I think most NFL fans feel cheated. We were hoping the two best teams in the NFL would play their A game. It was supposed to be a great showdown between the best offenses and defenses in the league. The Seahawks came to play. The Broncos laid an egg.
I'm going to say two things I frequently say in Jets game recaps. It seems like every team has a game or two every season where everything goes right and a game or two where everything goes wrong. These two teams experienced that on the biggest stage possible.
I also believe that games frequently turn on one or two plays that snowball. I'm not sure it was predestined to be a blowout. Then the Broncos took a safety on the first offensive snap. They seemed rattled after that. They needed something to go right to settle them down, and it never happened. Things just got out of control. They moved the ball in the second quarter and easily could have gotten back into the game, but a few plays turned things.
Russell Wilson joins the likes of Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger winning a Super Bowl in his second NFL season. Like those two, he was mainly a caretaker for this team with the potential to grow into something special.
Pete Carroll shut me up as a longtime critic once and for all. I still don't like the guy for various reasons. I still think he was a disaster with the Jets, but good for him.
Peyton Manning played terribly. Now we'll have to deal with this craziness that a Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl MVP who has carried his team to the big game twice more is a choker. I'm with Troy Aikman. Manning is an all-time great who didn't need this game to validate him.
Let's end on a hopeful note, though. This Seahawks team was loaded with talent drafted and developed. The man who now runs the Jets was part of their braintrust up until this year. We are already starting to see some dividends with the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Maybe we'll see some big steps forward in the next year. It's an exciting time for the Jets.
On to the offseason.