Super Bowl XLVIII is becoming a distant memory. Then again, blowouts like the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos don’t provide many memorable moments. The biggest story was the poor play of Broncos quarterback and five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning. However, there was a story that was even bigger than Manning’s poor play.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman told mmqb.com that he and his teammates in the secondary (nicknamed the “Legion of Boom”) figured out Manning’s hand signals to his receivers during the Super Bowl. That gave the “Legion of Boom” the opportunity to jump the routes of the Broncos’ receivers, limiting them to very few yards after their receptions. Seattle totally shut down Denver’s vaunted passing attack, which came as a shock to many NFL fans.
I thought Manning was supposed to be a brilliant field general. It’s been said that he’s the actual coach of the Broncos instead of current head coach John Fox. Manning gets his players in the right positions to make plays by calling the right audible more often than not. Manning’s 55 regular season touchdown passes in 2013 reaffirm that belief.
However, he was outsmarted by the Seahawks’ defense not because they figured out his hand signals, but because there were no efficient adjustments made by Denver.
Of course, the media will never say that because it’s inconceivable to them that something like this could happen to the great Peyton Manning, but kudos must go to the Seahawks’ defense, who apparently used intensive film study to learn Manning’s tendencies and hold the high-scoring Denver offense to only eight points.
The Seahawks have earned their bragging rights as Super Bowl champions, while the window for Manning and the Broncos to win a Super Bowl title is closing fast. Broncos fans better hope that the “Legion of Boom” hasn’t created a blueprint for other teams to emulate in the near future.