Sunday’s Seahawks-Broncos rematch had all the drama the Super Bowl didn’t, and reporters from across the country were there to record in Sunday in Seattle.
Here’s a sampling of what the national media is saying about the Seahawks’ victory over the Denver Broncos.
The adrenaline was still flowing for Russell Wilson an hour after a game that was supposed to be high drama, and actually was.
“The NFL needed this game,” Wilson said.
After another week of off-field hell for the NFL, Wilson won’t get any argument from the 12’s in Seattle, the folks from California to Maine watching the CBS doubleheader game that bled deep into 60 Minutes time, the worried NFL suits on Park Avenue, and the advertisers who wanted the great old quarterback (Peyton Manning) and the great new one (Wilson) dueling into overtime in the din of CenturyLink Field. Games like this one are why people won’t throw the NFL out with the trash because of the Ray Rice scandal. And people like Wilson, who has perfected the art of saying the right thing and doing the right things in the community, need to be front-and-center if the public is going to retain confidence in the NFL, a confidence that’s been shaken so badly this month.
The Denver Broncos made it far, far more competitive this time against the Seattle Seahawks. They demonstrated great resolve. They put the greatness of quarterback Peyton Manning on display yet again, and they showed that their remade defense is mostly capable is doing its share against the best of opponents in the most unwelcoming of road environments.
Now isn’t that what everyone was expecting to see in the Super Bowl seven months ago?
After Peyton Manning led the Denver Broncos on an 80-yard touchdown drive in the final minute of the fourth quarter, including a two-point conversion pass to tie the game, Manning was out-Manninged by Russell Wilson.
The Denver Broncos spent lavishly in free agency to buy a defense with enough of an edge to give them a chance in a rematch of the NFL’s title game and enough on-field toughness to push them back into a Super Bowl.
The Denver Broncos spent the offseason making their defense tougher. It worked for 60 minutes Sunday in Seattle, but they needed more.
The Seahawks outlasted Denver 26-20 in overtime Sunday in a game that we wish the two teams played back in February. The Seahawks‘ defense dominated the action for most of the day, but Peyton Manning helped put up 17 fourth-quarter points to make the game interesting.
A non-factor for much of the game, Percy Harvin came down with three key catches and was sent in motion to distract the defense on nearly every play on the game-winning touchdown drive. Between the threat of Harvin and Russell Wilson‘s scrambling ability, the Broncos couldn’t stop the Seahawks when they had to make a play.
The Broncos can feel good about the fact that they went to the toughest place to play in the NFL and stood toe-to-toe with the Seahawks, rather than wilting as they did in the Super Bowl. But the Broncos aren’t yet in the Seahawks’ class.
Perhaps there’s another crack at the Seahawks awaiting Feb. 1 on a neutral field in Glendale, Ariz. If so, it’ll be the Broncos’ offense that needs to rise to the occasion against a Seattle defense that remains as tough as any.
And there’s something comforting in that for Elway and company, given that they know what Manning is capable of doing – and what the defense showed it’s capable of doing Sunday.
Should it happen again, do not fear a Super Bowl rematch. The Broncos have yet to beat the Seattle Seahawks while the two teams have sat atop the NFL the past two years. The gap, however, has closed considerably.
The winner of a classic football game should never be determined by pure, dumb luck.
Unlike the Super Bowl, the only difference Sunday between the Broncos and Seattle was a flip of the coin.
“We felt like we were the better team,” Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said.
After Denver’s furious fourth-quarter rally to tie the Super Bowl rematch Sunday, the Seahawks hogged the football in overtime, methodically marching downfield to secure a 26-20 victory at home with a six-yard run and plunge over the goal line by Marshawn Lynch.
The victory ensured Seattle wouldn’t slip too far behind Arizona in the topsy-turvy NFC West, after the undefeated Cardinals claimed first place by knocking off San Francisco, 23-14.
The Super Bowl rematch lived up to the billing of what everyone expected in February and never transpired. The 43-8 blowout by Seattle (2-1) was replaced this time by Denver (2-1) rallying from a 17-3 fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime by going 80 yards against the best defense in the NFL in the final minute of regulation.
The Seahawks have a ton of weapons at their disposal on both sides of the ball, and they used it to their advantage. Despite temporarily losing Russell Okung to a shoulder injury, the Seahawks were able to give Russell Wilson plenty of time in the pocket (though he also made use of his legs to scramble for first downs).
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