People are undoubtedly disappointed by the Denver Broncos’ 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s Super Bowl. The Broncos didn’t just lose — they lost pathetically, tying the Buffalo Bills for the third largest blowout in Super Bowl history with a 35-point margin.
The Broncos also hold the record for the largest Super Bowl loss — a 55-10 beatdown against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV — and the most losses in the big game by a single franchise with five.
Some might even feel bad for the recently anointed NFL Most Valuable Player, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning had a Super Bowl he wishes he could forget — throwing for 280 yards and touchdown, along with two picks and a lost fumble.
Manning had a historic season, leading his team to a 13-3 record, an AFC West Division Championship and also setting individual NFL records for single-season passing yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55). He did not just have a legendary regular season, he continued this greatness into the postseason with clutch wins over the San Diego Chargers and his perennial rival, the New England Patriots.
After Manning defeated Tom Brady in his biggest challenge this season, it appeared he was on a pathway to his second Super Bowl victory. Then Manning went to the Big Apple and met his destroyers in the “Legion of Boom,” otherwise known as the Seahawks’ defense. Viewers might have been greatly surprised by Manning’s abrupt downfall Sunday night, but for those of us who believe that perfection is as legitimate as the tooth fairy, his loss was a long time coming.
As mentioned earlier, Manning set the record for passing touchdowns this season with 55. The record that he beat was that of his rival, Tom Brady, who launched a then-record of 50 touchdowns in 2007. For those who don’t remember that season, Brady led the Patriots to a perfect 16-0 regular season and continued that excellence in the playoffs. However, the Patriots’ run reached an unsatisfactory ending when the underdog New York Giants disrupted their pursuit of perfection in Super Bowl XLII.
In recent years, many media outlets have declared that the game has changed so that it’s not the defense that wins championships, but the quarterbacks. The flaw with this logic is that it pushes the majority of the responsibility on one player instead of the 11 of an entire unit on the field. That was one of Manning’s biggest issues for this Super Bowl — after carrying a team for 18 great games, Manning’s back had finally given out.
While he was blindsided by the tremendous play from Seattle’s defense, the fans at home were just as stunned at the realization that Manning is not Captain America, or Iron Man. He is merely a future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback.