7 captures
03 Feb 2014 - 11 Mar 2014
About this capture
Sally Jenkins
Super Bowl XLVIII: Peyton Manning fails to improve the only record that matters
Video: Peyton Manning calls the Denver Broncos’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII “a difficult pill to swallow”.
By Sally Jenkins, E-mail the writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — For Peyton Manning, insofar as he cares about personal reputation, the Super Bowl represented an almost absurd historical fork. Had he won it, he would have been discussed as perhaps the best NFL quarterback of all time. Instead, this stinker will now be attached to his name in perpetuity, along with the galling fact he set a new record for Super Bowl completions. For years Manning has dragged around the criticism, like tin cans tied to the back of a high-end car, that he produces more great statistics than great victories, and the noise just got louder.
Now his critics will tie another can on: He has lost two of the three Super Bowls he has played in, and this one was arguably his worst defeat in an NFL uniform, a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks so thorough that it’s safe to say the short-term pain blotted out any sense of history. “It’s not an easy pill to swallow, but we have to,” he said. “I don’t know if you ever really get over it. You have to find a way to deal with it and process it.”
Super Bowl XLVIII: The Seattle Seahawks defeat the Denver Broncos, 43-8, to win the first world championship in franchise history.
Super Bowl ads of 2014: Here are some of the advertisements you saw while watching the big game.
Eventually, it was such a rout that the focus mercifully shifted from Manning to the Broncos as a whole. They were so uncharacteristically poor in every phase of the game that you could hardly lay the blame on Manning, who managed to complete a record 34 passes though he accounted for two first-half interceptions that led to 14 points for Seattle. The Broncos put the ball on the ground, gave up a total of four turnovers to the NFL’s top-ranked defense and scattered like quail in allowing a touchdown to Percy Harvin on the second-half kickoff. “We needed to play really well to win, and we didn’t come anywhere close,” Manning said.
Make no mistake, Manning’s claim as the all-time greatest quarterback didn’t die of natural causes. It was flat out murdered by the brilliant and complete Seattle Seahawks, who showed not a sign of remorse in beating the entire Broncos franchise to a pulp.
But it was also a fact that the Broncos weren’t right from the opening snap — which center Manny Ramirez jacked over Manning’s head. They were so hapless and hesitant it left you wondering: Where did the lethally smooth operation of the regular season go? The one in which Manning bustled down the field so commandingly without a huddle, striding long-shanked to new all-time records for yards and touchdowns, with 55 scores to just 10 interceptions?
One answer was that they were just too hyped up. The entire outfit looked alternately frozen and nerve-shattered by the occasion. All of their cool, season-long discipline disappeared in the avalanche of noise at MetLife Stadium, where the pregame music was so loud it made your heart skip beats.
On the first play of the game all Manning did was walk to the line and try to bark a signal. Ramirez, tensed in all of the noise, snapped the ball so hard it shot past Manning’s face mask and wound up eight yards deep in the end zone, where Knowshon Moreno fell on it to give the Seahawks a safety. It was a land-speed record for points and emotional advantage just 12 seconds into the game. Manning and Ramirez hadn’t messed up an exchange like that all season.
“It was loud,” Ramirez said. “No one heard the snap count. I thought I did, and I snapped it, and I guess Peyton was walking up to me, and I didn’t know it.”
Manning said of the disastrous start, “Due to the noise, no one could hear me. I was walking to the line to make a change and get us on the same page. It wasn’t Manny’s fault. It was nobody’s fault.”
But it was also true that the Seahawks’ press gang of a defense simply got into the Broncos’ heads. Manning and the entire Denver offense simply couldn’t cope with its stag-legged speed and its violence. The Seahawks came at Manning like a raid and made his feet do stutter-steps in the pocket. Which is never a good sign. Manning is basically built like a walking stick, slender and stalking in the pocket. Rapid movement under fire has never been his best thing.
Plays were arrested before they ever got started. The Seahawks ran receivers down from behind and slung them to the ground or banged them around like pinballs. Which made Manning shuffling and uncertain and led to his two first-half interceptions. The most catastrophic turnover came in the second quarter just as Manning and the Broncos seemed to find some composure and put together a drive to the Seattle 35, but the pocket caved around Manning. Linebacker Cliff Avril caught his arm as he threw to Moreno. The ball fluttered into the air like a startled bird. The closest Bronco to it was Moreno, but for some reason Moreno stood stock-still under the lights. Seahawks outside linebacker Malcolm Smith charged past him and jumped into the air and grasped it, then jetted up the field for a 69-yard touchdown return.
And with that, no doubt half the viewers in the country turned to see what Lord Grantham will do about the tenant farmers.
Where will the enshriners rate Manning now? He has lost his sovereignty with them no doubt. They will call this a blot on his record. But was a loss invalidating? Hardly.
“It’s not embarrassing at all,” Manning snapped. “I’d never use that word. There’s a lot of pro football players in that locker room who put a lot of hard work into being here, and the word embarrassing is insulting to tell the truth.”
“If you can find a way to make it fuel you,” he added, “somehow, someway, you try to make a positive from it. But it’s certainly not a quick fix.”
More on the Super Bowl:
Seahawks reign supreme, win first title
Summary: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8
Seattle’s defense is dominant in win
Couch Slouch’s Super Bowl notes
Cold-weather fears are unfounded
MVP Smith is an unlikely star
Harvin makes a huge impact
Photos from the game
Top Sports Stories
Most Popular Videos
The Post Most: Sports
The five best Super Bowl ads
Stats, scores and schedules
Capitals| Verizon Center, DC
Capitals| Verizon Center, DC
AHL Showcase| Verizon Center, DC
More sports events
Sports Newsletters
Sign-up for e-mail newsletters and alerts and get the news you need delivered directly to your inbox.
The Insider
Sports Daily
Sports News Alerts
More ways to get us
Newsletter & Alerts
Washington Post Live
Reprints & Permissions
Post Store
Contact Us
Help & Contact Info
Reader Representative
Digital Advertising
Newspaper Advertising
News Service & Syndicate
About Us
In the community
Newspaper in Education
Digital Publishing Guidelines
© 1996- The Washington Post
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Submissions and Discussion Policy
RSS Terms of Service
Ad Choices
Real EstateRentalsCarsToday's PaperGoing Out GuideFind&SaveHome Services
HomePostTVIn PostTVPoliticsIn PoliticsCongressCourts & LawThe Fed PageHealth CarePollingWhite HouseGovBeatMd. PoliticsVa. PoliticsD.C. PoliticsBlogs & Columnsaaron_blakeChristie to speak at CPAC, one year after snubPost Politics Aaron Blakejuliet_eilperinTen key numbers in the Keystone XL pipeline reportThe Fix Juliet Eilperinmatt_levenduskyAre Fox and MSNBC polarizing America? Less than you think.The Monkey Cage Matt Levenduskyniraj_chokshiState abortion rates were dropping even before recent surge in restrictionsGovBeat Niraj Chokshijosh_hicksObama takes action to address long-term unemploymentThe Federal Eye Josh HicksOpinionsIn OpinionsToles Cartoons Telnaes AnimationsThe Post's ViewLetters to the EditorLocal OpinionsColumnist IndexFeatured Blogsalexandra_petriFAA bats drone beer delivery out of the skyComPost Alexandra Petrigreg_sargentMorning Plum: GOP may kill immigration reform because #OBUMMERThe Plum Line Greg Sargentjonathan_capehartObama fumbles one answer to O’Reilly PostPartisan Jonathan Capehartjennifer_rubinTake a vote on IranRight Turn Jennifer RubinLocalIn LocalD.C. Maryland Virginia Crime Education Obituaries Transportation Weather Blogs & Columns Blogs & Columnsjason_samenowMostly a cold rain today, some snow well north and west (LIVE UPDATES)Capital Weather Gang Jason Samenowlauren_mcewenFree and EasyGoing Out Guide Lauren McEwenlori_arataniJanuary flight disruptions cost passengers $2.5BDr. Gridlock Lori ArataniSportsIn Sports Redskins/NFL Capitals/NHL Wizards/NBA Nationals/MLB D.C. United/Soccer Colleges AllMetSports Blogs & Columns Other SportsBlogs & Columnskatie_carreraFive thoughts on Caps-Red WingsCapitals Insider Katie Carreradan_steinbergDanny Rouhier will join Wizards radio team (for one game)DC Sports Bog Dan Steinbergmike_jonesShould the Redskins re-sign Brian Orakpo?The Insider Mike Jonesadam_kilgoreA look at the Nats’ payrollNationals Journal Adam KilgoreNationalIn NationalEnergy & EnvironmentHealth & Science Education National Security InvestigationsInnovations Know MoreReligion On Giving CorrectionsBlogs & Columnsmatt_mcfarlandJ.C. Penney proves punctuation is overratedInnovationsbrigid_schulteWhy I hate ‘mom’ calendarsShe The People Brigid Schulteeugene_volokh“Is There a Cyber War on Women?”Volokh Conspiracy Eugene VolokhWorldIn WorldAfrica The AmericasAsia & Pacific Europe Middle East National Security War Zones Special Reports Columns & BlogsBlogs & Columnsmax_fisherVideo shows journalists held in EgyptWorldViews Max Fisherkathy_lallyThe story of the Sochi double toilet won’t stop runningWorldViews Kathy Lallymax_fisherUkraine’s crisis, explained in two minutesWorldViews Max Fisherterri_ruparSatellite photos show Syria’s destructionWorldViews Terri RuparBusinessIn Business Economy IndustriesMarketsPolicy & RegulationKnow More World BusinessCapital BusinessOn Leadership On Small Business On I.T. Blogs & Columnsmichelle_singletary For job security, try something on the side The Color of Money Michelle Singletaryharold_pollackIf the newest Obamacare lawsuit succeeds, Obamacare is in big troubleWonkblog Harold Pollackjena_mcgregorBuilding a brand around female leadersOn Leadership Jena McGregorTechIn TechnologyInnovation Green Technology The Switch Photo Galleries Blogs & Columnshayley_tsukayamaTech Super Bowl ads: How did they do? Hayley Tsukayamaandrea_petersonThe Switchboard: Apple met with FDA over mobile medical apps in DecemberThe Switch Andrea Petersontimothy_b_leeAre my patent reform ideas ‘unbelievably stupid?’The Switch Timothy B. Leetimothy_b_leeGive Bill Gates a Nobel Peace PrizeThe Switch Timothy B. LeeLifestyleIn LifestyleAdvice Carolyn Hax Food Express Home & Garden Style Travel Weddings Wellness Magazine KidsPost On Parenting Blogs & Columnsphilip_kennicottAnger at Philip Seymour Hoffman’s deathThe Style Blog Philip Kennicottemily_heilNBC4’s LIz Crenshaw announces retirementThe Reliable Source Emily HeilEntertainmentIn EntertainmentBooksComics Going Out GuideHoroscopes MoviesMuseums Music Puzzles & Games Theater & DanceTV Blogs & Columnsmichael_cavnaRIP, Morrie Turner: Paying tribute to ‘Wee Pals’ pioneerComic Riffs Michael Cavnalauren_mcewenFree and EasyGoing Out Guide Lauren McEwenJobsIn JobsMoreClassifiedsCarsDealsReal EstateRentalsPhotosBlogsDiscussionsFind&SaveObituariesArchivesTopicsWP Wine ClubWP BrandConnect
Schedule Roster Stats Injuries Scoreboard Standings The Insider
Wizards like lining up with the bestCavaliers win on late three-pointerBobsledder’s path is clearOvechkin prepares to take flight