Read this. It was posted to ESPN.com on Monday after the Super Bowl matchup was decided. In it, he writes about how he thinks Denver will win the Lombardi Trophy, and by his claims, it doesn’t sound like he thinks it will even be close.
Jeffri Chadiha is an ESPN columnist who more or less has it out for the Seahawks. I dunno, maybe he likes the abuse he receives from the 12th Man on issues like Russell Wilson ever being elite, or Russell Wilson being MVP-worthy. Obviously, that talk of Wilson being an MVP was an overblown overreaction thanks to a blistering performance on Monday Night Football against the Saints. I guess somebody had to write the “not so fast, don’t forget about Peyton Manning” article on the subject, but I find it interesting that Chadiha drew the short straw on that assignment. Maybe it WAS random. Or, maybe it’s a weak-ass vendetta by a guy who just doesn’t like the Seahawks, for whatever reason.
His Super Bowl preview article at the top, though, takes the cake of utter lunacy. His main points are as follows:
- Peyton Manning is amazing and this offense is the best we’ve ever seen
- The Broncos have survived countless hardships and come through smelling like roses
- Since Baltimore (last year) battled through adversity, that means the Broncos (this year) will do the same
- The Seahawks’ offense isn’t good
- The Broncos’ defense – in spite of losing many stars – is better than expected
- The Seahawks receivers aren’t very good
- Percy Harvin sat out the NFC Championship Game
- Peyton Manning won’t make the mistakes Colin Kaepernick made
- Manning will find the “weakest link in the Seahawks’ secondary and wear that guy out”
- The Seahawks’ defense holds & roughs up receivers regularly, so expect the refs to throw flags regularly
- Manning is near the end of his career, so they have an emotional edge
So, let’s take this point by point.
1. Yes, the Broncos’ offense is amazing. But, look at the numbers. Amazing offenses often come out on the short-end of the stick in games like these, against top defenses. Just look at the 2007 Patriots: they were the reigning champions of the best offense ever, and look at how that game turned out.
2. Yes, the Broncos have sustained injuries to key players. But, remember the Seahawks? Remember Percy Harvin, who everyone can’t stop talking about? Since you don’t follow this team, your opinion of the receivers is pretty low. You attribute most of that to the fact that Harvin hasn’t played (and some of that to losing Sidney Rice midway through the season – another huge blow to this team). So, wouldn’t this passing game be some sort of miracle, considering all the hardships we’ve had to overcome? Granted, our passing attack isn’t on par with the Broncos, but then again, we do run the ball more than we pass, so the gameplan MIGHT have something to do with it.
Also, let me introduce you to our offensive line. Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini missed a huge portion of the year (and, you could argue, are still playing hurt). Max Unger has been banged up all year and has missed some time as well. Left guard has been a revolving door – not thanks to injuries – but to ineffectiveness. How we landed in the top five in rushing offense is nothing short of amazing when you think about all we’ve had to overcome.
Finally, there were the suspended players. Bruce Irvin, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond. People don’t like to bring up these guys unless they’re ragging on our loose culture and “cheating” players. But, this TEAM had to overcome those losses, and the defense never skipped a beat.
Hardships? We’ve all had ’em. Every team that gets to this point has had to overcome adversity. Don’t try to paint it like the Broncos are poor, starving orphans while the Seahawks are the miserly Mr. Scrooge.
3. Are you shitting me with this shit? What in the fuck does Baltimore’s 2012 squad have to do with Denver’s 2013 squad? If anything, Denver’s road to the Super Bowl has been pretty fucking charmed! They made it through a 6-seeded San Diego team that’s nothing special, then followed that up with a New England team that’s a shell of its former championship-self. They had home field throughout … and you’re comparing them to last year’s Baltimore team? A team that was forced to play a Wild Card game, then had to go on the road to play the top two seeds in the AFC? ARE YOU SHITTING ME WITH THIS SHIT?
4. And here’s where we look at the tale of two schedules. The Seahawks’ offense isn’t very good. Right. And Denver’s is amazing. I think we can all agree on that.
Except, who were these defenses that Seattle and Denver had to play this year?
Well, let’s see. Including the playoffs, Denver played all of four games this year against defenses ranked in the Top 15 (Houston – 7th, NY Giants – 8th, Baltimore – 12th, & Tennessee – 14th). Meanwhile, the Seahawks – again, including playoffs – played THIRTEEN games against defenses ranked in the Top 15 (Carolina – 2nd, New Orleans twice – 4th, San Francisco three times – 5th, Arizona twice – 6th, Houston – 7th, NY Giants – 8th, Tennessee – 14th, & St. Louis twice – 15th).
Again, that’s 22% of Denver’s schedule (including playoffs) against defenses ranked in the top half, vs. 72% of Seattle’s schedule (including playoffs) against defenses ranked in the top half.
How do you think Seattle’s offense would have looked if we got to play San Diego three times instead of San Francisco? Their defense ranked 23rd on the season. What about Kansas City’s? Denver played them twice, and the Chiefs are ranked 24th. And that amazing New England team? Yeah, they played the Pats twice this year too, and their defense is ranked 26th.
The best defense Denver faced this year was Houston’s. They haven’t even played a defense in the top SIX! Yeah, I think we can give them a game.
By the by, where is Denver’s defense ranked? How about 19th. You don’t think we can score on the 19th ranked defense, when they’re piecing together a unit out of duct tape? I guess we’ll see.
5. I’ll give you that their run defense is pretty solid, and plays against the strength of our offense. But, remember, this is the same team that had a 100-yard rusher against the vaunted 49ers run defense, in the NFC Championship game. Without Von Miller? Yeah, I think I’ll take my chances with Seattle. Just wait until they bite on the play-action pass for the umpteenth time.
6. I’ll give you that the Seahawks’ receivers aren’t the Broncos’ receivers. It’s not even fair, because I would argue – as a unit – the Broncos have the best receiving corps in the game. Nevertheless, we’re talking about a Denver defense ranked 27th against the pass! The Seahawks played against the 2nd-ranked passing defense in the Saints back in week 13 and Russell Wilson threw for 310 yards.
And, you said it yourself when you say, “Seattle simply doesn’t have the weapons in the passing game to frighten a Broncos secondary that has quickly become a patchwork unit.” Seriously? Do you know what the phrase “patchwork unit” means? It means, “Not very good.” It means, they’ve sustained injuries and they’re barely hanging on for dear life. You know what a GREAT example of a patchwork unit was? The Seahawks’ secondary in Super Bowl XL. Remember how they were shredded? Yeah, that’s the kind of unit Denver has right now. Again, I’ll take my chances with the Seahawks’ receivers doing just enough to get by.
7. You start this section of your article by talking about how Tom Brady wasn’t able to do a whole lot. Then, you continue to denigrate the Seahawks’ receivers again by saying they’re only “marginally better” than the Patriots at receiver. OH MY GOD, I could make out with you for putting such bulletin board fodder up in the Seahawks’ receiver room. Then, oddly, you say, “Wide receiver Percy Harvin was plagued by injuries all season and ultimately sat out Seattle’s 23-17 win over San Francisco in Sunday’s NFC title game.” As if that somehow means something. You didn’t see this team put him on Injured Reserve prior to that game, did you? You do realize that people can recover from concussions and return to the field, right? What does his missing a game (or multiple games) have to do with his availability in the Super Bowl?
8. Peyton Manning won’t make the mistakes Kaepernick made, ostensibly because Peyton Manning is perfect, right? You’re conveniently forgetting the fact that in all three of Denver’s losses this year, Manning has made critical mistakes at inopportune times.
You’re also conveniently forgetting that many of Manning’s worst games have come in the playoffs, in cold environments, much like the one he’ll be in on February 2nd. No, his noodle arm won’t make the same mistakes Kaepernick made. His mistakes will be different, but no less painful.
9. What’s the weak link in Seattle’s secondary? Tell me, I’d like to know. From here, it just looks like regular old, sturdy links. Some are stronger than others, but all of them are pretty fucking solid.
I would imagine he’ll avoid Richard Sherman as much as possible, but I don’t think he’ll avoid him entirely. You don’t get to where Manning has gotten without a little arrogance. He’ll challenge the best in the game, and maybe he’ll win some, but more often than not, he’ll lose.
Byron Maxwell. I’m assuming you’re talking about Byron Maxwell when you’re talking about the “weakest link”. You don’t think other teams have been trying to “wear out” Byron Maxwell ever since he entered the starting lineup? Get real! Maxwell is better than you realize, and you’re going to learn a valuable lesson come Super Bowl time.
As for the other “weak links”, I assume you’re talking about Thurmond and Jeremy Lane. Both have started this year, and both have done an amazing job covering receivers in the slot. If you expect Wes Welker to thrash these guys, you’ve got another thing coming. He’s slow, and they’re long and rangy. He’ll get some, but he won’t be surpassing 100 yards, that’s for damn sure.
And, if you’re NOT talking about Maxwell, Thurmond, or Lane, then I have to assume you’re talking about whoever is tasked with covering Julius Thomas. Yes, because the elite tight ends on the Saints and 49ers had such wonderful days catching footballs in these playoffs. Remember Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis? If I’m not mistaken, those two combined for 3 receptions for 24 yards. Not too worried about Julius Thomas.
10. Flags. You’re looking at my worst nightmare. Yet, here’s the “point” that you make: Denver is “blessed with exceptional talent” and the league “is biased toward offense”, so that means the Seahawks are going to be called for lots of defensive holding and pass interference.
Yet, what evidence do you have that this has been a trend in these playoffs? Even if you took that information out, what does conventional wisdom say? The refs are more likely to let the players play in the playoffs. To let the game be decided on the field, and not by the judgment of the men in black & white. Now, look again at this year’s playoffs: pretty low flag count, right? Right. You know that, and yet you make this point in your article.
If anything, I would think the refs have seen the tape of Super Bowl XL and will have a subconscious predilection toward NOT screwing the Seahawks over with a bunch of penalties. Of course, if there’s a penalty, a flag will be thrown. But, on some of these questionable calls – where you seem to believe the benefit of the doubt will be given to the Broncos – I contend that the NFL doesn’t want to hear the bitching and the crying from fans saying that the Seahawks “got screwed” again by the refs.
Remember, it’s not every Super Bowl where the head official later comes to town and formally apologizes for his shoddy work.
11. Ahh, the end of Peyton Manning’s run in the NFL. It sure is something special! And you’re right, Denver might have the emotional edge. Just look at Jerome Bettis with Pittsburgh and Ray Lewis with Baltimore. Hell, look at Denver’s very own John Elway! These guys just seem to always go out on top and ride off into the sunset, don’t they?
I would argue the main difference between Manning and those other three guys is that Manning is a hired gun in Denver. Bettis played the bulk of his career in Pittsburgh, and Lewis & Elway both played the entirety of their careers in their respective home cities.
Also, for every Bettis, Lewis, and Elway, there are hundreds of Tony Gonzalez’s, Dan Marino’s and Warren Moon’s. Shit, look at how long guys like Favre, Namath, and Jerry Rice hung on, just to get “one more ring”. Their careers ended in relative ignominy, yet for each one of them “going out on top” would have been an amazing story that surely would have given their respective teams that additional emotional boost to go over the top.
Face it, your arguments are based on ill-informed opinions and karmic idiocy. Instead of writing this drivel, just tell us what you REALLY think: you don’t like the Seahawks and you hope the Broncos beat their brains in. We’ll all respect you more if you just tell the truth.