1) Peyton Manning shrinks in another playoff game – Peyton Manning will probably go down as the greatest quarterback of all-time with or without another championship but his record in the playoffs is a small stain on an otherwise stellar career. This loss drops Manning to just 9-12 in playoff games in his career and gives his critics more ammunition. Manning never seemed in control of the game from the first snap that went over his head for a safety. He could not get into a rhythm and he could not find a weakness in the Seahawk defense to exploit. He finished 34/49 for 280 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and a lost fumble on a strip sack. That he only averaged 5.7 yards per attempt spoke to the Seattle plan to take away the big play and make Manning go down the field slowly. This was a performance to forget from one of the game’s greats.
2) Denver’s rushing game – Denver ran the ball 14 times for 27 yards, less than two yards per carry. With the Seattle corners having so much success it was easy to devote more man power to stop the run which the Seahawks did with aplomb. Once a large lead opened up Denver had to abandon any hope of having balance on offense. Knowshawn Moreno had 5 carries for 17 yards before leaving with an injury. Montee Ball had just one yard on six carries.
3) Special Teams ruin any chance at a comeback – At 22-0 going into halftime the Broncos needed a stop on defense to garner momentum for a comeback. 22 points with the arm of Peyton Manning is not as daunting as it might be otherwise but it all needed to begin with a stop. It never got a chance to as Percy Harvin ran a pop-up kickoff back 87 yards for the touchdown. It was a failure on all fronts. A poor, short kick, missed tackles and poor angles all contributed to this game changing play.
1) No more football games until August – While we will have free agency, the draft, mini-camps, and training camp to whet our whistles the next NFL game won’t come until August which at this point seems so far away.