Posted February 02, 2014

Peyton Manning harassed by Seattle’s No. 1 defense in lopsided first half

AFC West, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII
Peyton Manning has gone 17-of-23 for 104 yards and two interceptions.

At the half, Peyton Manning has gone 17-of-23 for 104 yards and two interceptions. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl started with a nightmarish moment, and somehow his first half only spiraled downward from there.

The Broncos’ quarterback appeared to be making one of his patented adjustments at the line of scrimmage when center Manny Ramirez fired the game’s first snap past him and into the end zone for a safety. Seattle’s resulting two points were the fastest ever scored in Super Bowl history, requiring a mere 12 seconds.

Two interceptions — including a Malcolm Smith pick-six later — Manning found himself staring at a 22-0 halftime deficit.

Denver looked totally overwhelmed by Seattle’s team speed in all aspects of the game, and Manning, one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game, was not immune. His first INT came on a 3rd-and-7 pass attempt to a very covered Julius Thomas. Manning’s pass may have been tipped at the line by Bobby Wagner, but whatever the cause, it wobbled right into the arms of Seattle safety Kam Chancellor.

GALLERY: SI’s best photographs from Super Bowl XLVIII

Manning’s second costly miscue came courtesy of a bull rush off the edge by Seattle DE Cliff Avril, who drove OT Orlando Franklin back into Manning. Avril then hit Manning’s arm as he tried to fire downfield, thus causing the pass to flutter into the arms of Smith, who raced back 69 yards for a touchdown. That was the longest INT return in Super Bowl history since Tracy Porter’s 74-yard pick-six against Manning, then a Colt, in Super Bowl XLIV.

“They are a smart defense,” said Manning of Seattle this week. “They communicate well. They do a good job pre-snap and post-snap. It’s hard to make comparisons to other teams. … You are playing against a smart, athletic defense.”

The first half actually brought back memories of the preseason game between these two teams way back in August. Seattle won that game 40-10 — a result that led to John Elway laying into the Broncos.

“It was a butt-kicking, whether it was preseason or regular season,” Manning said this week, echoing the thoughts expressed by many of his teammates. “[Elway] was just sharing his thoughts that that won’t be accepted under his reign as leader of this organization, along with Pat Bowlen. I was taking notes; a lot of players were taking notes.”

Manning nearly found a groove late in the first half on a drive that took Denver deep into Seattle territory. But on a 4th-and-2 from the Seattle 19, the Broncos passed on a field-goal attempt for a shot at the TD. Instead, Manning’s arm was again hit — this time by Chris Clemons, who also planted Manning on an earlier completion — and the ball fluttered to the turf, just in front of sprawling Seattle cornerback Walter Thurmond.

16 comments
messirules
messirules

I think 'lopsided' might not be a strong enough word.....

northcalguy10
northcalguy10

Peyton was right, he does throw td ducks.... for a pick six.

DeanHewitt
DeanHewitt

You only needed to see Peyton's eyes when that ball went over his head on the first offensive play.  He was toast.  He's old and finished....

beast
beast

I predicted a Seattle 55 Denver 13. Off a bit but I knew Seattle would pressure Manning, contrary to the Pats miserable, amateur defensive line and I know what happens when Manning gets pressured. He crumbles. 


In an era of NFL teams banking it all on offense and star QBs, the Seattle Seahawks showed everyone why defense wins games. 



mkmck69
mkmck69

Yet another Manning choke job. He may be one of the best regular season QBs, but he has Dr Heimlich on retainer come playoff time.

Matthew W
Matthew W

Maybe Peyton should have been in the film room instead of on set for all those commercials?

fuggetaboutit909
fuggetaboutit909

can you imagine that with the weather... halftime show.... NYC (and jersey) as a great host of an event.....


the worst thing was the game itself.

Holland
Holland

Boring game……no real mvp either

Bjornagast
Bjornagast

Peyton, I'm so glad you lost--AGAIN. How does a supposed top-five QB lose in the playoffs so often and so badly?


You can cram that Papa John's pizza where the sun don't shine. 

Paul23
Paul23

@mkmck69 I have to agree with Ray. Peyton does not take this loss on his shoulders. The team did not step up. They looked as though they forgot there was a game going on.


Go Hawks!

Ray1950
Ray1950

@mkmck69  His O Line was pathetic.

The Denver defense was inept. 

The Seahawk defense came as advertised; the best in the league.


And Peyton choked?

Paul23
Paul23

@Holland I agree. No real MVP. The whole Seattle team played together as a team and did their job. As for it being boring...it wasn't for us Hawk fans.


Go Hawks!