NFL: One Week Later

By: Shawn Davis

Now that we have last week’s event in the rearview mirror can we all just applaud the professionalism of Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers for having their performance interrupted by the second half of football but still pleasing the masses? I had no idea that a game was on the schedule.

Let me stop, ok? I should be pleased because I did select the Seattle Seahawks to win the whole thing but I’m not because the entire country was cheated by such a lopsided turn of events. I felt sick once the game-opening safety took place. If it wasn’t for the cheesy, gooey, Italian awesomeness that I baked I would have turned the channel until the halftime festivities. Honestly, I was afraid for the Denver Broncos after the mishap because that put more electricity into a Seahawks team that probably uses it as fuel better than any other in recent history. The Legion of Boom found another gear and it also trickled over to the special teams unit and their (better than advertised) offense.

It was an impressive showing by the Seahawks but I was upset that after 10 years of the Super Bowl being a relatively competitive game, it was basically over after the game-opening safety. Now the burden on that lies with the Broncos. They did not adjust – at all – to anything that was put across the field from them. Where were the route changes at the line of scrimmage? There were three or four times where Peyton Manning had Demaryius Thomas lined up as the inside receiver in the trips set, without a defender lined up across from him, and Manning never once altered his pattern to a deep strike. Error!

My biggest gripe was when the Broncos were faced with fourth-and-2 from the Seahawks’ 19 yard line, down 22-0, with about 1:06 until the concert was ready to begin. Instead of hitting Wes Welker, which seemed like a sure touchdown, as he beat his defender, Manning threw short to Thomas which fell incomplete. I said it then and I still feel as I put this piece out that they should have opted for the three points.

But the score would still be 22-3! What’s three points going to do?

I hear you loud and clear, I do. Up to that key moment in the game, the Broncos were getting stuffed at every opportunity. At the time when Manning approached the line for that failed fourth down conversion the Broncos’ drives went as such: safety, punt, intercepted pass (Kam Chancellor) and interception for a touchdown (Malcolm Smith). Taking the field-goal would have completed a nine-play drive that yielded something and possibly could have ignited them in the second half.

Make what you will of the 22-0 deficit the Broncos faced but as much time as the Seahawks had to build that lead; there was the exact amount of time remaining for the Broncos to respond with a scoring spree of their own. We saw what happened but that’s not the immediate point here. There was not one single positive going in favor of the Broncos so putting something on the board and then having an extended break at half could have served as a foundation in which to start the final 30 minutes of action.

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for thoroughly earning the championship as the best team in the NFL! It’s as if all the networks that devoted time to the game didn’t need to bother with all the senseless hours of pre-game coverage; what a novel idea.

Last week: 1-0
Playoffs: 6-5

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2 thoughts on “NFL: One Week Later

  1. MQ February 11, 2014 / 3:26 am

    Shawn,

    First of all, props for calling the Seahawks W. I, like so many others, got caught up in the Peyton-plus-5-weapons hype that I forgot that defense wins championships. Whoops.

    You’re right that Seattle fed off energy more than any other team in the league this year, and that the inexplicable opening safety gave them an adrenaline shot that Denver was simply not prepared to deal with.

    Also inexplicable — Peyton abandoning his trademark play calling at the line. Crowd noise? Something else? They should have been prepared for this. It’s a unique competitive advantage that a Peyton-F’ing-Manning team simply cannot and should not ever play without. It’s a key part of their offense and there should not exist a scenario where they can’t use it every play.

    Finally, I agree about the FG. Getting on the board in a big game — a playoff game — a SUPER BOWL game, supersedes the mathematics of what you need to catch up. Erasing your zero is a massive psychological deal.

    Either way, impressive game despite it not being competitive. Seattle is young and will be scary for years to come. Hope you’re well my man.

    MQ

    • sthewriter February 11, 2014 / 3:51 am

      I agree on every single point you made, my friend. I know the ‘Hawks are relentless on D but where were all the line adjustments? MQ, it felt like the Broncos were not the same team that they were all season. There were moments to attack Seattle – especially from the trips formation – that the Broncos did not even attempt to take advantage of.

      About the FG before half: take it and go into the lockers with enough time to take a breath and regroup. I was on the exact same wavelength as you as it pertained to the psychological hump of getting three…instead of none. Mentally, there is no logical argument that can move me off the position that going for it there was an error.

      Believe me MQ, i thought the game would be too close to call so i went with the one variable of football that survives travel, distractions, and press: defense. With that said there was no way i thought the game would turn out the way it did. Manning is my guy – i’ve beat the drum loudly for him – so i would have been glad had he slayed a dominant unit like the ‘Hawks.

      Hyperbole is not my lane but i could see the Seahawks having a strong run because they are the third or fourth youngest team in the league. It’s going to be interesting next season when they have to pay Russell Wilson – and he takes away some of their precious cap space. (Not to mention the monster deal Richard Sherman will, deservedly, merit.)

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