Posted February 08, 2014

The All-22: Seattle’s defensive effort was historic … and will be hard to replicate

Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII
(Elsa/Getty Images)

The Legion of Boom is a rare entity. (Elsa/Getty Images)

“People don’t understand us. They’re kind of used to normal. Well, we’re the new normal.” — Earl Thomas

In a league defined by the passing game more and more every year, it was anything but normal. Through the 2013 regular season, Peyton Manning led the most prolific offense in NFL history, scoring 606 points and overpowering opponents with as compelling an array of targets as you’ll ever see. And then, Manning’s Broncos came to MetLife Stadium to face Thomas and the rest of the Seahawks’ defense. And that’s where it all ended.

Seattle’s 43-8 thrashing of the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII was the perfect and ultimate distillation of the defensive philosophy Pete Carroll brought with him from USC when he became Seattle’s head coach in January 2010. The Seahawks pitched the first first-half shutout since the Ravens did it to the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. The Seahawks shut the Broncos out through three quarters, the first time that’s happened since the Steelers did it to the Vikings in Super Bowl IX.

Manning completed 34 of 49 passes for 280 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, but the game was out of hand before the first half was over, so his surface stats were little more than spackle — they don’t tell the story of Seattle’s historic dominance. This was the first time since the divisional round of the 2004 season that a Manning-led team not resting its starters was held to fewer than 10 points. Manning averaged 8.2 yards per completion; the league average in 2013 was 11.6. Demaryius Thomas set a Super Bowl record with 13 catches, but most came during the definition of garbage time: Just five were good for a first down, seven went for fewer than 10 yards and one was fumbled away. On the biggest stage imaginable, this was a 1970s-style defensive beatdown in a new-millennium league, which makes it as impressive as any single-game defensive performance in the sport — in any year.

Now, everyone is talking about how to replicate Seattle’s defensive philosophy and personnel, just as they were when the Steel Curtain, the 1980s Bears and the Ravens during Ray Lewis’ heyday did their thing. And, as was the case then, putting together this kind of defense in one offseason is about as likely as opening a box of Cap’n Crunch and finding the Hope Diamond at the bottom. You’ll hear a lot this spring and summer about rotational defensive linemen and big, physical cornerbacks and linebackers who can cover with speed through the half and safeties who can play everywhere. Just remember, buying a Stratocaster doesn’t make you Jimi Hendrix.

Asked two days after the Super Bowl if his team should aspire to put together a defense like Seattle’s, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was effusive in his praise. “Well, with all due respect, I don’t think it’s possible to play at that level for many other teams in this league. If any,” he said. “That’s a talented group that’s one of the best that’s been around the league for a long time. I don’t think that should be our goal. We need to improve on both sides of the ball, but that team has a unique mixture of secondary talent that’s as good a group in the league as you’re going to see, and a front seven that really plays well together.”

And that’s the reality of the situation. Seattle’s defense was created over time, with an unyielding vision that mixed old-school and new-school principles to perfection.

Let’s take a look at what it did to the Broncos.

“Yeah, anytime, man. I want anybody one-on-one in the slot. Anytime.” — Wes Welker, during Super Bowl Media Day

“Don’t you ever say you want one-on-ones with us! Don’t you ever say that!”  — Richard Sherman to Welker in Super Bowl XLVII

Well, nobody wanted those one-on-one matchups. Seattle’s strategy against the Broncos was clear — take away Manning’s opportunities for the deep ball with pressure and tight coverage, leaving shorter passes open — but it wasn’t simple. Those shorter completions were punishable offenses; Seahawks’ defenders closed in on the quick stuff all evening and left a haymaker for every underneath completion. To that end, Seattle frequently used safety Kam Chancellor as a lurk defender, sticking at linebacker depth or just behind, while a defensive lineman dropped into coverage to further muddy Manning’s looks.

It wasn’t the first time Seattle did this in 2013, and it wasn’t the first time it worked. When the Seahawks welcomed the Saints to CenturyLink Field on Dec. 2, Drew Brees completed 23 of 38 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. He went 0 for 8 on attempts that traveled at least 15 yards in the air. That was because Seattle sped up time on his long reads, brought headaches on anything else and showed more looks than those categorizing this defense as “simple” would have you believe. Brees’ incomplete pass to tight end Jimmy Graham with 5:48 remaining in the first quarter serves as an excellent example.

Chancellor (31) is just behind the left side of the line, to the left of defensive end Red Bryant. He backed off into short coverage in case the right side tight end in New Orleans’ two-tight end, six-offensive lineman formation was a target. However, Graham was the target on the other side, and it was outside linebacker Bruce Irvin who followed Graham in coverage on the out route, after he first keyed in on the running back. Irvin was selected in the first round of the 2012 draft as a defensive end, but the Seahawks moved him to outside linebacker before the 2013 season, forcing him to learn coverage concepts for the first time. Irvin came over and leveled Graham near the sideline, timing his hit perfectly to jar the ball loose for the incompletion.

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And it wasn’t just the fast guys who stopped Denver’s short passes. With 8:10 left in the first half, after a Manning deep pass to Demaryius Thomas missed its target, the Broncos faced second-and-10 from their own 40-yard line. This time, Manning attempted a quick screen to running back Montee Ball, with fairly dismal results. The instigators were actually Seattle’s two defensive tackles, Michael Bennett (72) and Clinton McDonald (69), who broke off with surprising speed to stop the play from where they were. Bennett bounced off a spin move he gave left guard Zane Beadles, while McDonald shot to his left from a block by right guard Louis Vasquez. They arrived at the same time to stop Ball for a one-yard gain. Just as important, though, was the way right cornerback Byron Maxwell and slot cornerback Walter Thurmond performed a coverage switch when Welker and Eric Decker tried a crossing concept from the snap. Sherman had Andre Caldwell on lock on the other side. For Broncos fans, the most frustrating aspect of this play, upon further review, will undoubtedly be that tight end Julius Thomas was roaming through the middle of Seattle’s coverage, basically wide open.

It wasn’t the first — or last — time Manning would miss an opportunity.

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At the end of that drive, with 3:36 remaining in the first half, Manning threw the interception that linebacker and eventual Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith returned for a 69-yard touchdown. The Broncos went trips left to break up Seattle’s coverage, and it would have worked had defensive end Cliff Avril not disrupted Manning’s throw with his pass rush, causing Manning to throw a duck to running back Knowshon Moreno that Smith easily jumped. Throughout the game, Denver ran picks underneath, but Manning didn’t exploit the advantages he should have gained by picking apart the Seahawks’ coverage against bunched and grouped formations. In its Week 5 loss to the Colts, Seattle was vexed by Andrew Luck’s ability to drive the ball to his receivers out of trips and bunch. It was ironic (and probably stinging) that Manning’s successor in Indy had that on lock, while Manning did not.

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Of course, even when Manning did use bunch to break up coverage, it didn’t quite work. With 6:08 left in the third quarter and Denver already trailing 29-0, Demaryius Thomas ran a deep crossing route from the far side of bunch right. Chancellor (red box) was playing at lurk depth, and this play actually exposed a weakness in lurk coverage — when Chancellor ran up the seam, he gave Thomas a free release across, providing Thomas with a nice, big pocket in the middle of Seattle’s defense. Thomas caught the ball and tried to stiff-arm Maxwell to gain extra yardage. But Maxwell stripped him, Smith recovered the fumble and right tackle Orlando Franklin added a 15-yard unneccessary roughness penalty to put the Seahawks back in business from their own 42-yard line. When Russell Wilson hit Jermaine Kearse for a 23-yard touchdown six plays later, the margin increased to 36-0.

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The carnage was just about complete. After the game, Sherman added insult to injury by intimating the Broncos were giving away even more than they originally thought.

“All we did was play situational football,” he told Robert Klemko of TheMMQB.com. “We knew what route concepts they liked on different downs, so we jumped all the routes. Then we figured out the hand signals for a few of the route audibles in the first half.”

“You know, it looked like it,” Broncos head coach John Fox said the next day. “But I think it’s more that they’re very good players. I don’t know that there are any mystery things. You’d have to ask [Manning]. But they’re a good football team. And I think it was more about them executing and playing very well than any other stuff.”

Thus, the template was set. Any number of teams will now try to mirror it. But the architect avoided any notion that his house was complete. Asked on Monday to put his defense in historical context, Carroll wisely deferred.

“Just so my guys hear this, I don’t want to take any shots at our guys that we’re this or we’re that or whatever, or we’re not this or that. I don’t know how to answer that question. I think you look back years down the road, and you access what you accomplished with a group. You can take account of it then. I think when you’re in the middle of it, it’s not time to talk that way. We don’t know. We put together a couple of good seasons, back-to-back really big-time seasons in scoring and playing good, solid defense in a similar fashion. That’s pretty cool. When the names of the teams and the years of [the all-time best defenses] come up, you have many big-time defenses that have played. We’ll see. You have to look back, I think, and evaluate rather than call it right now. You won’t get me doing that.”

So that’s fair warning, NFL. The Seahawks believe their defense can be even better in 2014. And they just might be right.

58 comments
SteveGuillory
SteveGuillory

Get off your high horse Seattle. You had the Super Bowl handed to you on a silver platter. It couldn't have been any easier. Enjoy the victory, because it may not be as easy next time. But good luck!

destrusdominate
destrusdominate

When all is said and done, this Superbowl will be not even be remembered. It was unmemorable. All this talk of Seattle being so great is nonsense; They barely made the Superbowl. The Ravens won the year before, and no one even remembers that. I think everyone's ready to move on to next year. New year, new results.

JPG
JPG

Just got through watching the complete replay of Super Bowl 48.  And this time I was more impressed with Seattle - especially the defense - than the first time.

Expecting Thurmond and Miller to leave and both Bennett and Tate to stay I believe the Seahawks, with the home/away games next year, expect to win 12+ games for the 2014 season.

Bold prediction...SF won't make the post season and instead Arizona will.


dkmightyhammer1968
dkmightyhammer1968

I postulated on the idea of Seattle's chances of getting into the "best defense of all time" discussion before the game.  I was asking on blogs and just amongst friends if (big if) Seattle could hold the all time highest scoring offense to under 7 points should they be in the talk for best defense ever?  Its nice to see so many articles since the Superbowl echoing that very sentiment.


Here is some food for though; Even if the Seahawk's offense and special teams had never scored a point Seattle's defense would have still beat the Denver Bronco's (best ever) offense by a score of 9-8.  That is freakin' crazy.

Realist
Realist

Before we go ahead and coronate the Seahawks as the greatest team ever and give them the Lombardi for the next 2 seasons ... it might be worthwhile to remember that they would have lost the NFC title game were it not for repeated assistance from the 12th men (the ones wearing stripes).


EricGoldberg
EricGoldberg

All the posters out there calling the Seahawks punks and thugs know damn well they'll be the begging their own teams to pick them up as soon as free agency hits.

formido
formido

So dumb. It's like you didn't watch that Indy game. No one who watched it thought Luck was picking apart Seattle's coverage or had figured them out with picks and trips. He was like 1 for his first 12 passes. His TDs came on a broken coverage and one perfect pass over Browner. By the way, Browner was replaced with a far better cover corner in Maxwell since then.

cmu9082695
cmu9082695

I watched the game in Xcalak, about as far south on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as you can find a TV.  I was the only Seahawks' jersey in a sea of orange.  The crowd was mellow.  By the third quarter, the Bronco's fans started filing out.  Meanwhile, the staff started breaking down the tables and, then, started watching the game, cheering every Seahawks hit.  Who knew it would be so easy to acquire a new following for the Seahawks!  Thanks Pete, John and Paul and our whole wonderful team and please tell the idiot NFL that if they would sell the package in Mexico, we would buy it instead of streaming it free in Mexico from Europe.  And, to the SI staff, it would be really nice to see some reporting the next day on our late games and to the idiot announcers, it would be even nicer to see some fair and balanced announcing.  GGo team...Seahawks, that is!

EJ1
EJ1

If you truly like and understand football, this was a fascinating and very entertaining game.  Watching how fast this defense responded to every play the first three quarters was amazing, especially against that offense.  Manning's inability to adapt was also a revelation, given that was one of his primary strengths during the season.


Interesting championship games fact:  Denver scored 26 points against a significantly inferior defense than they would play in the Super Bowl.  Seattle scored 23 points against a significantly superior defense than they would play in the Super Bowl.  By this metric, Seattle would have been predicted to blow out Denver.  And they did.  Yet not one pundit predicted the outcome.


The only surprise is just how dominant Seattle's defense actually was.  That was a performance for the ages.

Seahawks88
Seahawks88

Punks? They were more then respectful to the Bronco's players and coaches throughout media week and all the way up to the superbowl. Do you understand how damn good the Broncos and Peyton are??? Do you understand how HARD it is to go 13-3 in a stack division like the NFC West? Not to mention the other power houses in the NFC? The Panthers, Saints, and Atlanta before we knew that Matt Ryan sucks without Julio? and don't say O-line.. Hawks had both star receivers out all year, both pro bowl O-linemen, and other linemen to boot from week 2 to around 11 and later... Then Browner there Pro-bowl corner, Thurmond who would be a star on another team for 4 weeks. The Seahawks are THAT good on defense and what they say is true. if you can't take it quit reading these articles!

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

It was the #1 offense in NFL history against the best defense in the NFL in 2013. 


It was going to be the coronation of Manning as the greatest ever.

The Seahawks won, and it wasn't even close. 

 Manning is not as great as all his stats indicate.

footballfanatic7
footballfanatic7

While very, very good players, the Hawks are also a bunch of punks.  I can't believe the amount of trash I've heard since their win.  You won - and in convincing fashion.  Let that stand for itself.  All this other stuff such as "after the first look at film on Denver I knew we had the Super Bowl won" and "we knew Manning's hand signals", "we let Denver score" etc. isn't necessary.  Manning and the Broncos had a bad game.  Hard to understand why when it is the Super Bowl.  Wish it was otherwise because it ended up being a very boring game when we were all expecting something great.

HankMoses
HankMoses

@SteveGuillory officially the dumbest comment ever typed onto a sports message board. Nice work, genius, where do we send the certificate? The local elementary school? BTW How's third grade treating you?

StonewallTJJ
StonewallTJJ

@SteveGuillory Get off their high horse? They have every reason to be there. They completely shut down what many called "the best offense in the history of the league". To say they had it handed to them "on a silver platter" is insulting to the game they played...they in all three phases, and it "couldn't have been any easier" because they played a next-to perfect game.


Peyton's first INT was a bad throw; the defense was directly responsible for the rest of the turnovers. They were in Peyton's face all day, limiting him to short throws...and the d not only limited YAC, they punished the Broncos receivers every time they caught the ball. They shut down the Broncos' run game. Wilson was efficient (and fantastic on third down), and the "pedestrian receivers" made the Broncos' defense pay - gaining separation at will and repeatedly taking advantage of Denver's poor tackling.


Remind me, who was favored in this game? I get it, you don't like the Seahawks, but Denver was the #1 seed who went 13-3 and set a number of offensive records...they didn't have this game handed to them, the TOOK IT.

HankMoses
HankMoses

@destrusdominate If this is not the most retarded comment ever (at least next to SteveGuillory's) then I just don't know what is. "They barely made the Superbowl?" (BTW 'Super Bowl' is 2 words, both capitalized, genius). A 13-3 record with a 6-2 road mark, plus winning the hardest division in the entire league is "barely" making the Super Bowl? Wow. Just wow. Guess what, hater? New year, SAME result. 

StonewallTJJ
StonewallTJJ

@destrusdominate "Barely made the Super Bowl"? How do you figure? Because they won a close game against the second best team in the league?


This Super Bowl will be remembered...#1, record setting offense vs. #1 defense.


You obviously don't like the Seahawks, but to discount what they did in this game is asinine.

StephenBody
StephenBody

@destrusdominate  Look, everybody, PLEASE don't reply to buffoons like this guy. The most viewed television event in history is not "memorable"? "Barely made the Super Bowl" at 13-3? Sometimes, you have to just look at what's written and go "That's nonsense" and treat it as such. This guy's just licking his wounds because his precious team wan't good enough to play in the Super Bowl. Let's quit feeding the trolls.

JPSmall
JPSmall

@destrusdominate  What are you even talking about? That was arguably the best defensive performance in a Super Bowl. Ever. 


If you consider the 2013 Broncos team any good at all, and most sane people do, then it's clear that this was a memorable Super Bowl. 

Cartesian
Cartesian

@destrusdominate  


"They barely made the Superbowl" because they played against another great team that would have also trounced the Broncos. 


Statistically, Seattle's defense is right up there with the best ever. They allowed the same yards per play as the  1985 Bears. Fact. They were first in defense, pass defense and scoring. That's elite. 


Think about it: this defense scored more points than the highest scoring offense in NFL history scored against them.



These guys are simply on that level, period. You have to mention them when you mention the 2000 Ravens, 2002 Bucs, 1985 Bears and 1991 Eagles. They are up there, and you are willfully ignorant about it.

RGod8855
RGod8855

@destrusdominate  If you don't remember this Super Bowl, you aren't a football fan. Maybe it wasn't much of a contest, but there was a damn good performance by the Seattle defense.

Cartesian
Cartesian

@JPG  


I find your bold prediction unlikely. You recall how closely San Francisco played them in Seattle, and 2 weeks later what happened. San Francisco muddled through 11 games without their best receiver (among other significant injuries). They are a bit better than their record would indicate. They will be there with Seattle.



That said, Arizona is a really good team, too. My only problem with your prediction is that I find it more likely that ALL THREE make the playoffs than Arizona makes in place of San Francisco.

StonewallTJJ
StonewallTJJ

@Realist I doubt you're going to respond...but the REAL 12th Man in that game was Colin Kaepernick. Can't admit that, can you?

StephenBody
StephenBody

@Realist  Here's what I know and I've read it echoed by at least a dozen NFL players: if you have to fall back on officiating to explain why you lost and your explanation contains the words "would have", you have no argument. Officiating bites EVERY team. Get over it.

olis_tx
olis_tx

@Realist  


Right, the refs threw those picks and fumbled the ball.  Face it, your team was 2nd best.

BentonCook
BentonCook

@Realist  Seattle played poorly that day, true.  But Kaepernick's 4 egregious errors decided the outcome.

logue.justinf
logue.justinf

@Realist  Get a clue.  Your qb turned the ball over 3 times and your team was outscored 20-7 in the 2nd half.  This fits your current teams history of not being able to close it out when it matters most.

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

@Realist  Wow, wrong. The worst call wasn't a bad call, it was a bad rule stating that the fumble recovery couldn't be reviewed. Seattle threw an interception after that and that play was a non issue. Other than that, no major bad calls. Funny that somebody calling them-self a realist is complaining about the refs. Their have been many terrible calls this post season but not many in the Seattle vs. San Fran game. 

deanrobert99
deanrobert99

@Realist   Really?  Dude... you've got issues.  You sure you watched that game?  Niners are a good club and it was a hard fought battle but one team turned it over more than the other. You're being unrealistic looking for excuses like crowd noise or the referees.  Lame on your part, for real...


BruceMcDermott
BruceMcDermott

@Realist  Oh Jesus.  There were plenty of calls on both sides of that game.  That's loser talk.  It's what losers do to make themselves feel better about their golden child QB turning the ball over 3 times in the 4th quarter when it was time to make a play, losing to a team that took their division title, took their NFC championship, and then took the Super Bowl the losers' team could not. 


Nobody in his right mind could question that the Hawks were a deserving champion.  Except a few haters, most of whom are three-times-in-a-row jilted Niner fans.

formido
formido

One of Indy's TDs was a blocked FG return. Other than that, Luck completed several low probability, clutch 3rd down conversions. While that's certainly a credit to him, it's not really a repeatable game plan.

DarrelBeehner
DarrelBeehner

@cmu9082695  I second that. If ever Joe Buck and Troy Aikman call another Seahawks game, I will find a way to pick up Steve Raible and Warren Moon, even if it means climbing the highest peak around with laptops, satellite dishes, antennas, aluminum foil and an ample supply of adult beverages. 

InvisibleLink
InvisibleLink

@EJ1 This has to be the best comment I've ever read on a Sports board. Bravo.

HypoCycloid
HypoCycloid

@EJ1  Manning has always struggled against elite defenses.  This is part of the reason he has such a poor record in the playoffs.  

StephenBody
StephenBody

@footballfanatic7  Manning and the Broncos were FORCED into a bad game. It wasn't in their hands to play better because they were outcoached, outhit, out-schemed, and too predictable. A LOT of them admitted they had no idea how fast and aggressive the 'Hawks defense was and their own defense just isn't good enough. John Fox even says it in the Mic'ed Up NFL video, DURING THE GAME: "They're so FAST!" 


The Broncos didn't lose because they had a bad game.They lost because they vastly underestimated their opponent.

Rumrunner11
Rumrunner11

@footballfanatic7 Yes, because nobody in the media tracks down players in the days following a SuperBowl win and ask them lots of questions about how they dominated so convincingly.......


Punks?

RGod8855
RGod8855

@footballfanatic7  The Hawks are good and everything they called was the right call. That happens. It would be a mistake to say Denver isn't a good team when it clearly was for the previous 18 games. Just nothing went their way. I still think if they played ten times, the Seahawks would win six or seven times. Of course, we will never know.


However, I'm fine with all the "trash" (your words, not mine) following their win because the amount of posturing by the Broncos fans was equally disturbing, if not more. All the crud spewed on how Manning was going to pick apart the Seattle defense, still score a ton of points, and stop the Seattle offense in their tracks was just ridiculous. Hey, my take was that Manning was going to score points, but not as much as he normally does and Seattle was going to score more than their normal points. I thought it was going to be 28-24 Seattle with the margin coming from their better-than-average special teams play. So, yeah, I think a little comeuppance is warranted. I've always liked Manning and would have liked to see a respectable performance that would allow him to mount a brave challenge rather than lose unceremoniously, but it didn't happen that way. We'll see what next year brings. 

nortran11
nortran11

@footballfanatic7 Ah, is someone a little butt hurt? Do you know why your precious Broncos had a bad game? Because they rolled into New York thinking their stats meant something and didn't respect Seattle's defense thinking "We're the greatest offense ever seen....we got this" and were not prepared for the game. Seattle on the other hand, studied and planned accordingly and were better prepared.


The way I see things, the Seahawks blew the doors off of the most prolific offense in NFL history....beat them like a tribal drum in Marshawn Lynch's hand...they earned the right to talk smack after that. And regardless of what Manning says, he should be embarrassed by that performance. Anyone with some professional pride would be embarrassed by that.

GOOGLE ......Mae Brussel
GOOGLE ......Mae Brussel

@footballfanatic7 - -the game was not boring whatsoever  ! !   - What game were you watching ?   It was the most complete defensive game bu Seattle in the history of football.   The best offense OF ALL TIME - - was dominated by the best-ever defense.

You know absolutely nothing about who. or how Seattle plays, let alone what they stand for.  The walk the walk AND they talk the talk  ! ! !    So, big deal - - they have the best defense ever  ! ! !

Chubbyhugs
Chubbyhugs

@Cartesian @destrusdominatesorry but hold the opposing offensed to 134 TOTAL yards (re: 1985 Chicago Bears) for the game, then come back and talk how good their defense was.


Rumrunner11
Rumrunner11

@formido Luck threw for about 220 yards and less than 60% completion rate.  He did make some clutch throws, but you're right in that 70 of his yards was on the busted coverage TD to Hilton.  Made a great throw but Thomas and Sherman each thought the other had him........

DougSchulze
DougSchulze

Seriously, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman make it extremely difficult to watch any NFL game. I've tried turning down TV volume and listening to Raible & Moon. It is way out of sync with video, but that's more tolerable than Buck n Aikman.

Mike26
Mike26

@nortran11 @footballfanatic7  This is another example of why some folks are finding it hard to enjoy the Broncos's butt-whooping....the Seahawk fans have been almost insufferable.

MyDogWally
MyDogWally

@nortran11 @footballfanatic7  I'm a Seahawks fan, but I've gotta ask:  how do you know what the Broncos were thinking?  How do you know they didn't study and plan for the game?  Or are you just reverse-engineering the game's outcome to fit your newly invented Broncos mythology of arrogance?


I happen to think the Broncos probably had a huge amount of respect for the Seattle defense.  I also happen to think they did everything they possibly could do to attack that defense.  It just wasn't their day.  Seattle was too fast, too aggressive, and too smart.  Not much an offense can do against that, as virtually all other teams who played the Seahawks this year discovered.

destrusdominate
destrusdominate

@GOOGLE ......Mae Brussel @footballfanatic7  It was indeed a boring unmemorable game. Will be forgotten soon enough, as most people have forgot it even happened. Only Seattle fans are interested in this post-hyped-talk of 'great of all time' non-sense. The Seahawks barely even made it into the Superbowl.

HypoCycloid
HypoCycloid

@GOOGLE ......Mae Brussel @footballfanatic7  Best defense this year, and of the last 5 years, I will give you that.  But best defenses can't be determined by a single game as you are trying to do.  Best Superbowl defensive performance ever, arguably yes.  But there are quite a few defenses over the years that put out superior stats over the long season.  '08 Steelers, '00 Ravens, '85 Bears, late '70's Steelers, in particular the '76 unit.  Every one of these D's posted overall superior stats than the Seahawks over the course of the season.  This Seahawks defense most reminds me of the '02 Bucs stats wise.  All of these units walked the walk and talked the talk too by the way.


I did love the game though, as great defense is always better to watch than offense.  When teams are great defensively every play is of utmost importance and when you start to watch it in that respect it is way more exciting than offenses scoring one after another.  And it continues to show that teams should try to improve more on defense than offense as defenses continue to win championships.  

EasyGoer
EasyGoer

@GOOGLE ......Mae Brussel @footballfanatic7  I've been telling everyone within earshot the same thing. That was agreat game. I happen to love defense, so it was very entertaining. The Vikings of 1999 had a historically great offense and they were beaten in the NFC championship game. The Patriots of 2007 were the next to get the "greatest offense" label and they were held to 17 points in a pretty dominating defensive effort by the Giants. This year's Super Bowl saw the same thing happen to the 'greatest offense in NFL history," the Broncos. It just shows that the old adage is true: a great defense (usually) beats a great offense.

HypoCycloid
HypoCycloid

Denver didn't even put up close to the same points in any of their playoff games against weak defenses as the Cardinals put up in their playoffs against better defenses leading to the superbowl.  I am saying that at the moment, Arizona was playing better offense than the Broncos were.  Denver was getting cold while Seattle's D was getting hot.

Over the course of the season, the '08 Steelers were better than the '13 Seahawks on total yards, passing yards, rushing yards, points scored.  They won the superbowl as well, had the defensive MVP on their team, had the longest defensive play in superbowl history.  Don't forget that from 2002 through 2012 the Steeler defense finished 1st 5 times.  2008 was that defense in its prime.  When a team puts out better numbers during the course of a season, you can't ignore that fact and try to make a defense the best of all time by one a one game performance.  While you stated that the Steelers played 4 games against the Bengals and Browns, the Steelers also played what the NFL considers as one of the strongest schedules and still made the superbowl that year. 

Dawgfan2002
Dawgfan2002

Can we please stop with the 2008 steeler talk? They barely beat a 9-7 cardinal team in the Super Bowl all while giving up 23 points; they also played in a very weak division with a 4 win Bengal and 4 win Browns teams. The Seahawks were the first team since the 85' bears to lead the league in scoring defense, total defense and turnovers forced. There's a reason nobody mentions the 2008 steelers as an all timer, it's because they aren't.