Gut Reaction: Super Bowl 48 - Broncos vs Seahawks

There’s a lot of emotion swirling inside any Broncos fan right now. A loss like this one feels raw, exhausting, and most of all, personal.

After all, we’ve been with this team for 19 games now. We’ve watched them set records, only to fall well short in the biggest game of the year.

But let’s face it, today was never meant to be the Broncos’ day. We need to accept that fact. The first play of the game was a self-induced safety. The first play of the second half was something I can only describe as completely bizarre.

But even without such alien abductions, the Seahawks were the better team.

They were more physical, more athletic, more aggressive, and the 12th Man absolutely fits into your carry-on luggage; they did what they do, which is to say, they take teams out of the flow of games (the pattern of drives feels like a minefield by the end of the game).

A loss is much harder to take when you know you should or could have won the game.

A loss like this, though, as deflating as it is, and as much as we want to rail at the referees and players and coaches, feels a lot like fate.

In other words, the team that should have won did so.

Only, this wasn’t supposed to happen, right?

This wasn’t John Elway and a bunch of no names. This was the greatest offense in NFL history. This fact only adds to the feeling of complete helplessness.

Could the Broncos have done anything differently? Sure, they could have passed, blocked, run, tackled, and coached much better.

All the Broncos can do now—no, all any of us can do—is wallow in this feces-lined fact for an entire offseason.

The Positives

  1. Are you f#$%ing serious? Take your Skittles and eat them. I hope you puke.

The Negatives

  1. How you don’t game plan for Percy Harvin is simply asinine. Either that, or Jack Del Rio did game plan for Harvin, but Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left his intensity at the hotel. DRC generally likes to play the game without his shoulder pads, but with Harvin in the game, his apathy was palpable.
  2. More than anything else, the crowd was a factor. For a game played on the East Coast, the crowd was decidedly and shockingly pro-Seahawks. I think Peyton Manning and the Broncos were shocked too. This felt like a road game from the first whistle. And in fact, I think that noise had a lot to do with the Manny Ramirez miscue.
  3. The Broncos’ tackles—in particular, Orlando Franklin—looked as bad as they have all season long. In fact, really the whole offensive line played awfully, especially in pass protection. Give Seattle credit, though. Their defense was as advertised.
  4. The more I think about it, the more I realize the Broncos’ entire offense was hardly physical at all. Sure, the Seahawks played a lot of zone and reacted to underneath crossing routes (the zone, react, and hammer strategy), but do you remember any fire coming from any of the Broncos outside of Knowshon Moreno on a few running plays?
  5. Trindon Holliday was supposed to give the Broncos a boost in the return game. And on the play he gave a little, he still almost turned it over.
  6. Are you kidding me, John Fox? You punt from the 39-yard line down by 29 points after running a draw on third down? Where is your head, man?
  7. Another sign it’s not your day—your best wide receiver gets a big gain only to drop the ball on the turf like he has put money on the Seahawks.
  8. Scarier than the 39-yard rub play on Champ Bailey was the fact that he looked a little gimpy trying to recover from being leveraged inside.
  9. Peyton Manning had a bad day. It happens. I just wish it didn’t have to happen in the Super Bowl.
  10. Serious question—is the AFC so bad that no one could have prepared the Broncos for this kind of physicality?

The Who the Heck Knows

  1. The last time the Broncos were pasted by the Seahawks, John Elway went all Tourette Syndrome on the team. What does he do now?
  2. It could be worse, you know. You could be Warren Sapp.
  3. Although I generally rail against all owners most of the time, I feel particularly bad for Pat Bowlen, given his deteriorating health. Let’s hope he gets back next year.
  4. Another critical issue in this game that won’t get much attention in the Seattle-is-so-physical narrative you’ll hear in the next week is the fact that this crew of referees leaned to the side of letting the defensive secondary manhandle Denver’s wideouts.
  5. Hard to understand the challenge by John Fox in the first quarter. The replay seemed pretty clear that it was a forward pass. All we can guess is that someone told him it was close enough to throw the flag.
  6. The only thing missing from FOX’s marathon reading of the Declaration of Independence to begin the game was Tim Tebow.
  7. After today’s game and with the raw emotion I’m feeling, I wouldn’t mind if Eric Decker does decide to test free agency.
  8. Speaking of Decker, according to a pregame report from Ian Rapoport, the Broncos will re-sign Shaun Phillips in the offseason and view Decker as a #2 wide receiver. Thus, they’ll let Decker test the market as a #1 before negotiating with him.
  9. Does Peyton Manning retire? According to my boys Ted and Doug, hell no. According to Mike Freeman, he does.
  10. Since I didn’t write anything positive where it was supposed to go, the good vibes I got most of the game from Denver’s front four (or front seven, for that matter) had to make their way here. Thanks for at least giving the Broncos a chance in the first half. Also, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker both had statistically good games on paper.
  11. You know, I shouldn’t have to mention this, but all together now: football isn’t life. It doesn’t pay your mortgage or keep you warm at night. Feel a little sad for a few days, give your own gut reaction to your coworkers, then get back up and punch a Raiders fan in the groin just to make sure you completed the grieving process.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

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