This will be the last edition of “Bronco’s Beat” and what better way to end this season’s column than writing about a Bronco Super Bowl Championship and what a great season the team has had.
If there was a shred of doubt in your mind in the adage “Defense wins championships,” you have just been schooled by the Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 Champion defense.
For the second time in three years the number one defense faced off against the number one offense in the Super Bowl. The last time the offensive record setting Denver Broncos played the Seattle Seahawks and Denver got there clock cleaned.
That defeat prompted John Elway to reevaluate what he needed to do to bring the Vince Lombardi trophy back to Denver. Elway went about assembling what, in my humble opinion, is the best defense ever to crush an opposing quarterback.
I know that is saying a lot. There have been some legendary defenses to play over 50 years of Super Bowl history. The 1976 the Pittsburg Steelers “Steel Curtain;” the 1985 Chicago Bears defense anchored by Mike Singletary and William “Refrigerator” Perry was awesome; the 2000 Baltimore Raven with Ray Lewis; and the 1973 Miami Dolphin’s “No Name” defense, were all great.
This Denver Bronco defense is something else entirely. They led a mediocre offense to victories that should have been loses. They are a complete defense. Von Miller and Demarcus Ware get most of the attention, and it is well deserved, but the center of that line with Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, and Sylvester Williams anchor the middle against the run and still get pressure on the quarterback. The linebacker corps is solid and FAST. The Dbacks and safeties shut down all comers including Tom Brady’s faulted aerial attack.
That being said, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
Once again the “analyist” talking heads were all about the Carolina Panthers and lamented with extreme sympathy, the death throws of one aging Peyton Manning. They predicted Carolina would jump out to a big lead early in game and Peyton would be unable to play catch up. They were wrong again. The Bronco defense was Kryptonite to the Panther self acclaimed “Superman.”
The minority of talking heads who DID pick the Broncos gave props to the defense, but qualified that with saying “They will have their work cut out for them.”
By far the most prophetic comment was made by Brett Farve. When asked who he picked to win Farve said, “Yesterday I was going with the Panthers, but today I changed my mind. I just can’t bet against Peyton, and the last time I bet against the Broncos they beat me.”
Von Miller set the tone early in the first quarter by streaking past a Panther offensive tackle, virtually taking the ball away from Newton, fumbling it into the endzone and Malik Jackson pounced on the ball for a touchdown.
Cam Newton is notorious for being a hot dog. Sunday he was a chili dog and Von Miller and the rest of the Bronco defense were the chili that smothered the dog. Newton, who is not accustomed to being hit, was sacked 7 times, hit 16 times, fumbled twice and threw one interception.
Newton sparked a lot of criticism, both pro and con, for his celebration antics this season. His defenders say he is just having fun and if you don’t like it, stop him from scoring. The race card was tossed around a lot. Some said it is a ‘generational’ thing.
To me, being an old school kinda guy, the quarterback position is a leadership role. The quarterback has responsibility and sets a standard for their team. Excessive and provocative celebration should be above the quarterback, not instigated by him. It’s like sticking a finger in your face; nobody likes it being done to them.
If you don’t think it’s provocative and derisive just ask Panther defensive back Josh Norman. During a practice earlier in the year Newton was doing his in your face routine at Norman. Norman got pissed and the two went to blows over it.
Bottom line regarding Newton’s attitude; the dude has some growing up to do. Walking out on the post game press conference just showed his immaturity and childish nature. He has a great career ahead of him, but he needs to become a leader and a man, not a pouting pretentious and ostentatious baby.
Now we get to the elephant in the room. What about Peyton?
Peyton’s dad Archie was asked after the game if he thought Peyton would be back with Denver next year. He said, “I think Peyton’s done in Denver. Maybe done everywhere.”
Denver will be facing some serious challenges this off season. They will have to put the franchise tag on Von Miller and pay him a semi load of money next year. Peyton will be gone. Brock Osweiler will be a free agent, so keeping him will be a challenge the management will have to address.
What a great ride this season has been. When Manning was struggling and got injured, Brock stepped up and kept the team in first place in the AFC West.
The defense, (best ever), melted the dreams of the New England Patriots, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Pittsburg Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The team overcame extreme adversity and left everything on the field after every game to get to the BIG SHOW. They took apart the number one offense in the Super Bowl and brought the Lombardi Trophy back to Denver despite the naysayers and critics.
My condolences to the odds makers and bookies in Vegas. Who’s your daddy now Mofos.
Thank you Denver Broncos for an outstanding, and at times, cardiac season.