Making Sense of a Sloppy Super Bowl Sunday 2014

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Unless you reside in the Pacific Northwest or fly a number 12 flag, Sunday’s Super Bowl was utterly disappointing given all the pre-game hype about the league’s best offense squaring off with the top ranked defense.  It was such a bad night for the men in Orange that the best performance by a playoff winning Bronco Quarterback was given by former Denver QB Tim Tebow who starred in a T-Mobile spot.

Perhaps we have been spoiled by all the close Super Bowl’s in recent years.  Not since the Jon Gruden coached Tampa Bay Buccaneers throttled the hapless Oakland Raiders 48-21 after the 2002 season had a Super Bowl been decided by more than two scores.

The Super Bowl blowout however, is nothing new.  Prior to all the drama of the 2000s the biggest game of the year was annually a snooze fest as the mighty 49ers, Cowboys, and Giants dominated their AFC opponents in the 1980s and 90s.

I think this is merely an outlier in a string of highly competitive Super Bowls.  Despite all their regular season success the Broncos were ambushed by Seattle and were completely unprepared for the physical style of play the Seahawks brought to the table. In the grand scheme of things the parity of the league will make future lopsided games unlikely.  On Sunday however, Seattle was simply an unstoppable force buoyed by their historic secondary, opportunistic second year quarterback, and their “12th man” fan base that made the trip in droves to MetLife Stadium.

Putting aside Sunday’s blowout both teams have lots of work to do to ensure a return trip to the Super Bowl in Arizona next year.  For starters Seattle will have to worry about keeping the core of their defense together, something their championship predecessors, the Baltimore Ravens were unable to accomplish.  Baltimore had starters defect from their Super Bowl winning defense and failed to make the playoffs this year.  Seattle will have lock up All-Pro safety Earl Thomas and their loud mouth, yet highly effective cornerback Richard Sherman.

Denver on the other hand may have more of a problem retaining their best players.  Wide receiver Eric Decker and running back Knowshon Moreno are set to become free agents and it is very likely that at least one of them will skip town.  The loss of either player would deal a blow to an offense that scored the most points in the history of the league this season.

Those decisions, however, will be months away.  For now though, Seattle is the toast of the NFL and the 37 year old Peyton Manning has to be left wondering whether his best opportunity to capture a second Lombardi Trophy and solidify his place as the greatest quarterback of all time has come and gone.

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