Welcome to New York

Fine Fifteen

1. Seattle (15-3). The Seahawks were built in the images of Pete Carroll and John Schneider: Play very fast, recklessly and calculating on defense, and physically and with the ability to strike deep when needed on offense. That’s what they’ve done in their eight playoff quarters, and I’m sure nothing will change in Super Bowl 48.

2. Denver (15-3). The single-best performance of Championship Sunday … but after watching the Seattle defensive front swarm and the Seattle secondary break up so many important passes, I say Seattle’s a tick better. If Peyton Manning gets the kind of protection in New Jersey Feb. 2 that he got Sunday, though, this is going to be one of the great Super Bowls.

Talk Back

Have a question or comment for Peter? Email him at talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in Tuesday’s mailbag.

3. San Francisco (14-5). Kaepernick giveth. Kaepernick taketh away.

4. New England (13-5). It’s obvious: The Pats were outplayed in all ways Sunday. But to take the knocks this team has taken all season, it’s a great accomplishment to have gotten to the Final Four.

5-9. Carolina (12-5), San Diego (10-8), New Orleans (12-6), Green Bay (8-8-1), Philadelphia (10-7).

10-15. Indianapolis (12-6), Kansas City (11-6), Arizona (10-6), Cincinnati (11-6), Pittsburgh (8-8), Chicago (8-8).

The Award Section

(Aaron M. Sprecher/AP :: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images :: Elaine Thompson/AP (2) )
(Aaron M. Sprecher/AP :: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images :: Elaine Thompson/AP [2])
 

Offensive Player of the Week

Peyton Manning, quarterback, Denver. In control for 60 minutes, Manning outplayed his nemesis Tom Brady (he would have outplayed anyone on this day) with a 32-of-43, 400-yard, two-touchdown, no-pick, 118.4-rating game in the 26-16 AFC title victory over the Patriots. He evened his record in the postseason at 11-11, and it’s hard to think of a playoff game (maybe early in his career, in 2003, in the playoff game against defenseless Kansas City) he ever played better.

Defensive Players of the Week

Kam Chancellor, strong safety, Seattle. In the last 20 minutes of Seattle’s NFC’s win, Chancellor made three huge plays: the intimidating crush pass-broken-up on Vernon Davis, the interception of Colin Kaepernick, and then forcing a footstep-hearing Michael Crabtree to short-arm an incompletion with two minutes left in the game. For the game, Chancellor was everywhere, making 11 tackles.

Terrance Knighton, defensive tackle, Denver. Biggest single defensive play of the game for Denver: Pot Roast’s 10-yard sack of Tom Brady on 4th-and-2 late in the third quarter from the Denver 29. But Knighton was impactful in other ways too, including being the backbone on his run-stuffing denial of the New England two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. The man’s going to be a force for Marshawn Lynch to deal with in 13 days.

Special Teams Players of the Week

Ryan Allen, punter, New England. Don’t blame Allen. His three first-half punts (60 yards to the Denver 15-yard line, 55 yards to the Denver 18, 32 yards to the Denver 7) pinned Peyton Manning way back, but the Patriots’ defense couldn’t hold up. Denver drove 73 yards and 93 yards to 10 points off two of those punts. His three punts for a 49.0-yard average were a collective playoff rarity: every one inside the 20.

Doug Baldwin, wide receiver/returner, Seattle. His 51-yard reception in the first half was impactful, because it set up the field goal for Seattle—the lone points for the home team in the first half. But his 69-yard kick-return came at a vital time in the game. Midway through the third quarter, the Niners had just gotten the stunning jump-pass touchdown from Colin Kaepernick, and Baldwin took the ensuing kickoff up the right side for 69 yards. That set up another Seattle field goal and neutered the Niners’ momentum.

Coach of the Week

Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator, Seattle. All season, Quinn has rotated his defensive front intelligently and gotten players like Michael Bennett to accept different roles than they traditionally played. It paid off with a brutish tour-de-force second half against the Niners. The Seahawks forced three turnovers in the final 11 minutes and swarmed around Colin Kaepernick so much that, watching at home, Peyton Manning had to be thinking, “Can we play six offensive linemen against them in the Super Bowl?”

Goat of the Week

Colin Kaepernick, quarterback, San Francisco. Perfect description by Jimmy Johnson on FOX after the Niners lost the heartbreaker in the NFC Championship Game: “He kept them in the game with his legs, but he hurt them with his arm.” Hurt them, as Johnson said, by turning it over three times in the fourth quarter: two interceptions and a strip-sack by Cliff Avril. Kaepernick is a scintillating player who will have many great days in the league. But the fourth quarter he played against a very good defense was the biggest factor in the loss. “I cost us this game,” he said afterward.

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602 comments
fuggetaboutit909
fuggetaboutit909

broncos had a relatively easy time with the pats on both sides of the ball..... that is about to change.  I thought going into championship Sunday that the broncos would load up to stop the run since there is no pass catchers on the pats that keep you up at night.  percy harvin looms large right now and so does beast-mode.

fuggetaboutit909
fuggetaboutit909

win win as a football fan..... no real "villans" on either side of the aisle IMO.  both manning and wilson are seemingly wonderful people. 

Buck2185
Buck2185

Peter, I know you must be extremely butt hurt that your Patriots got completely beaten in all aspects (so much for your "Patriot running game" will be the deciding factor in their victory over Denver prediction...). But, on the plus side - You now can slip into our Patriot jammies, with your Patriot binky and blanky, and watch the Superbowl with your little Tommy....

fabio.fantone
fabio.fantone

Other than his over the top interview (its worth pointing out the language was fine), I've got no problems with Sherman. This increasingly vanilla league needs characters like him in the game. 


If anything, the league mandated rule of a "cool down period" before any reporters can enter the locker room should apply to the post game interviews on the field. I've been watching this game for over 30 years and I can't say that the on-field interview right after the game ends brings that much added value to the telecast. My .02¢

JakartaDean
JakartaDean

Peter, I think you should reconsider your ongoing support for Sherman, especially after what he wrote this week.  Not just for the interview (you wrote angry, but I saw rage) but the complete package.  His taunting and woofing on the field are part of the package (he wrote and asked not to be judged by what he does on the field -- I don't believe he can ask that).  He wrote that he was trying to offer Crabtree a handshake but he didn't extend his right hand, so it looks like he was lying about that.  I don't like trash talk, but I can get over it, as you said.  When you throw in his vitriol in the Erin Andrews interview and his lying on MMQB, I don't think he is the guy you want on your team here.

Jonjoe1959
Jonjoe1959

Hey, remember that Chicago Bears Super Bowl Beat-Down of New England. Well, Denver's Fans will demand an arrest after the Butt-Whipping they're about to receive at the hands of the Seahawks.

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

The game is in New Jersey, not New York.

KevinB2014
KevinB2014

“Winslow sprang to an upright position.”


not sure I needed that level of detail

JohnnyNacho
JohnnyNacho

If Peyton is able to win the Super Bowl in the first cold weather city, outdoor Super Bowl then yes the critics and skeptics about his playoff demise will certainly have to show respect.  However, if he doesn't....then I'm not sure he would ever be able to live it down.

bobbie johnson
bobbie johnson

More excuse making for bad behavior by Peter King.  Poor Richard Sherman didn't get the "respect" he deserved, so he has the right to act like a complete moron on national television.  Poor Richard Sherman grew up in Compton and is black...therefore he's not responsible for his behavior.  We need to "understand" his plight.  Sherman is a good player, but he's not as good as Revis was a few years ago and never will be.  Revis was doing his magic with no pass rush for years.  Sherman has better players around him.  

thomasoverley
thomasoverley

Not a SF fan in fact a can not stand them, but for him not to write about some of the just horrible calls in the NFC game is astounding

MikeA2386
MikeA2386

Haven't been reading your work much this year Peter (not a fan of a the new MMQB look / page), but as always there are some cracking pearls of wisdom in there. Loved the Jim Caldwell quote (if only the Shermanator played in Detroit!), the "Golden Tate" factoid, the link to Scott Fujita's article and the story about NYG's Pope. Those are the kind of snippets that will likely always bring me back to MMQB while you're here :)


PS Ask your Aussie correspondant how the Aussie media reacted to Richard Sherman's post-game 'rant'. When the NFL makes front page news on the Australian Fox Sports website you know something really good, or something Rodman-esque happened.

RuKdingMe
RuKdingMe

Peter, Sherman has proven himself unworthy of your association.  The needless, classless taunting of Crabtree; giving Kaepernick the choke sign; the mad-man rant; and the utterly self-serving rationalization of his actions.  


If you choose to associate with bad characters, their actions reflect onto you.  The clicks aren't worth it! 

HughJardonn
HughJardonn

Who cares about Sherman?

1) The SeaChickens, a mediocre road team, won't be playing the Super Bowl in that noise box they call home.

2) The refs, as good to them as they have been all year, will not be favoring them over Peyton.  

3) Well, why go on? In two weeks Sherman will have every excuse in the book after Peyton humiliates them.

fletchman1313
fletchman1313

Welp, I'm no longer reading Richard Sherman's column.  That was disgusting.  You won the game... why you mad, bro?


He might come up with some sort of justification on why he did it, but I won't be reading it.  That's how damn pissed off I got after he went running his mouth about Crabtree and about being the best cornerback.  If anything, that's EXACTLY what the pro-wrestling heel does.  


And I was actually rooting for the Seahawks!  Imagine that!


Sherman's lost a reader.   Well, at least one.  It was a very good column too.  

MichaelWaters
MichaelWaters

I think King's term "full-on woofing mode" says it all about Richard's blusterous interview.   It's male game culture, the part most of us can't know because we're too far away.    Erin, and we, got a full-on taste of it.    Yeah, it's coarse.   But it's honest too.   Don't we want honesty? 


I liked Carrol's comment about Sherman, which I'll paraphrase:  Richard Sherman is an incredible young man, and I think we've reached an understanding about not reflecting poorly on the team.   


Or something like that.


I thought it was genius.    Loving AND reprimanding.   That's an art.

Dr Steve
Dr Steve

I don't have an issue with Sherman; not my way of acting, but if he walks the walk, he can talk.


Kaepernick is young, too early to judge him.  but it was waaay too early to anoint him.


So Belichick runs Edelman into DRC, and it's clean football, but Welker hits Talib and it's dirty pool.  Pffft


Maybe it's time to rethink Brady.  The Patriots won 3 SB off a strong defensive core and Brady went 9-0 in he play-offs.  Since the core broke up, Brady is 9-8.  And can we drop the 10-5 against Peyton already?  The guy who plays at home is the guy who typically wins (Brady 9-1, Manning 4-1).


Quite simply, I think this SB will be determined by weather.  Manning doesn't have the arm strength anymore to handle the elements.  Seattle is a different team on the road; without a 110 dB of noise, their defense doesn't get the same rush.  Take the big play away from Wilson, and he really struggles.  All of this would point to Denver in good weather.   Unfortunately for Manning, the year he makes the SB is the year they decide to play in cold weather.

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

What legacy? Payton is a regular season stat padder and a playoff choke artist.. the one year he won the superbowl... guess what? it wasnt payton.. the media can put out all the crap they want, people such as myself whom watches the games know better...

Manning has always had weapons to throw to.. this year is no different... but if anyone thinks Manning is going to man up,  go into Jersey and crush the best defense in the NFL they are dreaming... 

I thought this was the broncos vs Seahawks... people are upset when Sherman makes it about him, but its O.K when its all about Manning...

blynder
blynder

Belichick's comments, about W.Welker DELIBERATELY seeing to injure another player are, in my opinion - WAY, WAY, WAY worse than anything P.Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sidney (R.Sherman) said immediately after the game.  The play, "illegal" in the NFL rules, happens in every game by every team.  Belichick saying a former team member, whom he had a strenuous relationship with, deliberately tried to injure another player BASED ON ONE PLAY is disrespectful, gross and way more offensive than what P.Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sidney (R.Sherman) said.

No outrage here (or across the country) for that piece of sound-bite-ery that he left as a fetid, steaming pile of fun for a Monday Morning presser.

onemoremile
onemoremile

Pick plays are illegal, as I understand it.  A pick is offensive pass interference.  Denver seems to run a pick on nearly every pass play.  The whole purpose of lining up two or three receivers in a bunch seems to be to facilitate a pick.  Why does the league not enforce the offensive pass interference rule on these pick plays.  I would also like TV commentators to stop calling them "rub" plays.  A pick is a pick and it is illegal.

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

Both games were great, and it looks like we may have a classic SB. It's comical to still read comments about how in love PK is with Payton after seeing the masterful game he just played. How can you not admire Payton and respect the journey he has just been through. I sure hope the Broncos have a similar performance in the SB.

As to Sherman, I don't appreciate his brash style, but to judge his worth on such a trivial episode is nothing short of foolish, and in some comments, flagrant racism. Sherman is a bright, articulate, and passionate person, and I sure would be happy to have him on my team. Read more about him and there is much to admire. If you're concerned about your kids, set a good example as a parent. Don't lay responsibility on Sherman. Look at the good work he does with inner city kids to see the example he sets that is far more accurate and meaningful than this episode. It's interesting to see how little money he is being paid (along with Russell) with his level of performance - far less than Crabtree.

As to those who threaten PK if he doesn't fire or censure Sherman, please do us all a favor and never, ever read MMQB again, let alone post your nonsense. I guarantee, you will not be missed. I enjoy MMQB, and I really like Sherman's column and many of the other articles published throughout the season. Too bad there are so many narrow-minded folks who cannot appreciate a point of view different than their own.

Mark B.
Mark B.

Handing the ball to a tight end in the backfield was Denver's turnabout to a 46 yard run by Aaron Hernandez (remember him?) from the backfield during the playoff game 3 years ago when NE beat the Tim Tebow-led Broncos. Yesterday's play was derivative, and effective, but not innovative.  Even as a NE fan, there is nothing to say but that the Broncos won every phase of the game that mattered yesterday. Finally, I hope it sleets during the superbowl and the NFL gets repaid for its colossally stupid decision to play the game in NJ.

Zeshan
Zeshan

Denver's offense rank: 1 (TD/TO ratio - 71/26; pts scored: 606)

Seattle's defense rank: 1 (TD/TO ratio - 20/39; pts allowed: 231)

Denver's defense ranking: 19 (TD/TO ratio - 44/26; pts allowed 399)

Seattle's offense ranking: 17 (TD/TO ration - 41/19; pts scored: 417)

On the numbers, I'd say Seattle looks good. But Sherm himself wrote an article for SI calling Manning the smartest QB he's played against.  Gonna be a helluva game.

SolidStateMind
SolidStateMind

Look.  You can hate Sherman, but *own* it, fercryinoutloud.  You're not really upset about the sound-bite.  Worse has been said by many, many other people- both athletes and non-athletes.  We live in a time where everything that could possibly be said has been, in front of a camera to boot.


Ignore the good things Sherman has done if you want.  But OWN it-- don't try to make the lame argument that 15 seconds of tape somehow magically completely devalues all the man has done in the community and with providing educational opportunities for the underprivileged. 

Maybe you don't like Stanford grads.  Maybe you hate guys who will 'rub it in' when they defeat an opponent.  Hell, maybe you don't like the 'Highlighter Green' accents or any of the Seahawks' colors, or their mascot.


But just SAY IT and don't try to excuse yourself by providing a paper-thin excuse.  Your sanctimony just makes you look idiotically shallow.

tanjeem
tanjeem

Peter, this was not expected of you. Your backing of Sherman shows very little understanding of football as a team sports. So yes Sherman had two tackles and one deflection in a very important game. And he calls himself the best for THAT. Does he think that they won this game because of him? And you blame the press interview on Adrenaline. Really !! A Shower and 1 hour does not cool him off. 

mbrayca157
mbrayca157

Sherman's comments show poor sportsmanship. Your defense of him is your choice. My choice is to stop reading your website unless you repudiate him ie fire him..

SCHUBE63
SCHUBE63

Peter - The word is the NFL is looking to eliminate the extra point kick because it is to automatic.  Rather than eliminate it why not move the holder 2 yards closer to the line of scrimmage?.  This would give the defense a greater opportunity to block the kick and would force the kicker to get the ball up higher in a lesser amount of time.  Making the extra point kick hardier will decrease the automatic nature of it (a good thing) and might even encourage teams to go for 2 points more often.  Your thoughts?

mikep99
mikep99

Peter, I get your logic, adrenaline and the moment excuse. The only problem is that an hour after all this happened, after he took his shower and cooled down. He took the same tactic and his antics were inexcusable. I have enjoyed your writing and opinions for years, never wrote on a blog, but you plain missed this one. I now question your ability to be as objective as you've been through the years. Letting him write for you may have clouded your judgement and you took the safe path as a result. I don't think he;s a bad peson, but he is trying to get headlines at  every opportunity. In watching this with my 14 year old kids, he is everything wrong with athletes. I don't need him to be a role model, but it would be nice that he was able to demonstrate sportsmanship. He's an intelligent person which is why you hired him, but if all he's going to do is shout with hopes of getting attention, I'd give him a timeout. 

IdahamCooper
IdahamCooper

@JakartaDean Dude, wake up. Sherman clearly offered his hand to Crabtree. But since you failed to see/recognize it he's a liar. 


As far as what you believe re:asking for judgment of his character on the field... who gives a damn what you believe?!?  In the grand scheme it does not matter.


Interesting point made by King... Bronco staffers blocked the MEDIA from hearing the Manning family conversation after his win (In the Locker Room, no less), yet Sherman gets vilified for open expression (Non profane) after making the play of his life. (As men we've all dreamed of being in that type of situation growing up).


SO my question is: How would react/respond??

shotokb
shotokb

@JakartaDean You might want to check your facts.  The video with audio clearly shows him extending his right hand to shake Crabtree's as he says "Hell of a game".

fuggetaboutit909
fuggetaboutit909

@bobbie johnson I give sherman a better than good rating but you are absolutely correct when you say that revis did not have the team around him when revis was the best with the jets.... and the level of talented receiver/quaterback revis shut down week to week was vastly better as well.


defending passes thrown by kaepernick to crabtree is nice but shutting down randy moss when brady is throwing to him is in a whole other universe.

Jonjoe1959
Jonjoe1959

Bobby Johnson, what kind of Moron are you? It's just Trash-Talking and Great Theater. Hell, Hollywood couldn't write a better script.

fuggetaboutit909
fuggetaboutit909

@thomasoverley there were some bad calls BUT the niners were not really hurt by those calls given what happend in the game.


for example navarro's fumble recovery for example would have been on the 1 yd line but the niners ended up with the ball on the 11 instead.

Jonjoe1959
Jonjoe1959

Thomas-get-Over-it. Please, not the, Blame it on the refs argument. Grow-up.

slickwilly
slickwilly

@Dr SteveThe time for talking is before the game, not after you've already won. That's just trying to embarrass you're opponent when they can't defend themselves and is completely classless. That would be like someone talking trash about Sherman when he's out with a broken leg.

rckymtn4
rckymtn4

@friendly--neighborhood--scrawler The Manning detractors have the same narrative concerning his playoff record. If he loses then it's all on him, but if he wins then the opponent was weak, he didn't play very well, etc. If you want to be fair and honest you either look at all his playoff games and how he performed or just give him the credit for the wins, not just the losses.

Bronco64
Bronco64

@friendly--neighborhood--scrawlerThese teams don't pee a drop if Peyton doesn't do what he does.  Nobody is sniffing a SB!  It's rare to make it to a SB multiple times, let alone win one.  Give some respect and credit to the accomplishments that have been made by a great player.  I certainly respect Sherman's game, regardless if I think he's decided he needs to be a media hound...Fact of the matter is the Seahawks D was probably good enough to make this run without him.  Can't say that about the Manning or Marshawn Lynch...

kcronin87
kcronin87

There is a difference between a pick (illegal) and a rub (legal).  The rub is a receiver running a route who might ultimately catch the ball.  Admittedly that receiver's route is designed to "free up" a teammate by interfering with a defensive player, but it's still a legitimate route.  The pick is a receiver running a route designed to interfere with the defender -- without any real possibility that the receiver might make a catch.  That's the distinction Belichik was trying to make.  I really dislike him, but he's right in this case.

blynder
blynder

@onemoremile 

ALL TEAMS run those pick plays.  They are "illegal" but happen in ever game.  So they need to have better rules about what a rub/pick play is.  I'm guessing that will come this off-season.


rckymtn4
rckymtn4

@Mark B. If I wasn't a Bronco fan I would agree with you that I hoped it would sleet. It was a dumb idea when the game was awarded and is still dumb.

SolidStateMind
SolidStateMind

@tanjeem  apparently YOU are the one who doesn't understand how team sports work at a high level.  Why do you think that the NFL *mandates* a cool-off period for the player? Fact is, many of these players can do what they do only by feeding that adrenaline and anger to keep them going when their muscles are screaming for rest.  For example, Bill Romanowski is on record saying that pre-game, he had to spend time psyching up, imagining the opponents killing his loved ones, raping his wife, torturing his friends, etc. to get himself to up to game-time intensity.


And that sort of thing isn't all that uncommon.

That you don't know/understand this is proof that you are ignorant of what is really required to play at a high level.

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

Don't let the door hit you... What examples of good sportsmanship have you been known for?

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

So what else do you know about Sherman? Did you check out the link to NFL Films? Are you aware of his community involvement? Have you had any of his life experiences?

SportPage
SportPage

@mikep99 I agree with most of your statement, although I found this sentence worth a chuckle.


"I now question your ability to be as objective as you've been through the years."


King has never been objective when the subject is the Patriots.

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