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2014 Super Bowl Recap

by Tony Medley

I don’t expect ordinary fans, or the guys who watch in bars, or sportscasters, or sportswriters, or the people who waste so many hours on fantasy leagues, to know enough to be able to predict who will win or lose a game.

But Las Vegas oddsmakers and the talking heads? These people spend their entire lives on football. The talking heads make millions of dollars and presumably watch almost every play of every game every week to make their analyses. For instance, ESPN’s Ron Jaworski (a former Rams and Eagles quarterback), who spends every hour of every day watching films of every game, picked Denver. How can that be? How in God’s creation could any of these people have thought, not only that the Seattle-Denver Super Bowl would be a close game, but that Denver could win it? Probably because of all these misguided views, Denver was actually favored by the oddsmakers and 68% of the action was on Denver giving points!

As I said in my preview of the game, Denver was completely outmanned in terms of quality players. Denver had only two chances: 1.That Peyton Manning would have a superhuman game, or, 2. that the referees would throw flags on defensive holding and pass interference calls that would stymie Seattle’s defense, which, if not the best in NFL history, is one of the best. Since neither happened, the result was a foregone conclusion and should have been self-evident. The far better team won in a walkaway. The score was perfectly reflective of the quality of the two teams.

Manning actually completed a lot of passes (34/49). The story of the defense was that it was so stifling that the receivers were tackled immediately after the catch, so Denver had few, if any, catches and runs for long gains after the catch.

There’s really nothing more to say about the game that I didn’t say in my preview. Denver didn’t belong on the same field with Seattle. The two best teams in the NFL are Seattle and San Francisco. The AFC was loaded with mediocrity, perfectly exemplified by Denver. In fact, San Diego, which should have beaten Denver with a better game plan (an idiotic plan devised, I remind you, by coaches and players; need I say more?), would have been a better opponent for Seattle than Denver, although the Chargers wouldn’t have fared too much better against Seattle than Denver.

It’s not that easy to intelligently watch a game on TV. Because the networks “float the 50,” we can rarely see the defensive secondary. Before the ‘70s TV covered football games with one play by play camera, located on the 50 yard line. When televising football became more profitable and they could afford more cameras, they “floated” the 50 by putting cameras on both 25 yard lines along with the one on the 50, so that they alternated play-by-play cameras as the ball moved up and down the field, ergo “floating the 50.” I would far prefer that the play-by-play camera be from the end zone where the viewer can see the entire field and all the players, including all the potential receivers and the coverage. On the few replays that showed coverage, you could see that the Denver receivers could never generate separation between them and the defenders. So when they caught the pass, they were tackled without any further gain. It could be the finest pass defense ever seen in the Super Bowl.

That’s why I’m amazed to hear people say that they thought the game was “horrible” and boring. I thought it was exceptional. One rarely has the opportunity to view perfection, and that’s what Seattle’s defense was. I loved the game.