Monday, February 03, 2014

Losing It

If it weren't for the fact that there's always a losing team, Shank would have nothing to write about.

That's a commenter from one of Shank's columns a few years ago, and it's a perfect summation of today's column:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — All year long it was about Peyton Manning. Leading the highest-scoring team in the history of the league, he threw an NFL-record 55 touchdown passes. It was suggested that he enjoyed the best year in the history of the quarterback position. He was Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year,’’ and garnered 49 of 50 first-place votes in MVP balloting.

And so we came to New Jersey for the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather climate and all the talk was about Manning. Again. Super Bowl XLVIII was going to cement Manning’s legacy as the greatest quarterback ever.

No. Manning gave us Make Way For Ducklings. He was crushed, smothered, and shredded by Pete Carroll’s defense as the Seattle Seahawks demolished the Denver Broncos, 43-8, in the 48th Super Bowl. Manning completed a Super Bowl-record 34 passes for 280 yards, but it was like watching Carmelo Anthony score 41 in a 30-point loss. Empty, garbage-time numbers.

Manning was intercepted twice and lost a fumble. He didn’t get the Broncos on the board until the final minute of the third quarter, when it was 36-0.

Bottom line: The Broncos were annihilated. They were the embodiment of the Tomato Can Conference that was the AFC in 2013.

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