Boom!

They say the NFL is a league for offense. So how, then, was Super Bowl XLVIII decided, and dominated, by a group of tormentors raising hell around Peyton Manning and wreaking havoc for the most potent offense in league history? This is the anatomy of a dismantling

(Donald Miralle for Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)
(Donald Miralle for Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — An hour after the lopsided Super Bowl conquest no one east of Yakima saw coming, Pete Carroll was bounding across the MetLife Stadium turf, holding wife Glena’s hand, surrounded by four or five cameras and as many security people, going from one on-field interview to the next. I was in this you’d-better-get-out-of-the-way-or-you’ll-get-flattened pack, asking Carroll about his team and the beatdown.

But something stuck in my mind, and I had to ask this first. During the week, I was the pool reporter assigned to cover Seattle practices and distribute whatever news might come out of them. Which, in this week, was precious little.

Carroll’s Seahawks practice to the constant and very loud drone of music, hip-hop and rap mostly. Early in the week, Carroll will sneak in a James Brown or Earth, Wind and Fire tune from his youth, or maybe Michael Jackson. But by Friday, it was mostly unrecognizable to this 56-year-old Springsteen and U2 fan. Luckily, I had Shazam, that app that allows you to hold up your phone when a song is playing, to learn what it is.

Among what was played, I’m guessing at about 90 decibels, for the entirety of Friday’s practice: “Fast Lane,” by Bad Meets Evil, “More Bounce to the Ounce,” by Zapp, “We Own It,” by 2 Chainz, “Last of a Dying Breed,” by Ludacris, “We Ready,” by Archie Eversole, “Ambitionz Az a Ridah,” by Tupac, and “Hold Me Back,” by Rick Ross.

(Donald Miralle/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)
(Donald Miralle/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)

When “Hold Me Back” came on, the team was practicing red zone plays. Important tuneup for the biggest game of their lives, and the last time they’d go full speed before the game. Between snaps, the entire defensive line was dancing on the field. Quarterback coach Carl Smith, 65 and with a bum hip, was even swaying. Carroll saw that, and smiled. Then the ball was snapped, and backup running back Christine Michael pivoted left out of the backfield and went down. A couple of defenders, Clinton McDonald and Bobby Wagner, hustled over to Michael, who was slow getting up, and each took a hand as all three laughed about something. This is what I saw during the week: a team having fun at practice, like it was some dance party, and a team that really gets along. And works at a fast pace.

“I’m glad you saw that,” Carroll said. “That’s real. That’s who we are.”

For those who think music is counterproductive, that you need to have teaching moments at a football practice without having to shout over music, and that players switching jerseys for no good reason (Marshawn Lynch was swimming in tackle Breno Giacomini’s shirt on Friday) is a distraction, I have one score to point out:

Seattle 43, Denver 8.

* * *

 

(Damian Strohmeyer/SI)
(Damian Strohmeyer/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)

After that Super Bowl rout Sunday night, one of the Seahawks’ most respected players, fullback Michael Robinson, thought he had it figured out.

“Football is a game,” Robinson said in the bowels of MetLife Stadium. “A game. Pete has figured that out. He makes football fun. All aspects of it—practices, games. One of our goals is to play at a level other teams can’t match. That’s what you saw tonight. What do you see when you see a team, running around practicing to music all week? They’re loose. They’re full of energy. And that’s what we are. I know it works for us.”

The analysis of this Super Bowl will center, rightfully, on a voracious defense. This was without a doubt one of the best defensive performances in Super Bowl history. This is one game in which stats lie. Peyton Manning set a Super Bowl record with 34 completions, and he threw for a respectable 280 yards.

But Manning managed only 51 passing yards in the first 26 minutes of the game, and by then it was over. Seattle led 22-0 by that point.

Think of what an incredible defensive performance this was. In the 94-year history of the NFL, Denver’s 606 points this season were the most ever. But on a night when weather was borderline balmy for New Jersey in February, the conditions were no excuse. And all Manning could do was manage some garbage yards late when half of America had turned the game off. In my 30 seasons covering the NFL, I can remember only three defensive performances that compare: the Bears’ stifling 46-10 rout of the Patriots in Super Bowl XX, Baltimore’s 34-7 beat down of the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, and the Giants shocking New England—at that point the highest-scoring team in any single season—17-14 in Super Bowl XLII.

“Nobody here thinks we’re done. And we really think we have such a great chance here to keep it going. That’s how you distinguish yourself in this game.” —Russell Wilson

This defense had it all. We came in praising the Seattle secondary endlessly, and the secondary played great, putting a halo of punishment on almost every Denver reception. By that, I mean every play, no matter what the route or who the receiver was, had two or three defenders pouncing within a millisecond of the catch. Clearly, Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase should have called some double moves, or more deep stuff to try to clear out the middle of the field. Seattle was so on top of everything Manning did.

But one of the reasons it would have been difficult for Manning to do anything deep consistently was because he couldn’t breathe. Much will be written and said about this game concerning Manning’s continued inability on the biggest of stages not to preform. There was certainly some of that: I detail later in the column how I thought he made some terrible decisions, especially on the final drive of the first half, when Denver was trying desperately to find some spark. So blame Manning. He deserves a good bit of it, especially when he aims a throw that was a poor decision that ends up being intercepted by Kam Chancellor.

(John W. McDonough/SI)
(John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)

But there were so many unstoppable rushers for Seattle, and none more than Cliff Avril, the former Lion. He had just a so-so first season with the Seahawks, but he made an amateur out of Denver right tackle Orlando Franklin. Avril had three big plays in the first half, including two heavy pressures on Manning that aided both interceptions. I was one of the 16 voters for the MVP last night. I voted for Avril. It could have gone to many. I wish I could have penciled in “Seattle Defense.” Because collectively, that truly was the MVP of this Super Bowl.

One other thing about these Seahawks. In the locker room after the game, Pete Carroll whipped up his team as if he were still coaching college kids at USC. He stood in the center of his men, surrounded by players and cameras. The Super Bowl makes strange bedfellows: “The media is so omnipresent that coaches rarely get any significant postgame time with their teams.”

But as Carroll went through praising the vast majority of his roster for its tremendous performance, at the end the players took over.

One yelled out, “We all we got!”

The response from teammates screamed, “We all we need!”

More on Super Bowl 48

Greg A. Bedard analyzes what went wrong for the Broncos. (Short answer: everything.) FULL STORY


Seattle was clearly the best team in football this season. And that may be the case for quite a long time. Andrew Brandt lays out some reasons why. FULL STORY

“Then a shout went out. “What’s next?!”

“We not done!”

After almost everyone had cleared out, after midnight, the last bus waited for Russell Wilson to get dressed.

“We work so hard, man,” said Wilson. “That’s the gratifying part of it: Nobody here thinks we’re done. And we really think we have such a great chance here to keep it going. That’s how you distinguish yourself in this game.”

Scary thought for the rest of the NFL. A young quarterback who is afraid of nothing and a young defense that just played a game like the ’85 Bears. Indeed, Seattle is not done.

Get to know the MVP

On Sunday morning, after getting his hair cut, Malcolm Smith visited the Seahawks family hotel. He wanted to say hi to his mother, Audrey. There was no reason for the impromptu drop-by. “He just gave her a big hug,” Malcolm’s girlfriend, Aneesa, said. “She was so surprised to see him.”

(John Iacono/SI)
(John Iacono/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)

“I was mainly happy to see he was healthy,” Audrey Smith said. “No matter what happened in the game, I knew my son was in a good place.”

Smith’s ascent from 2011 seventh-round draft pick to Super Bowl MVP is remarkable. But what’s really remarkable was his just being there. Five years ago, Smith was so ill he could barely digest a meal without having to vomit. He lost nearly two pounds a week.

Doctors diagnosed Malcolm, then a junior at Southern California, with an extremely rare esophagus disorder called achalasia, which affects just one in 100,000 people. He underwent surgery in 2010, and afterward weighed just 200 pounds (he’s listed at 226 now). It’s one of the reasons he wasn’t invited to the combine, and why he fell to the 242nd pick in 2011.

“I didn’t ever think he was going to give up,” said Malcom’s brother Steve, the former Giants receiver who won a ring of his own the first time New York beat the Patriots in 2008.  “But after all that, to see him at his low and see him actually want to do this, actually want to persevere?”

On Sunday Malcolm returned a second-quarter interception 69 yards for a touchdown and became  the first defensive player to win the Super Bowl MVP in 11 years. “MVP? Of the Super Bowl?” Malcolm said. “I was sure they were kidding me. I said, ‘I want someone official to tell me I am the Super Bowl MVP.”

Just read the papers this morning. You’re all over them.

* * *

(John Leyba/Getty Images)
(John Leyba/Getty Images)

On this night, not the Mann.

A bitter disappointment for Peyton Manning, obviously. And when Manning looks back on the tape from this game, he’ll be sick. The unforced errors, starting with the first snap of the game. The mistakes he made in identifying the open receivers. The forced throws. He didn’t have much help—he was pressured from start to end—but he tried too hard to make plays that very often weren’t there.

We saw it late in the first half, Denver down 22-0 and needing something, anything to show flickering life. On first down from the Seattle 27, Manning had a choice: forcing the ball to Julius Thomas—bracketed by safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, or throwing to an open Wes Welker at the 15. That would have been a first down. But he tried Thomas, and it wasn’t close. Incomplete. Meanwhile, Welker, who rarely shows emotion after a pass, threw his arms in the air. Four plays later, on 4th-and-2, Manning bypassed a more open Julius Thomas, in first-down territory, to try to hit Demaryius Thomas. Ball was tipped. Incomplete. There are many times you watched a big moment Sunday night, and every time, seemingly, was to Seattle’s advantage. Manning just looked uneasy.

I didn’t see Manning after the game, but Mark Mravic of The MMQB did. He reported:

It was a grim and tight-lipped Manning who stepped to the podium for his obligatory postgame session with the media in blue pin-striped suit and maroon tie with silver stripes. In front of several dozen reporters, boom mics and cameras, he sat looking as perplexed by what had happened on the field as the 80,000 in MetLife Stadium and the 100 million watching at home. Manning’s answers were perfunctory and unenlightening. In truth, he had no answers. And he did not crack a smile. This was a bitter veteran professional doing his league-mandated duty, looking as if he’d rather be anywhere else. You could tell this hurt. “To finish this way is very disappointing,” Manning said. “It’s not an easy pill to swallow, but eventually we have to. I don’t know if you ever really get over it.” Only once in the seven-minute session did Manning betray any emotion beyond grim resignation. He was asked whether this was an embarrassing loss, and you could see the blood begin to boil. “It’s not embarrassing at all,” he said. “I would never use that word. There’s a lot of professional football players in that locker room, who put a lot of hard work and effort into being here and into playing in that game. The word ‘embarrassing’ is an insulting word to me, in truth.”

With that, Manning left the podium and was escorted behind a curtain for a television interview. Some minutes later he was walking away from the Broncos locker room, escorted by a lone New Jersey State Trooper. Passing a small clutch of fans in Broncos gear, he stopped to sign a T-shirt and a hat. Then he continued, hands in pocket, past the celebrating Seahawks locker. Here he was stopped again, this time by Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin. Manning offered McLoughlin his congratulations as McLoughlin offered condolences. A few more yards, one more signature for one last fan, and Manning was gone again through the curtain and out into the night.

Truther of the Week.

Weirdest moment of the night: A 9/11 “truther,” Matthew Mills, 30, of Brooklyn, walked up to the side of the podium where Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith had just begun to live his moment in the sun. On live TV, here’s how it rolled:

Smith: “I always imagined myself making great plays, but you never think about being MVP.”

Mills, hustling past Miami PR czar Harvey Greene and abruptly grabbing the microphone, as Smith’s beseeching eyes looked for help: “Investigate 9/11 … 9/11 was perpetrated by people within our own government.”

Mills dropped the mic like a player would spike a football and exited stage left. The mic got uprighted. Smith paused, looked around and said: “All right.” He looked around again. “Is everybody all right?”

Mills’ stunt happened so fast it fit on a six-second Vine video, as you can see. Truthers are people who believe a massive cover-up is at play and hides what really happened in Lower Manhattan that caused nearly 3,000 people to die in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

* * *

(Ben Liebenberg/AP)
Derrick Brookcs, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Aeneas Williams and Michael Strahan. (Ben Liebenberg/AP)

Ten things you need to know about the Hall of Fame vote.

The Class of 2014 was elected Saturday: senior committee candidates Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey, and modern-era picks Derrick Brooks, Michael Strahan, Aeneas Williams, Andre Reed and Walter Jones. My thoughts:

1. Finally, I supported Ray Guy. Big upset. It even surprised me a little bit. I just think as a voter (and a person), it’s important to be open-minded. I do go into these meetings open-minded, and I heard a few different reasons this year, some of them quantifying things like hang-time and inside-the-20 punts more clearly than they had in the past, and his peers, on and off the record, were so unwavering in their support that I thought, “Maybe I’m wrong.” I still have some grave questions—Shane Lechler’s inside-the-20 average, for instance, is far better—but I do understand you compare guys to players in their era. So good for Ray Guy. I’m happy he finally achieves the dream.

2. I did not support Andre Reed. I covered a lot of Buffalo games in the Bills’ prime, and I believe he was a very good receiver but not one of the all-time greats. I like Tim Brown better, and Marvin Harrison significantly better. As I’ve felt since the day I got on the committee more than two decades ago, the 46-member panel is a democracy, and if 80 percent of the group thinks one of the five finalists is a Hall of Famer, then he’s a Hall of Famer, and good for him. But I want to be honest with you, because so many of you care so deeply about the Hall.

3. I like Brooks, Strahan and Jones. Easy picks, all.

4. So, so happy for Aeneas Williams. I always loved the way Mike Martz—who is all offense, all the time—just worshiped the guy and thought he was a huge difference maker on defense for the great Rams teams early this century. Watching Williams, he wasn’t the shutdown corner Deion Sanders was. But he was close—I believe the closest thing to Deion in the game at the time—and he was a very physical player too. Jimmy Johnson thought Williams was a tremendous player, and I thought he was so important in so many big games. Williams beat the post-Jimmy Cowboys in the first playoff game of his life with Arizona, and he intercepted Troy Aikman twice that day. He intercepted Brett Favre twice in the 2001 playoffs, taking both in for touchdowns. I love the fact the committee found an excellent player who played mostly for a losing Arizona team, and rewarded him.

5. I think Jerome Bettis, 3.9 yards per carry and all, belongs. I believe he’s the best big back of the last 25 years. I saw him outrun Bucs defensive backs once on a long run in Tampa; I saw him steamroll an in-his-prime Brian Urlacher—and I mean steamroll—in a snow bowl must-win game for the Steelers late in the Bus’ career, when he gained 100 yards in the second half against the league’s number two rush defense. He made the final 10 this year, and I hope he goes farther next year.

6. Now for the case of Charles Haley. I strongly believe in him, because I think he’s the most violent pass-rusher I have covered. By that I mean he had some of the Deacon Jones viciousness to him, a fearsome combination of moves, and he has the five Super Bowl rings, which is significant, of course. I cannot speak for the group and wouldn’t intend to, but I have always felt what hurts his candidacy is as good a rusher as he was, he only averaged 8.4 sacks per regular-season. I believe he tilted the field when he played, and sometimes it didn’t result in sacks for him; it resulted in sacks for others, like Jim Jeffcoat when Haley was in Dallas.

7. My sense of the logical 2015 order for candidates who didn’t make it this year, at least at the head of the list: Marvin Harrison, Will Shields, Charles Haley, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Tony Dungy.

Right or Wrong?

As always, we want to hear your comments. What'd you think of the Hall of Fame vote? Let us know via email or Twitter.

8. My sense of the best new candidates for 2015: Junior Seau, Orlando Pace, Kurt Warner. Warner’s candidacy will be very interesting because he was a Super Bowl quarterback for two franchises—and very nearly a Super Bowl winner for two franchises.

9. We met for 8 hours, 59 minutes. That’s an hour or so longer than usual. Longest debates were on Dungy (47 minutes), Guy (44), Humphrey (40), Williams (32) and Strahan (30). I liked the debate. Spirited and passionate. I don’t think the limited time the cameras were in the room limited or bothered anyone.

10. The Hall of Fame is always a hot topic, and very strongly opinionated. Just remember: We come in with a list of 15 modern-era candidates, have a long discussion, and then winnow that list to 10 in a secret ballot. Then we winnow the list of 10 down to five. Then we get the five final candidates, and we vote secretly, yes or no, on them. Re: the seniors: We vote yes or no on them independent of the modern candidates. The two senior candidates each year are picked by a voters’ subcommittee that meets in Canton every summer for a couple of days with two respected legends in the room to give their off-the-record advice.

* * *

Question of the Week

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NBC Sports Network’s Erik Kuselias, on Pro Football Talk Live, to New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma, the most severely punished player in the Saints’ bounty scandal: “If you saw Roger Goodell, and you were face to face, what would you say to him?”

Vilma: “First, hi. Let’s get the pleasantries out of the way. And then, we’ll talk about whatever really he wants to talk about because he was on the outside looking in. I know what happened back then. He didn’t know, he had not a lot of information. Misinformation. I believe he made a mountain out of a mole[hill], but it is what it is. I understand there were bigger things he was trying to instill. Player safety, he was trying to really instill that, but it shouldn’t have come at the [cost] of myself, Scott Fujita, Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove—you know, guys that really didn’t have bad intentions. We were good guys. We didn’t have a bounty going. We had guys that would want to talk crazy in the locker room, which is part of football. It’s what we do.’’

Didn’t have a bounty going. Well, define “bounty.”

* * *

Death of a legend

It’s the day after the Super Bowl and all, and I understand everyone’s in a football frame of mind. But the death of 46-year-old Philip Seymour Hoffman deserves your attention. He was found in his Manhattan apartment Sunday morning, expired from a suspected drug overdose.

(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

I think he was the greatest American actor we had today. The range of his characters was just incredible. I mean, who can play A’s manager Art Howe (Moneyball) and Truman Capote (Capote) with equal skill? Well, I’m partial to his Capote portrayal. Stunning. Absolutely stunning. I’ll miss the man for his acting. His three kids will miss their father. Just a sin what drug abuse is doing to so many people in this country.

My five favorite Hoffman films follow. Keep in mind I haven’t seen all of his movies (Along Came Polly is one I must see):

1. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Andy Hanson, an addict, takes down an entire good family in a haunting, disturbing role. The title comes from an Irish saying, “May you be in heaven a full half-hour before the devil knows you’re dead.” Hoffman (Andy) is such a bad person that he needs that head start.

2. Capote. Hoffman won the 2006 Best Actor Oscar for playing author Truman Capote. His voice and affectations I will never forget.

3. Doubt. What a great faceoff between Hoffman (a priest accused of child molestation) and Meryl Streep (a nun and principal, and his accuser). I love the fact you never really know whether he did it. You think he did, but you don’t know.

4. The Savages. He and Laura Linney are brother and sister caring for a dying dad. When the real world intrudes on people no longer close with a parent and exposes all kinds of old feelings never healed—that’s something so understandable in so many lives today.

5. Moneyball. Art Howe hated the portrayal of the bumbling manager of the A’s when the new baseball way crept into the game. I loved it. Hoffman as a stubborn manager, as so many classic old baseball guys are when asked to change.

Hoffman was great as a nerdy personal assistant in The Big Lebowski, and as  veteran rock journalist Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, but his roles were relatively minor ones. That’s why those aren’t included here.

Losing James Gandolfini and Hoffman within eight months … what a bummer if you love great acting.

Fine Fifteen

1. Seattle (16-3). As dominating and intimidating a performance as I remember in a Super Bowl. A total skunking. Seattle is so clearly the best team in football.

2. San Francisco (14-5). Next home game: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif., 40 minutes south of Candlestick. And better.

3. Denver (15-4). A few words come to mind. Most apt: embarrassing.

4. New England (13-5). This is not just because I shared a podium with him Saturday night in Manhattan, but the Patriots need to sign free-agent wide receiver Julian Edelman. Last five games of the season: 65 targets, 45 catches. When Tom Brady is throwing 13 passes a game to a guy, and a guy they won’t have to pay Calvin Johnson prices for, the message is simple for the Patriots: Stop going cheap on the receiver position.

5. Carolina (12-5). Congrats to Ron Rivera, the deserving NFL coach of the year.

6. San Diego (10-8). Speaking of good coaching jobs: Mike McCoy, ladies and gentlemen.

Talk Back

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

7. New Orleans (12-6). My guess is the Saints franchise Jimmy Graham. I don’t see how they reach a deal if he keeps his demand in the stratosphere, and I’d have serious questions about him as a stratospheric player after the no-show he put on this postseason, even despite the plantar fascia.

8. Green Bay (8-8-1). I’d be surprised if Ted Thompson doesn’t take a tackle with one of his first two picks in May.

9. Philadelphia (10-7). Ran into a lot of Eagles fans in Super Bowl week. I think they love Chip Kelly as much in year one as they loved Andy Reid in any of his 14 years. 

10. Indianapolis (12-6). The MMQB guest columnist Coby Fleener and the returning Dwayne Allen will give Andrew Luck the kind of two-tight-end combination a young quarterback with a shaky offensive line dreams of in 2014.

11. Kansas City (11-6). Smart thing to be trying to sign Alex Smith long-term.

12. Arizona (10-6). High on Bruce Arians’ to-do list this offseason: Fix the running game. The Cards had one back rush for 100 yards in a game in 2013 (Andre Ellington, Week 8). Not good.

13. Cincinnati (11-6). Six 100-plus QB-rating games, 33 touchdown passes … Andy Dalton’s regular-season numbers are nice, but the Cincinnati fans will remember the playoff debacle into September. Nothing will be good enough for this franchise short of a playoff win next January, and rightfully so.

14. Pittsburgh (8-8). Most important job for the Steelers this offseason isn’t going to be personnel addition. It’s going to be cap subtraction.

15. Chicago (8-8). Be proud of Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, Chicago. He’s the 2014 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, and a deserving one, for all the work he does off the field.

The Award Section

Offensive Players of the Week

(Gary Bogdon/SI)
(Gary Bogdon/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)

Russell Okung, James Carpenter, Max Unger, J.R Sweezy, Breno Giacomini, the offensive line, Seattle. Aside from keeping Wilson mostly clean all night (he wasn’t sacked), the line cleared the way for a running game that averaged 4.7 yards per attempt. They kept two dangerous players—Terrance Knighton and Danny Trevathan—from being any kind of factors in the biggest game of the year. Entering the game, you could argue that the line might have been the most questionable unit on the team coming in. It turned out to be a major strength.

Defensive Player of the Week

Cliff Avril, defensive end, Seattle. He contributed to both Manning interceptions in the first half—making Manning throw awkwardly both times. On the first, he had a near-sack of Manning and wound up tackling him as he threw, with Kam Chancellor picking it off. One the second, Avril hit Manning on the right arm, forcing a pass to be popped up and intercepted for a touchdown by linebacker Malcolm Smith. And he was credited with the game-opening safety. I voted Avril the game’s MVP.

Special Teams Players of the Week

(Gary Bogdon/SI)
(Gary Bogdon/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)

Percy Harvin, kick returner, Seattle. He fielded the opening kickoff of the second half, a bouncer, and zipped in and out and in of traffic, sprinting the last 45 yards untouched. And the rout was on. (It was already; this just sealed it). Seattle was up 29-0 just 12 seconds into the second half.

Derrick Coleman, fullback, and Jeremy Lane, cornerback, Seattle. For setting the tone in a game the Seattle special teams dominated. On the opening kickoff, Denver speedster Trindon Holliday took the ball six yards deep and got out to only the 14-yard line before getting swarmed by Coleman and Lane. On the next snap, the Broncos messed up the center-quarterback exchange and Seattle got a safety to start the most improbable Super Bowl I can ever remember.

Coach of the Week

Pete Carroll, head coach, Seattle. It was a week when the Seattle coach thought of everything. Like this: On Friday, he had his players exert themselves at the Giants’ training facility—where they practiced all week—and then sit around in the Giants’ locker room for 31 minutes before coming out for a faux second half. Carroll becomes the third coach to win an NCAA national title and a Super Bowl (Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer), and he does it on the same property where he got his first NFL shot, the Meadowlands, as a one-and-done Jets coach in 1994.

Goats of the Week

Peyton Manning, quarterback, Denver. Manning was suffocated from the second series on, but he threw a terrible interception to Kam Chancellor, then, instead of pulling the ball down and taking a sack, attempted an ill-conceived throw that was picked and returned for a touchdown. Late in the first half, he made two awful decisions (see above) on a series he had to convert into points and got nothing. Yes, Manning was inundated, and his receivers had little room to breathe all night. But he played poorly too. And at 38 on opening day next year, he will still be stuck on one Super Bowl win.

John Fox, head coach, Denver. With 10:46 left in the third quarter, and Denver trailing 29-0 at the Seattle 39-yard line facing a 4th-and-11, John Fox sent out the punt team. I realize the Broncos were not winning anything by that point, but throwing the white flag with 26 minutes left in a four-score game with Peyton Manning your quarterback? Wow. I thought that was a terrible call.

Orlando Franklin, tackle, Denver. Franklin was the turnstile who allowed Avril to make both huge plays in the first half that turned the game. Frankly, Franklin was awful, allowing five quarterback pressures or hits in the first half alone, according to stats kept by The MMQB’s Mr. Pressure Points himself, Greg A. Bedard.

Quotes of the Week

I
“We’re the best defense ever.”

—Michael Bennett, Seattle defensive lineman, after the 35-point rout of the Broncos.

II
“It’s just a big horse off my back. I was finally able to give my team something for four quarters.”

—Seattle’s Percy Harvin, who, for the first time in 15 months, finished a game he started Sunday. He contributed 137 all-purpose yards and a touchdown to the 43-8 victory. You can see his comments to the right.

III
“We really wanted to buy the Mariners, but we were a little too late. Then we turned our attention to the football team.”

—Former Seahawks owner John Nordstrom, walking through the Seattle locker room with a big grin Sunday night.

IV
“None of us heard the snap count. I thought I did, but … There’s no explanation. It happened. Unfortunately it happened. I feel bad for the team.”

—Denver center Manny Ramirez, whose botched snap on the first play of the game resulted in a safety that gave Seattle a lead it never gave back.

V
“New Jersey sucks! New Jersey sucks!”

—Angry train riders at the New Jersey Transit station in Secaucus, N.J., stuck in one- to two-hour waits for a train, in overcrowded hallways, to get to MetLife Stadium.

VI
“If somebody left IBM and went to Apple, if they were shutting IBM down, do you think that guy would go back and visit? There’s something strange about athletics and what people expect you to do. I don’t know. I wasn’t always a big fan of Candlestick to begin with, even though I played there. It might’ve been the worst field we played on throughout the years. But we had great memories there, yeah. But you know what? I don’t live in the past much.”

—Joe Montana, on radio station 95.7 FM in San Francisco, about not attending the final game in the history of Candlestick Park for a big tribute. The 49ers, of course, traded Montana late in his career, and created ill will between him and the team. 

VII
“Suh was uncontrollable. He would constantly do things to show his power over Jim Schwartz, whether it was showing up to team meetings late or whatever it may be. Three different people [told me] the same story, about antics Suh would do just to show his dominance over a head coach  … It was more or less Suh just trying to show his dominance, his power—that he was basically untouchable and he could basically do what he wanted to do.”

—Former NFL player Heath Evans, in an interview with Detroit radio station 105.1 FM, causing the Lions to issue a spate of denials, and sources to tell Pro Football Talk that Evans was dead on.

Stats of the Week

I
MetLife Stadium and the Westin Hotel Jersey City have been very, very good to the Seattle Seahawks.

Three times in the last three seasons—before playing the Giants in 2011, before playing the Giants again in 2013, and before playing this Super Bowl—the Seahawks stayed in the relatively new hotel eight miles from MetLife Stadium. Seattle won the three games, 36-25, 23-0 and 43-8.

Score: Seattle 104, Foes 33.
Seattle intercepted Eli and Peyton Manning 10 times in the three games, and was intercepted twice.
Seattle forced 14 turnovers in the three games and turned it over four times.

II
I heard from those on both sides of the fence about Morten Andersen’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame. Some of you thought he was nothing special, simply a long-time compiler. Some thought the leading scorer in NFL history deserved a spot in Canton. I’d say the former outweigh the latter.

Four things you should remember about the Copenhagen-born kicker:

• At age 47, competing in his last season in the NFL, Andersen made his final 16 field goals.
• In his last two seasons, at 46 and 47, Andersen made 45 of 51 field goals.
•  Andersen has 110 more points than any other player in NFL history.
•  The sport is called football.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

Political Bedfellows of the Week:

Mitt Romney and Dick Cheney watched the Super Bowl in Jets owner Woody Johnson’s suite.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

I
Distance from New York Giants’ practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J. (where I covered Seahawks practice as a pool reporter Friday), to West 27th Street in Manhattan (where I hosted an event Friday evening): 8.4 miles.

Time it took me to drive the 8.4 miles Friday at 4:37 p.m.: 1 hour, 53 minutes.

II
So Saturday was our Hall of Fame voting day in Manhattan. We cast our ballots in a ballroom on the second floor of the media hotel, the Sheraton Times Square. Lunch was brought in midway through the proceedings. Specifically, box lunches for the 46 voters and Hall officials. A description of my lunch:

• Chicken breast on focaccia.
•  Apple.
•  Lays Classic chips (small bag).
•  Brownie.

The cost: $102, including tip.

Per box lunch.

III
Cool event Sunday: breakfast with Roy and Cathy Gruss, of Missoula, Mont. They won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Super Bowl from Bose, and part of the trip (Bose is a sponsor of The MMQB) was a meal with me. So we met at 9 a.m., on the East Side of Manhattan, and Roy, wearing his Montana Grizzlies jacket, and Cathy told me their story of the weekend.

Fans swarmed Super Bowl Boulevard in midtown Manhattan last week. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)
Fans from all over swarmed Super Bowl Boulevard in midtown Manhattan last week. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

Roy is 61. He is the Missoula County Public School Food Service warehouse manager. He had never been to New York, and he had no plans to go. Ever. Actually, he had never been east of Chicago before, except for Florida. When he and Kathy landed at JFK Airport Thursday evening, they were picked up in a Mercedes sedan (“Amazing leather seats—we sunk right into them!” Roy said) and dropped off at the Renaissance Hotel Times Square. On Friday, they ran into Troy Aikman at the hotel. In an elevator, they saw Randy Moss and said only, “Hi.” Said Cathy: “We didn’t want to bother him.” They walked a lot. Ten blocks north of the hotel and back. Ten blocks east of the hotel and back. Ten blocks south of the hotel and back. They sampled as many Irish bars as they could. “Black and tan’s my beer,” Roy said. “I like beer. Too many beers, too little time.” At home, he’s partial to Moose Drool, a Missoula brew. And Saturday night, Cathy fell asleep before midnight, but the din from the Jay-Z concert nearby seeped through the window of their sixth-floor room. “I loved it,” said Roy.

“This trip,” said Roy, “has been a total lightning bolt. Amazing. A couple of times I said to friends, ‘You know what I think I’ll do this weekend? I think I’ll go to New York for the Super Bowl!’ My friends have said to me, ‘You sure you want to take your wife? I’m available.’ ”

“Let’s just say,” said Cathy, “this is a little bigger than a Montana Grizzly game.”

“What,” I asked, “would you guys be doing today for the Super Bowl if you didn’t come here?”

“We’d be at the Eagles Lodge for a pot luck,” he said. “Eagles Lodge 62. Maybe about 150 or 200 people would show up. The day starts about noon with a cribbage tournament. For the food, someone would bring elk sausage, somebody else wild-game chili, and we’d probably bring some smoked Rocky Mountain trout, from my own smoker. It’s fantastic.”

The Grusses were scheduled to return to Montana on Monday. “I have work Tuesday,” said Roy. “I’ll be up Tuesday morning at 3, into work by 4:30. Everyone here has been so nice. You hear things about New Yorkers, but the people have been wonderful. But we’ll be ready to get home.”

Good to meet you, Grusses. Thanks for the company.

Tweets of the Week

I
“‘Uncle’ – Broncos”

—@DrewBledsoe, when it was 36-8.

II
“Defense wins championships!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #okthatsenough!”

—@JustinTuckNYG, after it got to be 22-0 some 27 minutes into the Super Bowl.

III
“At halftime, Ted Nugent is going to shoot Joe Namath’s coat.”

—@AlbertBrooks, the comedian, in the first half of the Super Bowl.

IV
“Worst part of radio row at SB – how everyone interviewing u looks around for who they can grab next instead of engaging the conversation!”

—@kurt13warner, the former quarterback and current NFL Network analyst, on the chase for guests at the Super Bowl Media Center Radio Row.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think we know now why GM John Schneider committed so many resources and so much money to deal for Percy Harvin. Harvin and the Jet Sweep. Harvin and the kickoff return. Harvin and being healthy. His speed is a revelation. Before his score to start the second half, the Seahawks called a kick-return they hadn’t called all season. And teammates said to Harvin on the field, “See you in the end zone.”

2. I think the poise of Russell Wilson is something to behold. Did you see him once get tight? He had two early overthrows. After that … wow, for a 25-year-old player on such a grand stage. I loved his early roll to the left and throw across his body to Golden Tate, lasered to the sideline for a gain of 10 and a first down.

3. I think this is the way Wilson talks, either to us or to his coaches or teammates: “We knew we’d get here. We knew we’d bring it. We brought it.” That’s what he said at his locker postgame to quarterback coach Carl Smith. But it could have been to the beat guy from Spokane too.

(David Bergman/SI)
(David Bergman/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)

4. I think it’s not too much to ask that Peyton Manning and Manny Ramirez figure out how to get the snap right on the first play of the Super Bowl. Or is it?

5. I think the best candidates for the road team against Seattle in the NFL season-opener Sept. 4 are:

a. Denver. Ratings bonanza. Peyton Manning’s revenge. Or attempted revenge.

b. San Francisco. But I think the Niners would try to open Levi’s Stadium at home on Week 1. And they certainly wouldn’t want to open the year in their House of Horrors, where they’ve lost three times in the last two seasons.

c. Green Bay. Nothing like Aaron Rodgers and the Pack for some good ratings in the lidlifter.

d. Dallas. Jerry Jones never met an extravaganza he didn’t like.

6. I think the first thing I look at, when a team in a baseball city wins the Super Bowl, is the baseball schedule. Especially when stadiums are next door to each other. That wrecked the home opener for Baltimore last year. Good news, ’Hawk fans: Mariners at Rangers, 5:05 p.m. Pacific Time, on Sept. 4.

7. I think the NFL has to re-think its love of mass transportation and abandonment of cars at a Super Bowl, particularly at a venue where fans are so used to driving. And the Meadowlands is a driver’s paradise. When fans are still waiting to get a train or bus home two hours after the game, you’ve got a problem—especially when some of said fans have paid thousands to attend the event.

8. I think you might not have known it, but this was the earliest-arriving crowd in Super Bowl history. Scared off by the dread of long train and security lines, fans began teeming in at 2 p.m., and 80,000 of the 82,529 had cleared security 75 minutes before the game.

9. I think next year will be Charles Haley’s year.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Pete Thamel was right: Best sports event in New York/New Jersey over the weekend was Duke-Syracuse college hoops.

b. I still cannot believe the Philip Seymour Hoffman news.

c. Dying to see Gravity.

Talk Back

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

d. I’m really hoping the ridiculously unseasonable day Sunday won’t cause too many NFL owners to pound fists on tables and say, I want the Super Bowl in my town!

e. Look, what happened here is the NFL got lucky. Very lucky. Tell me the chances of it being 56 in mid-afternoon, with no wind, in East Rutherford on Feb. 2, historically. Six days earlier it was 7 degrees in mid-afternoon. So don’t tell me now the NFL should put Super Bowls outside in the north because this day proved you can. This day the NFL got a perfect window is what it proved.

f. New York/New Jersey swallowed the Super Bowl. If you live on the East Side of Manhattan, as I do, there was no indication anything different was up on Sunday.

g. Coffeenerdness: Gregory’s Coffee … brought a few media guys there for a quick booster during the week in Manhattan. Very good lattes.

h. Beernerdness: Guinness is best served colder than the Irish like it. I know that because at a Super Bowl event Thursday night in the city, the bartender told us they were serving at normal American beer temperatures. Not trying to be revolutionary, but it’s just better colder.

i. The MMQB doesn’t go into hibernation now just because the football season is over. We’ll be daily throughout the offseason. Only shorter, thank God.

The Adieu Haiku

Goodbye to football.
It was a very good year.
And Seattle reigns.

mmqb-end-slug-square

More from The MMQB
TAGS:
677 comments
ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

No way is Bettis a hall of famer.  I can name 15 running backs from his era that I thought were better and some of them won't end up in the hall of fame.

Patokev
Patokev

Too cold and it negates the true goodness of Guinness. The colder the stout, the irrelevance of the stout itself. Thus speaks an Irishman....

SMacAttack
SMacAttack

This sentence amazes me: "Cliff Avril, the former Lion, had just a so-so first season with the Seahawks." Not true. Cliff Avril had a great season with the Seahawks, regardless of the stat sheet says. Just ask his coaches and Seahawks fans. He terrorized opposing QB’s all season long. It’s amazing how clueless the national media is when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks.

PackersFanNumeroUno
PackersFanNumeroUno

Starting a team would you pick Wilson or Kaep for your QB? (Of course everyone would take Rodgers 1st but this is between kaep & wilson)

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

You mention Lechler, as if to bismirch Guy. No, Lechler should get in too, just like Morten, & Vinatieri.

RockinManny
RockinManny

PK-> 'its been a good year' (with a sigh of relief ) that finally his Superbowl prediction came true for a change!! So Mr SeacokSukka who's it gonna be next year ???????

mwr5053
mwr5053

I'm no advocate of northern cold-weather Super Bowl sites but FedEx Field in Wash, DC is one of the larger NFL stadiums in the country I believe, no? So, what will it take to get a Super Bowl in our Nation's Capital sometime in the next decade or so? I say it'll never happen if the Washington NFL franchise doesn't drop the "Redskins" . moniker to please all of the PC bleeding hearts. I hope it never happens but that's one strategy (bribery?) Goodell and the NFL could use against the Redskins franchise. You've heard of "Pay to Play" in politics; Why not "Change your name to Play Host to SB"? 

badbeatya
badbeatya

This just in:   the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is looking to detain/question Kam Chancellor for picking off a duck out of season.  Additionally, Percy Harvin is also wanted as he is suspected of putting a dagger into the hearts of Broncos everywhere.

David32
David32

For someone who is purportedly a journalist, Peter demonstrates very little investigative acumen. He continues to pretend that the NFL demonstrated that the Saints had a "bounty" program where they intentionally tried to injure opponents, yet every piece of "evidence" the NFL put forth was quickly and conclusively shown at best to be an extreme stretch of circumstances, and at worst to be a flat out lie. (For those of you that will bring up the Gregg Williams speech: First, it was not part of the NFL's evidence, it was released later by a sleaze all trying to make a quick buck. Second, the speech was simple words, what really maters is the Saints actions. They played the game after the speech without even committing a penalty and were one of the least penalized teams for the time period in question. Third, the "kill the head" line is pretty common in football. It was even painted on the wall of the Chiefs facility when Herm Edwards was coach.)

JorgeDeSilva
JorgeDeSilva

If Manning has to face another Seahawks or 49ers team in the next year or so he will never win another Superbowl. And thanks to Bill Belichick's arrogance as a GM, perhaps Brady won't either. 


Serena
Serena

Seriously Strahan voted into the hall before Haley?? 


Guess being a media darling really pays off when it comes to deciding whether or not a player was better than another player.


Seattle defence - the best team a chemist could put together, do you think that the cloud of Addral use will impact on how this team is thought of going into the future? 

RonAglund
RonAglund

Here's the definition per Webster of bounty for you Peter. I suggest you look it up next time or please let us know which of these is so suspect.

1:  something that is given generously

2:  liberality in giving :  generosity

3:  yield especially of a crop

4:  a reward, premium, or subsidy especially when offered or given by a government: as 

  a :  an extra allowance to induce entry into the armed services 

  b :  a grant to encourage an industry 

  c :  a payment to encourage the destruction of noxious animals 

  d :  a payment for the capture of or assistance in the capture of an outlaw

We all know you love Roger Goodell but by his definition and I'm guessing yours Seattle ran a "bounty" program this season but I didn't see you or Roger throwing the same tantrum and indignation as last time...

jdileonardo
jdileonardo

Its time for teams to rethink paying an elite QB $20M.  Under the cap it kills a teams ability to bring in the surrounding players and added depth needed to make it through the season and win a super bowl.  Manning makes 17 times what Wilson makes.  Clearly he is not 17 times more valuable.  The two best teams in the league (SEA and SF) have the two lowest paid QB in the league.  I realize you can't pay an elite QB < $1M but I think their real value is around $10M-$12M.  Its a better value proposition by giving a team the ability to pay a few more players.

KevinNovak
KevinNovak

Peter, you include a paragraph and an additional comment about a multimillionaire who lived in a make-believe world who slowly took his own life with drugs.  You somehow couldn't include a comment about the death of Terry Bradshaw's father?  Oh, wait.  Bradshaw is a talking head on another network...

ki.nazir72
ki.nazir72

Only the Jets could have Pete Carroll who had all the makings of an amazing Coach then, only the Jets could allow him to walk…There are very few Coaches and he's one of them.

BillHeinsonSr.
BillHeinsonSr.

Moxee, Washington is east of Yakima, barely. We not only saw it coming, we were sure it was going to happen.

JimCody
JimCody

"Seattle is so clearly the best team in football."

Except that they came within one play of getting beat by SF at home and would've lost if the game was in SF. It should read "Seattle so clearly has the best designed stadium in football."

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

@SMacAttack Avril made some huge plays this season.  HUGE! 

Avril and Bennett were most of the Hawks pass rush this season.  And Avril has a knack for knocking the ball out.  A couple plays like that are worth twice as many sacks.

HectorRex
HectorRex

@mwr5053  It'll never happen until you get a playable field.  That field was a travesty in the SEA-WAS playoff game last year.

Red-Stripes
Red-Stripes

@David32  Well, the Saints clearly didn't learn anything from the scandea;/suspensions when sideline cameras showed them high-fiving and celebrating a penalized helmet-to-helmet hit on Percy Harvin a couple of plays into their meeting with the Seahawks a few weeks ago.  Made for some bad optical.........

Mike26
Mike26

@David32  Oh gawd, WHY did PK have to mention ANY Saints for ANY reason?  Vilma hasn't been an effective player in 4 years and he keeps rehashing this thing.  


1.  The Saints are guilty.

2.  This isn't a court of law, it's a court of NFL with Goodell as judge (and backed by a REAL judge too)

3.  There will always be an asterisk by their win

4.  Gregg Williams will remain as dirty as ever - as will his teams, especially under the guise of amazingly mediocre Jeff Fisher

5.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't let drudown hijack this string!

drudown
drudown

@David32  


As a threshold matter, you wrongfully assume facts NOT in evidence. Taken to its illogical conclusion, you have NOT reviewed the evidence the NFL did in the Saints alleged Bounty Program. So, why are you taking a position that you have no personal knowledge of and trying to wield an imaginary sword around? Aside from your non sequitur, feeble attempt at character assassination- to "buy" your rendition of operative facts- it is "far fetched" to think a defense in the NFL "could" have a bounty system. Let me guess, you think "super-PACs" have had "no effect" on Congress' "shut down", "fracking water is safe to drink," Climate Change is a hoax, etc. Do I have that right?

Sdwalt
Sdwalt

@David32 The only people who care about the whole bounty thing anymore are a few bitter Saints fans. The rest of the country could care less.

Mike26
Mike26

@Serena  Perhaps a correctly-spelled post would help your case.


On the other hand, after deciphering what you DID write = probably not.

badbeatya
badbeatya

@Serena Do you think that your bad spelling and grammar will impact how you are looked upon?

KristinDiggins
KristinDiggins

@ki.nazir72  Wasn't he replaced with Rich Kotite?  For an ownership apparently so insightful politically given Mr. Johnson's guests t the game, that same group sure has struggled picking coaches.

HughJardonn
HughJardonn

@JimCody Don't forget the horrific officiating that went 95% against SF there also.

DiamondMask
DiamondMask

@JimCody  

but you lost the super bowl last year and the NFC championship this year........how strange you're still busy patting yourself on the back.

Rick57
Rick57

@JimCody Wow, you pathetic losers just can't grasp reality. One play or a hundred plays, Seattle beat SF to win the NFC. If your QB makes the throw it's different story and if I have had chosen different lottery numbers I would be a millionaire. You can talk about ifs all you want but the scoreboard doesn't lie. What could have happened is solace for losers. What's your excuse for not winning the Super Bowl last year?

BigSchtick
BigSchtick

@JimCody Barley lost in San Francisco and blew them out in Seattle, again. What is your point? Woulda coulda shoulda? WAAAAAAAAAA!

konenp
konenp

@JimCody  Absolutely agree and I'm (unfortunately the last two decades) a Skins fan.  The more accurate statement would be that the NFC is clearly ascending again like it did in the 80's and early 90's except the NFC west will play the role of the NFC east.  AFC has big name QB's just like in that era (Elway, Marino, and Kelly) but NFC has the more physical and better balanced teams.  

rskins09
rskins09

@HectorRex @mwr5053     Your right .. Had season tickets  for years @ RFK  and Fed Ex field ...Still can't figure  out  what  happened to Fed Ex  field  year before last   when Skins beat Dallas ( Yes ! )  and the game they lost to Seattle ..Remember Redskins were up  14-0  in the 1st quarter ...Sure it rained  between these two games  but it wasn't any monson , hurricane  ...Don't blame Pete Carroll   for being ticked after ..the game ...BTW, predicted  Seattle would be in the Super Bowl  this year ...Never seem a defense as dominate as  Seattle's for years ...Reminds me of the 1985 Bears  but with plenty of no-name players...   Impressive win for Seattle ..Not  taking anything away from Seattle, but feel   Manning AND  the Broncos  were playing in mountain time  & ..Manning forced way too many throws..Too many of his screen passes the Broncos offense looked as they  were playing in slow motion...... Weird ..

David32
David32

Yep, I'm sure you are absolutely correct that the Saints are the ONLY team who would ever do such a thing! It is amazing the double standard that exists here.

David32
David32

@Mike26 @David32  Claiming that the Saints are guilty is your opinion, backed by nothing other than Roger Goodell's word.  There was no "real" judge that supported his contention.  The closest they came was Mary Jo White - a former judge who was paid by the NFL.  In fact, she offered up one of the most outrageous lies in their "evidence" when she claimed that they knew Anthony Hargrove said "Give me my money" in a video becasue you could see his lips moving.  Once the video was made public, it was obvious to anyone who bothered to look that Hargrove's face was not even in the picture, so it was impossible to see his mouth at all.


There is no asterisk by their win - whichever one you are referring to.  They played the game on the field the same as the other team.

David32
David32

@drudown @David32  I am fully aware that there may be evidence which the public has not seen that could make a difference.  However, I find it extremely far-fetched to buy into the theory that the NFL would put worthless "evidence" on display when they had something more substantial.  That makes no sense whatsoever - they are trying to demonstrate the legitamacy of their claims, so they will do so by proffering the most feeble and flimsy bits of evidence in their possession?  I don't think so.  I am aware that there could have been stronger evidence that they did not want the public to see, but then why release anything?  Why make your case look bad when you don't have to?  And to be clear, I never said it was "far-fetched to think a defense in the NFL could have a bounty system".  What I said was the NFL provided no evidence to support their contention that the Saints had done so.

David32
David32

@Sdwalt @David32  If that were true, then why did King feel the need to put it in this column?

DavidHarte
DavidHarte

@BigSchtick @JimCody  


Lil'Schtick


Sorry, but January, not October, is the test.  Seattle got out of that game by the skin of their teeth.  Period.

MarkTitus
MarkTitus

@JayLandon64 @rskins09@HectorRex@mwr5053I gotta agree, and disagree with you in many different ways.  I too watched Da Bears of 85.  I'm 59 this month, been watching football since I was in 1st grade.  Seen all the dominate D's (too many to name), and you're right to a certain extent.  Chicago, was like no other for 1 year, and 1 year only, I don't care what anyone says.  They had a pretty good year in 84, but it was 85 that got them their championship.  In 86 they started to lose their grip on intimidation.  OC's figured out the 46 during the off-season 86.  I remember that team like yesterday, and to THIS day I've never understood why they got so many accolades for just 1 year.  Yes, they were scary, but they also had quite a few more rules on their side as far as what a defense can get away with.  It also didn't hurt to be in the 2nd biggest market either.  The media hype they got was ridiculous during that season.  McMahon had the game of his life against Minnesota on a Monday night and all hell broke loose.   They released "The Super Bowl Shuffle" during that same week. Laughable thinking back on it.  Embarrassing then,. . . laughable now.  Still, back to back shutouts while yielding a paltry 10 points to win a Lombardi is very impressive indeed.  I'll give em that, but that's all I'll give em.  These full grown men in the Pacific Northwest didn't have no cakewalk through their playoff run either ya know.  Alright, I'll spare you the details.  What we just witnessed was a defense that will be known as the greatest to ever win a championship.  I've seen em all when it comes to Super Bowls, but this one stands alone.  For all the marbles, the Seattle Seahawks stepped up like no other in championship history, let alone, Super Bowl.  From start to finish, no D ever DOMINATED like Seattle.  Again, Start to Finish.  When you couple that with the rules of today, the offense they were playing. . . only a lunatic would argue with it.  You might wanna slap yourself into consciousness. 

JayLandon64
JayLandon64

@rskins09 @HectorRex@mwr5053


"Reminds me of the 1985 Bears ..."


Yes and no.  Seattle had a dominant defense, and their results do remind of the 85 Bears, or the 2000 Ravens or the late 80s-early 90s Giants, but...


I always hesitate to compare any defense to the '85 Bears.  That Ravens team, those Giants' teams and this year's Seahawks all had similar results to that Bears team, but none did it the way that Bears team did.  I have NEVER, in 45 years of watching, seen a team UTTERLY terrify offenses the way that Bear team did.  Not intimidate, this went way beyond intimidation.  The Ravens, Giants, Seahawks, 70s Steelers, those teams were intimidating.  They intimidated offenses.  The 85 Bears terrified offenses.  That was the best defense I have ever seen.


This year's Seattle defense?  I'd say third, just behind #2 2000 Ravens, but slightly ahead of those Steeler and Giants Ds.

JaredRide
JaredRide

@EssJ @DavidHarte @BigSchtick @JimCody  Kaep choked in SB47 AND in this years NFC Champ game with the exact same pass to the exact same receiver.     SEA DOMINATED SF in the NFC Champ game, they just let off the gas too early against SF... they learned from it, as evidenced by the SB48 score where they NEVER let off the gas.

EssJ
EssJ

@DavidHarte @BigSchtick @JimCody  Had Kaepernick not choked and completed that touchdown to Crabtree you could have said that SF "got out of that game by the skin of their teeth. Period."


Of course, the only way that would happen is if Sherman was shot by a sniper, hit by a bolt of lightning or was otherwise incapacitated. There's no way Sherman would have let Crab catch it if he was anywhere near him.


Maybe Kaep can learn to throw the touch pass with high arc that Wilson has perfected. If he executes that type of throw on that play he might....a big might...have cleared Sherman and delivered it to Crab. You can tell him good luck with that the next time you see him.

Rumrunner11
Rumrunner11

@DavidHarte @BigSchtick@JimCodyMan, every time I think the term 40-whiner gets overplayed, some moron comes out and says Seattle was 'lucky' and 'barely' won.  Niners have the second best team in the league - ain't no shame in that???!!!

badbeatya
badbeatya

@JimCody Lol!  Wow.  I believe Seattle 'got out of that game' because the best defense in the NFL intercepted a choke artist trying to throw to a mediocre receiver.

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