also trying to get some work done on eBay.

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