A Super Implosion: What Happened To The Denver Broncos?

By Connor Fulton, Posted: 02/04/14 07:07AM EST

Follow Connor Fulton on Twitter @Fulton_Connor

Peyton Manning insists that the Broncos' stunning 43-8 loss to the Seahawks on the game's biggest stage wasn't embarrassing, saying "that word embarrassing is an insulting word to tell the truth."

Considering that the Cleveland Browns would have put up a better fight, it is actually pretty embarrassing. Even one of Manning's favorite receiving targets, Wes Welker, thinks so. 

Just like it takes a team effort to win a Super Bowl, it takes a team effort to implode in one too. So don't blame the Broncos' nightmare solely on center Manny Ramirez. It is just as likely that the Seahawks would have botched the first snap if they had started with the ball. The crowd noise in MetLife stadium in the beginning of the game was deafening, more so than a typical Super Bowl. 

Then what exactly caused the 2013 Denver Broncos, featuring the best offense in NFL history, to be the victim of one of the most colossal collapses in American sports history? A trip in the time machine back to February 2008 might help shed some light.

The 2007 New England Patriots were arguably the best team that didn't win the Super Bowl. They rode Tom Brady's arm and a staff of talented receivers to an 18-0 record, and threatened the 1973 Miami Dolphins' perfect season. Their defense, while not spectacular, was serviceable, and knew how to protect a lead. The 2013 Broncos mirror the '07 Pats in these categories, and even trump them in some areas--Manning's touchdown passes and yards bested Brady's then-record-setting numbers.

And just like the '07 Patriots, the '13 Broncos reached the ultimate destination, and lost. While the final score of these two games were very different, the root cause for each disappointment was the same: the fear of not winning. Both the 2007 New York Giants and the 2013 Seattle Seahawks took advantage of pass-heavy teams that were more preoccupied with not messing up than going all-in for the victory. 

The '07 Giants and the '13 Seahawks have a lot in common. Both teams drew energy from fierce pass rushing units and aggressive secondaries, and had offenses that knew how to keep the opposing quarterback off the field. When playing Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, your best bet is to maximize their time on the sideline, and both of these championship teams accomplished that in their respective Super Bowl wins.

Denver's fear of not winning was evidenced by displays of hesitation throughout the game. Manning's "happy feet", the offensive line on its collective heels, and Demaryius Thomas's indecision on a particular 3rd & inches play come to mind. Thomas's hesitation was a microcosm of the Broncos' performance throughout the game--the team as whole looked as if they were always a step behind Seattle. There was no doubt that the Seahawks controlled the pace of the game from the opening kickoff. 

Contrast these examples of holding back with Seattle's aggressive, fast, and confident style of play in all phases of the game. The Seahawks simply wanted to win, and went after it. Yes, Denver also wanted to win, but they were dragged down by their fear of screwing up a dream season. 

Follow Connor Fulton on Twitter @Fulton_Connor

© 2017 iSports Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


New England Patriots Trading Jimmy Garoppolo to Cleveland Browns After RG3 Injury?

Jimmy Garoppolo performed well for the New England Patriots in Week 1, but his time as a starter mig... more

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas Returning Against Indianapolis Colts

The Denver Broncos may be getting a big shot in the arm if reports are true that wide receiver Demar... more

NFL Rumors: Cleveland Browns Signing Geno Smith To Replace Robert Griffin III

The Cleveland Browns find themselves in a very precarious position following the untimely injury to ... more

MLB Trade Rumors: Ryan Braun To LA Dodgers for Yasiel Puig

Imminent Blockbuster Trade seems to be a done deal for Dodgers' Yasiel Puig and Brewers' Ryan Braun more

MLB Standings & Playoff Race: Why the Chicago Cubs Should Fear the LA Dodgers

The return of Dodgers' pitcher Clayton Kershaw should put a scare on the Chicago Cubs' magical seaso... more

Cleveland Cavaliers Get DeMarcus Cousins For Kevin Love, Is It A Fair Deal?

The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t need much to improve for the coming season meaning Kevin Love trade ru... more

Miami Heat Should Trade Chris Bosh, Build Around Hassan Whiteside

The likelihood of Miami Heat big man Chris Bosh of leaving the team is getting bigger, as possible t... more

WWE No Mercy 2016 Latest News: AJ Styles vs. John Cena Revived, Dean Ambrose the Odd Man Out?

AJ Styles will put the WWE heavyweight title on the line at No Mercy in a Triple Threat match which ... more

Real Time Analytics