It's official. The Broncos will be facing the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl in two weeks.
After watching the Seahawks beat the 49ers a few minutes ago, I can safely say: no big deal. There is no 12th man in New Jersey.
What will invariably be billed as the league's best defense versus Peyton Manning, will actually be a banged-up defense facing the best offense of all time.
The smile on Champ Bailey’s face said it all.
A grin as wide as his Hall of Fame career has been long.
And now, thanks to a little Peyton Manning pixie dust (via the legend John Elway), Bailey is going to play in his first Super Bowl and biggest game of his career.
Elway, for his part, did say he was going to restore greatness to the Broncos.
On the biggest game of the year, I couldn't help but state the obvious:
It's been fifteen years since we've seen
the AFC champs--that's obscene.
It ends on this day
with the Broncos' big play
and Tom Brady is missing his spleen.
While the 24-17 final score won't indicate it, this win was as good as a blowout.
The Chargers couldn't score until the fourth quarter; when they did, it took some pretty fluky stuff to get them into the game. Some garbage zone, blown coverages, and an onside kick later, the game narrowed.
But let's face it, the Chargers came into the game wanting to attack the edges on first and second down. The signing of Jeremy Mincey, which may turn out to be one of the best signings of the year, made this team stronger outside the tackles. And while you may not believe it, Nate Irving and Shaun Phillips both set the edge as well as Von Miller could have.
Well, it's finally here, Broncos fans--the day the Broncos purge their demons. Who better than Phil Rivers to bully?
There’s revenge in the air on this day,
and the Charger’s aren’t getting away.
So bring on Phil Rivers
who never delivers
when he’s on his ass on each play.
Now, take your best shot. It's ass kickin' time.
It's been said many times that quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are great because they can see things in the defense that others can't; that they have some innate ability that's just missing in quarterbacks like Tony Romo or Andy Dalton.
Of course, much of that is true. Manning can spot a leveraged linebacker a mile away, mostly because linebackers are stupid and often give away their intentions due to their aggressive nature. But that's beside the point, really. Each week, we have analysts break down the intricacies of Cover 1 vs. Cover 2, man-press coverage vs. zone, and everything in between.
But sometimes it's simpler than you think. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the weakest kid on the playground.
Just remember: no matter how bad things are, they can always get worse.
For example, you could be a Chiefs fan right about now. All year long their team gave them false hope, from their acquisition of Alex Smith, to their weak-ass schedule, to their near win against the Chargers with their reserves in Week 17.
Most points in a season? Check.
Most passing yards in a season? Check.
Best team in football? We'll see.
It's playoff time. Everyone goes bare chested and bare knuckles. And we all know what happened to the Broncos last year in the same set of circumstances.
The good news is that last year means not one damn thing; the Broncos are peaking at the exact right time.
Peyton Manning also isn't completely bare this time around. He's had a whole season to get used to the the glove.
It's never fun to kick a team when they're down, unless, of course, that team happens to be the Oakland Raiders:
It's the Raiders again in last place,
the silver and black a disgrace.
There are more high-draft picks
for this team turning tricks
on the streets of the AFC race.
I was uncomfortable comparing the Oakland Raiders with prostitutes for about--let's say two or three seconds. I qiuckly got over it. Now it's your turn, Broncos fans.
In an era of passing gunslingers and greatness, nothing is supposed to surprise us any longer.
Records are broken to be made to be broken--again and again. But let's consider what Peyton Manning has just done.
51 touchdowns and counting--in a Broncos uniform, no less.
Even if he doesn't throw another touchdown all year (which he will), that's over three touchdowns a game, for sixteen games. It's breakable, but you'd better bring your rabbit's foot, a lunchbox, and an army of Pro Bowl receivers.
What's left unbroken? The Broncos hold on the overall number one seed.