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Congratulations, Seattle: To Your Seahawks and Every 12th Man.
I love watching Super Bowls in my bubble. Everyone does. It's terrifying not to.
I have watched Super Bowls in hostile environments before, and it blows. Instead, I try to get that out of the way early, so I watch ESPN and whatever Eastern bias is thrown together with a big budget, a few provided suits, and tossed on YouTube. I watch First Take and I enjoy it, but the more I heard every pundit with an IP address go on and on and on about the Broncos and their incredible offence – their incredible offence that really wasn't – the more I cringed at the idea of even predicting a winner. I cringed at that the way I cringed at everything Richard Sherman said in the two weeks leading up to today, because I wasn't sure whether he was gaining confidence per 140 character or whether he was waking a not-so-sleeping giant in Peyton Manning, the same guy who just own his fifth NFL MVP.
Turns out, talk is cheap, and so are those orange Denver jerseys. And by the end of Sunday night, they were dirty. Used, rode hard, and put away wet. The Seahawks had won their game of the year against San Francisco, and they looked like they kept growing, kept getting better, kept preparing for a bigger test.
The Broncos, of course, were stale and satisfied with what happened yesterday. They seemed to treat that New England win like it mattered, like the Patriots could even hold a candle to this season's Seahawks.
Denver said they knew how good Seattle was, and I believe they really think they knew how good they were. But they didn't know where to look... they were like a kid crossing an intersection in Europe. They looked both ways, but they didn't look all five ways, and there were Skittles-coloured cars from from every direction.
Russell Wilson proved everyone wrong. Not only did he not make a mistake, he did everything with purpose, precision, and poise. Wilson was Seattle's best player on Sunday, even if Malcolm Smith won a deserved Super Bowl MVP. Wilson threw, ran, and dodged everyone en route to 200-plus in the air and two touchdowns.
He wasn't only not sacked, he wasn't even touched. All we heard in the lead-up was how good Seattle's D was, but their O was in complete control. They were running downhill for 60 minutes, and even with a two-act halftime show, Denver came into the second stanza out of breath.
As for the Broncos, not only could they they not play... they couldn't even fall forward.
Denver didn't nab a first down until 20 minutes into the game, and everyone with the ball – you could have been a Pro Bowler or All-Decade star like Demaryius Thomas or Wes Welker, and it didn't matter – was hit, stuck, and slammed backward.
Seattle's defence is, perhaps, the most physical this league has ever seen. Not because they're tougher or because they hit harder, but because they never let you loose and they never give you an inch. Everyone who goes to ground is touched or tackled by one, two, three defenders. And everything Seattle does is LEGAL.
Ask Peyton Manning. That opening safety was weird, so we'll let him off the hook. And the interceptions weren't even his fault, really. He was trying to make a play because he had to make a play, and he just wasn't able to. Denver's vaunted offensive line looked like Rocky in his first fight against Clubber Lang and Peyton was left tumbling in the waves, trying to grab ahold of the sandy bottom before his hip smashed on a reef.
Seattle's defence is no joke. But you already knew this.
And even when I went back and forth on my Super Bowl predictions – telling everyone, of course, that the Seahawks had a chance and a very good, but also admitting that I would have put my money on Denver, if I was a careful better – I couldn't let one thing escape my mind...
The Denver Broncos have shown us everything they have. Seattle hasn't yet. They still have so much to prove, and they're too good to fail now.
But for all that B.S. 'Offence vs Defence' talk, the Seahawks were dominant on each side of the ball, and every single player had a hand in this Super Bowl victory. Denver's offence obviously had no idea what hit them, but neither did the Broncos' defence. Russell Wilson was perfect and proved everyone wrong, Percy Harvin was explosive, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse trumped each Thomas from Colorado, and everyone in Nike neon made Peyton Manning et al look like chumps. That's what happens when nobody with a microphone ever sits down and watches anyone out West for an entire season.
Congratulations, Seattle. One hell of a year. One well deserved championship for every 12th Man.