By: S. Davis
If you’re a defensive purist then the Super Bowl was a true wet dream. While not the type of game I usually like to view, it was an example of every yard counting. It’s noteworthy when any game is dominated, defensively, when the NFL has all but mandated an all-offense, all-the-time approach. The amount of havoc caused by the Broncos’ defense was worthy of the wings and the bacon potato salad alone (it was fantastic). On the other hand, it was a letdown to see how vanilla the Carolina Panthers were in their offensive scheme.
Where were the jet sweeps, option runs and other staples of their offense on Sunday? Now I totally know the speed on the Broncos’ side of the ball mitigated a great deal of their creativity but they had far too many traditional drop backs that didn’t do too much. With that said they still had a great chance to steal the game away because the Broncos were just as inept when they had the ball. The entire fourth quarter, I waited for the one big play by Cam Newton or Ted Ginn Jr. but it didn’t manifest.
Had the offensive line kept Newton clean I think he could have hit someone deep. As good as the Broncos’ secondary is they get really aggressive in coverage. An aggressive unit can be neutered by chucking the ball downfield to draw some yellow laundry. In this age of football, all you need to do is take two deep shots a quarter and one of those times a pass interference penalty will be ruled in your favor.
I was somewhat surprised at how little steam Peyton Manning had on this throws. The two weeks of rest did nothing, nothing. He couldn’t threaten the opposing defense but he made the plays that he needed to; the interception to Kony Ealy notwithstanding. It was a fun game though. It wasn’t decided until the last four minutes of regulation so that’s a plus in my book. I always favor final scores in the fifties because I like boatloads of touchdowns but the game was all the football I’m going to get until I watch a deplorable preseason game this summer…so I appreciated it.
I’m not one of those idiots crying to the moon about Newton’s behavior in the postgame presser. He’s a sore loser and is there something fundamentally wrong with that? Not if that’s his genuine disposition after a loss – which history has shown that it is indeed. Would it suit everyone’s tastes if he arrived at the podium grinning ear-to-ear after a loss in what may be the biggest game of his career? I didn’t think so. Should Newton have shown more maturity? Yes. Does it indict his character for eternity? No.
It was a great season and I’m so pleased at its curtain call. I was going to be happy no matter who won the trophy – with the only exception being the New England Patriots. Manning, there’s nothing left to prove. His career speaks for itself and having that second title is a great way to walk off towards the next chapter. Along with Kurt Warner, Manning has been my favorite quarterback over the last 15 years.
I miss football already. Congratulations to the Denver Broncos and their fans worldwide.
Regular Season: 154-101