What We Learned from 2014 Super Bowl
Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 09:02
And here we are. Another amazing NFL season has come to a close and with it brings a new champion. For the very first time, the Seattle Seahawks are the undisputed league champs.
However, the anti-climactic Super Bowl didn’t do justice to how wild the 2013 football season was. Plays were made, games were won and stars were born. From breakout stars like Josh Gordon, to emerging talent in Carolina, through the process of the NFL season, much is learned and must be retained.
The overall and emphatic lesson learned from the NFL season is that you can have 600 point teams, you can have over a quarter of the leagues quarterbacks throw over 4,000 yards and you can have two of those nine quarterbacks chuck the pigskin for over 5,000 yards, BUT nothing beats a well-coached, technically sound, hard-nosed, I’m-going-to-smack-the-living-crap-out-of-you attitude on defense.
The Seahawks were the perfect example of the age-old theory of defenses winning championships. And excuse my hyperbole, but screw it, the Seahawks defense may be the highest-flying, most dangerous and most intimidating defense this league has EVER seen. Think about it.
Peyton Manning came into Super Bowl 48 with a prolific offense; one this league has never seen (NFL record 606 points). A few broken records later and Manning and his offense that averaged over 36 points a game were held to a mere eight points on the world’s biggest stage. The Broncos averaged over five touchdowns a game. That’s nearly one half of their total drives ending with touchdowns and they were held to one last Sunday.
I would say, calling the Seahawk’s defense the best subjective isn’t even subjective; it’s a fact.
The Seahawk defense was in the Manning’s face all night. Defensive lineman Red Bryant, Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons came with pressure the entire game, allowing the Seahawks’ linebackers and defensive backs to swarm on Broncos receivers as Manning struggled to push the ball down field.
The highly touted secondary of the Seahawks were the story coming into Sunday’s matchup, but the pass rush stole the show.
As Richard Sherman would tell you, there are no plays made in the secondary without a ferocious pass rush and his point was made Sunday night.
Malcolm Smith may have walked away with the MVP, but in reality, every defender on the Seahawks defense made plays. But what’s dangerous about this defense compared to others in the past is where these defenders are in their careers.
Young stars Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Byron Maxwell and Sherman are all under the age of 26 and have all the potential of sticking around in Seattle for a long, long time. As contracts expire, the likelihood of this secondary being split up is real, but if Paul Allen and the rest of the Seahawk front office play their cards right, we could be talking about this group of men for the next five years. And let’s not forget about Brandon Browner.
As early as this preseason, I would have argued Browner was the best player in the Seattle secondary. After his suspension midseason, Browner has the opportunity to be reinstated into the league next season. The rich are getting richer.
So we learned the Seahawk defense is still better than advertised, and if injuries and bone-headed front office moves are avoided, the elite Seahawk defense isn’t going anywhere.