No NFL team can look as bad as the Denver Broncos did yesterday in the Super Bowl, a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. This is what I think happened.
As a team, the Broncos came into the game with a certain mind-set, that their quarterback, Peyton Manning was not only invincible but a Super Bowl 48 championship was his destiny.
With that mind-set, most of the Broncos prepared for what they thought was the inevitable, that they would win the Big One. They believed too much in Manning, and they did not prepare properly and were not ready to play mentally. That first play of the game, the unexpected and errant snap by Broncos center Manny Ramirez, the one that sailed into the end zone for a safety, was so indicative of the Denver mind-set.
Peyton Manning will go down in football history as possibly the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. But no one player can do it all in football.
Football is one of the most demanding of team sports. All eleven players, particularly on offense, have a role on every play. That is unlike basketball where one player, like Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan or LeBron James can almost single-handedly control the game. Nor is it like baseball, that most individual of team sports. Think batter v. pitcher. Think outfielder maker a catch. The rest of the team has nothing to do with that at-bat or that catch.
True, Seattle has a great defense and came ready to play at a high level. But no way are the Seahawks 35 points better than Denver if the mental outlook of both teams are the same.
The Broncos believed in destiny, that Peyton Manning would carry them no matter waht. And it failed them miserably.