First off congratulations to the World Champion Seattle Seahawks, they are the best team in the NFL and deserve to wear the crown for the next season.
Now on to it. After going down 22-0 heading into halftime the writing is on the wall.
Simply said, this was a perfect storm of Murphy's Law coupled with being outmatched. Had that initial snap not gone over Manning's head, who knows if this had been a closer game. Regardless, the Seahawks outclassed and outproduced in every phase of the game.
At some point I think as a fanbase we became so enthralled with the historic season and the ability to get through set back after set back that we forgot exactly what this team was. For better or worse, this was the Peyton Manning show. The team ticked and marched as he did.
After losing Clady, starting a backup guard at Center, losing Miller, Vickerson, Harris, Moore along with a plethora of other injuries along the defense Manning became that giant band aid that covered all weaknesses, just as he had in Indy. And when it came time to face a team that was stronger all around, that band aid could no longer keep the wound from bleeding.
After proving to be the class of the AFC, the 2013 Denver Broncos finally met a team they could not push around so decisively with one phase of the game, and when their strength neutralized our strength, that's all she wrote.
Broncos fans will probably feel a bit stung for a while, but as for me, I've moved on and here's why:
We still have a little ways to go.
It's nice to be able to admit that. This team made it to the finish line running on fumes. Heading into 2014 this team is still the class of the AFC and will get many of it's injured stars again. Perhaps what is so disappointing is that the 2014 team will look much different from the 2013. Who knows how free agency will play out, but you can rest assured the Broncos will see some turnover in their roster and probably will see some familiar faces leave to play elsewhere. The exciting thing is that you will also see some new and talented faces hungry to contribute to a team that is a perennial contender.
You want to know why it's easy to move on from a loss like this? Because we were beaten. Pure and simple.
As for the rest of the NFL....
I relish the fact that a Broncos loss on Super Bowl Sunday brought so much joy to the hearts of our rivals. Think about it, after being dominated and outclassed, some of them twice in a season, they had to live vicariously through another team in order to taste victory.
So when a Chiefs fan comes around and tries poke at the wound, remember that the 2013 Broncos won two more playoff games then they have in 21 seasons.
When a Charger fan appears to point and laugh, remember that the 2013 Broncos sent them home for the winter.
When a Raiders fan completes their hooked on phonics home kit and drives up the nerve to type something trollish on these boards remember that the 2013 Broncos shut it down after leading 31-0 in their house after halftime.
If the Ravens should come rap-raping at our chamber door, remember that just a season after lucking their way to the Lombardi, they were no where to be found in the postseason tournament. Now that's what I call #Elite.
And finally when a Pats fan comes in to thumb their nose at Manning or our Super Bowl blowout, just think how badly this game would have gone with them in it. After being thoroughly dominated by a Bronco team that was subsequently humbled on the big stage, do you honestly think they could have done better? Nope, and neither do they if they're being honest.
The best way to put this loss behind and move on to 2014 is to remember how special 2013 was. No one likes to lose to end the season, but in a game with only one champion these Broncos gave us a better ride than any other team in the NFL besides the Seahawks.
Congratulations to the World Champions. This is your first title--enjoy it. There is nothing like winning it for the first time and it will give you memories to pass on for generations to come. You will be able to tell your children and grandchildren that you witnessed one of the greatest defenses shut down one of the greatest offenses.
To Broncos Country I say remain patient. In two years the Elway regime has turned a 4-12 team into a Super Bowl contender year in and year out. This team had so much depth that it could remain competitive after sustaining so many devastating injuries. There is absolutely no reason to take a loss such as those and blow the whole thing up. Seattle is the better team, doesn't mean the Broncos are far off. In the end we wait another year to add another championship trophy to our mantle. In the end this team still belongs.
Time to move on, time to get better. The quest for Super Bowl XLIX starts today.
GO BRONCOS!!! Thank you for a wonderful season, you gave us so much to cheer for and be proud of!
Draft nerds, commence with your mockeries!