I’m going to go ahead and say it. It was a boring game. While yes, we can rack it up to a defensive battle behind one of the best defenses ever to take the field, there were also a ton of mental errors by both quarterbacks.
A defensive battle is a lot like a no-hitter. You’re into it, but until it gets right up till the very end, you just want to speed through it and see if the pitcher — or in this case defense — can pull it off. The main difference is that the pitcher usually gets more run support from their offenses than that pitiful display last night.
- Trent Dilfer: 12/25, 153 passing yards, 1 TD (a 39-yarder to be precise), zero interceptions.
- Peyton Manning: 12/23, 141 yards passing, zero TD, one interception directly to the Panthers, one “touchdown pass” in the clutch time of the fourth quarter that went directly to some guy sitting in the first row
Two days ago, I said how Dilfer had the worst performance by a winning quarterback in Super Bowl history. Take a bow Peyton, you’ve gone and proved me wrong not even 48 hours later.
A lot of people thought I didn’t want to see Peyton win his second ring and walk off into the sunset because as an Indianapolis Colt, he was my Houston Texans biggest rival. While the rivalry may in fact be true, let’s be real. There were a lot more issues and hurdles the Texans had in becoming relevant back then than Peyton Manning.
I had no problem with Peyton winning this Super Bowl going into it. As a writer however, I am required to voice my opinion, and my opinion was that Manning simply wasn’t good enough a quarterback any longer to win this Super Bowl so I picked the Panthers.
Manning proved me right, Von Miller proved me wrong.
No, my issue is all of these people saying Peyton Manning walks into the sunset by WINNING his second Super Bowl ring. Manning didn’t win anything last night. Assistant Coach of the Year Wade Phillips and the Broncos defense won that Super Bowl last night. Manning did as much to win that Super Bowl as Brock Osweiler, in fact he made a few plays that could have actually cost that Super Bowl.
So, let’s say Peyton goes out on top or Peyton gets his second Super Bowl ring, and let’s stop kidding ourselves. It’s actually insulting to that defense to say anyone other than them won this game.
Remember how a few paragraphs earlier, I said:
There were a lot more issues and hurdles the Texans had in becoming relevant back then than Peyton Manning.
That main issue got to hoist a Super Bowl trophy last night. And once again, he had little to do with it.
As it was in Houston, Gary Kubiak needed the Son of Bum to make him a relevant coach. He showed his Kubiak-ian coaching prowess — or lack thereof — in full bloom last night, calling plays that found his team in third-and-longs and then taking the David Simms route and laying up with a handoff rather than the Tin Cup road and going for it.
Brian Billick called Kubiak last night after the game and thanked him. He thanked him because he is no longer the worst coach of the modern era to win a Super Bowl. When they dumped that Gatorade bucket on Kubiak’s head and Coach Phillips stood by dry as a bone, I was infuriated.
Am I biased yes, but I promise you if you ask a lot of Bronco fans their thoughts on Kubs, they would agree with me. In fact, I know a few — who have text me throughout the season asking me how I remained a loyal Texans fan after enduring so many years with him at the helms — that definitely would.
But I am happy for Manning. I am happy for the Son of Bum. I am overwhelmed with joy for both Owen Daniels and Antonio Smith, and even Shiloh Keo. So, despite it seeming like I am bitter that the Broncos won, I actually have no problem with it.
I did have a problem with it. Until Cam Newton‘s press conference.
Let me tell you how much was wrong with Cam’s actions last night. Let’s start with some of the backlash on social media. A lot of people defended Cam by saying that he doesn’t owe us anything. While I agree with this sentiment on the level of being a role model, these people are completely wrong on a press conference level. Cam owes the media his time as part of NFL rules.
That’s why Marshawn Lynch sat in a press conference and said, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” over and over. That’s why Bill Belichick — for oh, let’s say 15 years — has given the same blanket answer to every question in his pressers. You have to be there, you have to take it win or lose, or else like many before Cam, you get fined.
I had no problem with Cam saying yes or no and being short with people. He’s a 26-year old stud quarterback who had every right to be upset, and he has always wore his emotions on his sleeve. But walking out, dude? Come on.
This of course is coming off a controversial week where he tried to twist people’s opinions of him based on race and that he likes to celebrate. You know what someone who celebrates when they’re winning but pouts when they are losing is called? A sore loser. Those actions don’t fly on the playground, never mind the NFL.
One of the first pieces I ever wrote was when Richard Sherman went off on Erin Andrews (read it here if you forgot). I was infuriated when the nation called this guy a thug, and I immediately picked up my keyboard and came to his defense. I said Sherman was one of the best defensive players in the NFL and an entertainer, and he was a lot like Randy Moss. You want him to shut up, then make him. Over the years, Sherman has been shut up a few times, but he is the same person in good and bad times.
Here’s what he posted after the Seahawks lost to the Panthers in the playoffs.
We’re disappointed, but we understand the fight we have & we’re proud of ourselves for making it as far as we did… https://t.co/DytrIqFmxW
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) January 20, 2016
You have to laugh at those who called Sherman a thug.
Now last night, there were a lot of names directed at Cam, and I do disagree with the many Tweeters who said that Cam acted “like a thug.” There was no thuggery. He acted like a baby. No, an even better insult was that he acted like Johnny Manziel.
And he fooled me. Man, was I fooled. I never liked Cam Newton, I never liked the Panthers, but I really felt that Cam grew into his role this year. All that stuff he does for the kids, his composure in big games that came down to the wire, I thought he was truly the CaMVP.
I was duped. He’s the same old Cam who when things don’t go his way, he acts out like a four-year old child. He has all of the talent in the world, and he is just 26. He can grow from this, and if he does, the NFL and NFC South are in trouble for a long time, because this won’t be his last MVP season. But if he doesn’t, he’ll just become the next guy that everyone hopes loses game in and game out, and that wears on one’s mental state, especially when you lack the intestinal fortitude to make it through a press conference.
One final thought. Let’s give Nomi the Greek some props in calling the Broncos victory behind a Von Miller Super Bowl MVP performance. That was a great call.
So in conclusion:
It’s baseball season, baby!!!