NFL Denver Broncos

5 Denver Broncos Who Deserve the Most Blame for Super Bowl 2014 Loss

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5 Denver Broncos Who Deserve the Most Blame for Super Bowl Loss

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Much of the attention for Super Bowl 48 was justly given to the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks put together perhaps the best overall performance in Super Bowl history. With the attention dying down on Super Bowl 48, the focus now shifts to the losers of this game, the Denver Broncos.

This team came into the game as the most prolific offense in NFL history, scoring well over 600 points with Peyton Manning throwing for over 5,000 yards and an astonishing 55 touchdown passes.

Sunday's performance displayed none of this as Manning and the Bronco offense were held to only eight points and didn't register a first down until 20 minutes into the game.

Much like all team sports, blame for losing goes in the obvious directions. Head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase were too conservative in the game which doomed the team from the get-go, and Manning had his worst Super Bowl performance out of his three total appearances.

Before going off on the Broncos here, any team in NFL history wouldn't have had a chance to beat the Seahawks on Sunday as they played the perfect game and were unbeatable.

The performance was so bad that players from each of the major units (offense, defense and special teams) all make this following list of the top five Denver Broncos who deserve the most blame for their Super Bowl 48 debacle.

There were more than five players who contributed to this historic abomination, yet these five proved most costly in the lopsided affair.

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5. Trindon Holliday, Kick Returner

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Trindon Holliday's kick returns were a major reason in the success of the Broncos this season. On Sunday, the Broncos died by Holliday and the return game.

When given chances to return, Holliday failed to cross the 20 on most kicks which put Manning in bad field position that they could never recover from against one of the best single-season defenses in NFL history.

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4. Shaun Phillips, Defensive End

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shaun Phillips led a good defensive line during the first 18 games of the season for the Broncos, yet in the 19th game he and the rest of the line did nothing.

Phillips, who had 10 sacks this season, barely touched Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson as the defensive line recorded zero sacks the entire game.

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3. Eric Decker, Wide Receiver

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The unheralded player on the Broncos receiving corps, Eric Decker only showed up during the pre-game interview before Super Bowl 48.

Decker had one meaningless catch for only six yards in a downright pathetic performance for a player looking for a big contract this offseason.

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2. Tony Carter, Cornerback

Anthony Grupusso-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Carter's pass interference penalty to start the second quarter gave the Seahawks their first touchdown of the game.

Carter was repeatedly beaten in the game on crucial third down plays that kept the Seahawks offense on the field and the Denver defense on the field as well.

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1. Manny Ramirez, Center

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Ramirez's botched snap on the first play of the game set the tone for both teams. The Broncos would never recover from this play, and the Seahawks soared to greatness.

Those who just missed the cut:

Champ Bailey, Cornerback

Peyton Manning, Quarterback

Chris Clark and Orlando Franklin, Offensive Tackles