Observations: Superbowl Win…. DEN vs CAR (24-10)

Great Season. Here are some of my observations:

  1. The Broncos D played out-worldly football.
    • The Panthers tried to keep Cam clean by having 7-8 men in protection (Max) on almost every passing concept. If they didn’t have max, they at least tried to show it by aligning their TE’s on the ends of the line to spread out the Bronco edge rushers. However, it’s really hard to protect anybody when your defense is great at creating angles with their stunts and the Panthers OL didn’t have an answer for it the entire game.
    • The Broncos defense also created a lot of turnovers by going for the ball every time they tackled the ball carrier, they sacked Cam Newton, or they defended a pass. No matter what, they were always playing the ball and it worked to their advantage on the biggest stage in professional football. Guys, this is why they were trying to “tackle the ball” all year round, so that when the team they were facing didn’t put an emphasis on ball security, they could create turnovers and give the ball back into Peyton’s hands.
    • On top of everything else, they played gap sound against the run with only a few explosives throughout the game. And when these explosives occur, they didn’t let Carolina get any more momentum on the drive.
    • Broncos also played their man coverage beautifully. They were playing so tight on those receivers the entire game that Cam had to move around in the pocket just to see if he could find a man open. And most of the time, he never did, to the tune of 7 sacks.
    • EDIT: The Broncos also held contain very well for a large portion of the game. The only time I didn’t think they did it well was when Von was not present in their 4 Down nickel package and Cam was able to escape. Other than that though, the defense did an amazing job of keeping him inside the pocket.
    • This is perhaps the best defense to ever play in the Superbowl. You could say that the Broncos Defense single-handedly won the game, and I wouldn’t have too much to argue with you about.
  2. Although Peyton never threw a TD pass, he did what he needed to do.
    • Broncos found themselves in a lot of bad situations in their initial alignment especially later on in the game. Peyton was able to check out of some of these plays and a couple of them busted for big yards. During the second quarter, Peyton had a play called that didn’t look good vs the Panther front. So, he checked to a inside zone to the TE and ran it into the bubble of the Panther 4 man surface under front. CJ ended up busting it for an explosive run which would unfortunately lead to a Peyton pick vs a fire zone blitz.
    • At the same time, he managed the game carefully and made throws that he needed to make. With the exception of a missed read on a pick play which would have resulted in a DT touchdown. Not going to dwell on it though because you know why…
  3. The Broncos pass protection will need some help next year. Especially at T.
    • Broncos won the Superbowl. Don’t care.
  4. Broncos will have to look into drafting a RB high in next years draft.
    • Broncos won the Superbowl. Don’t care.
  5. This was probably the only situation in which you get to both send your starting quarterback off with a smile and keep your promising prospect for next year.
    • Broncos won the Superbowl. Possible article for another day.
  6. Winning the Superbowl feels awesome.
    • HELL YEAH!
  7. EDIT: Didn’t want to short you guys out, so I will update here to record any future thoughts:
    1. Von Miller did everything well tonight and he deserves the Super Bowl MVP title.
      • As he does every game, Von Miller was asked to cover, hold his gap in the run, and get after the QB. On one play in particular, A TE started out flexed outside of the WR and then motioned inside leaving Von Miller on a WR. The WR ran an out cut and up or what we call a “Chair” in order to create space for him vertically. Cam threw the ball to him but Von put his hands into the WRs lap forcing him to drop the ball. All around performance from Von Miller.
    2. While I think Cam is a good person and a somewhat authentic individual, I don’t think he has matured to his full capacity as of yet.
      • For those of you who didn’t watch his post game press conference, he was peppered by reporters about questions pertaining to the game. In typical reporter fashion, they were not giving him any room to breathe nor taking any consideration to being more kind with him considering he lost the biggest game of the year. This happens every Superbowl to the losing team’s leaders and most of them answer the questions like the professionals they are. However, Cam did not do such a thing. He left the podium early and sulked his way back to the locker room.
      • I will say this, this in particular is an extremely hard thing to do. To answer questions from reporters who don’t have the same understanding of the game as you and are absolutely relentless with questions about your inadequacy. However leaders must be able to keep their composure through the hard times as well as the good times and this is something that Cam has not mastered yet, both on and off the field. And to be honest, I was kind of a sore loser too when I was a player, so I can’t really rag on him too much.
      • Rewind a year ago, and than the year before that. What do you see when the Panthers were losing? Cam with his towel over his head, staring at the ground, seemingly hopeless. Not looking at pictures of the defense or talking with his linemen, nor was he communicating with his coordinators/coaches (ahem, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees). He just had his head peered down, waiting until the moment was over.
      • Now fast forward to this year, his team finishes 15-1, and then goes all the way to the Superbowl. It is nothing but fun and good times from the QB. And apart from a Falcons loss and an almost comeback from the Seattle Seahawks where he yelled at one of his coaches, he is engaging, having fun, taking it in the right stride. But you see, this is easy to do. When you are winning, it is easy to have fun playing the game.
      • I think this is a hard lesson to learn, and it is one that I think he will learn overtime. Like he says, he is, “an influence whether I like it or not, and it is up to me to make a positive influence on other people’s lives.” As long as he adheres to his own developed philosophy, I think there are a lot of good things ahead for him to seize. Having that own created belief is absolutely huge for him.
      • And I think once he does, the MVP tattooed will disappear along with the Superman gold T-Shirt he wears on the practice field. Albeit very creative options for attire, they come off as insecure and arrogant. Yeah, you won MVP, but why do you need to show it off? You know you’re MVP right? Why does everyone else have to know?
    3. They are truly “Grinders”.
      • The Broncos have won 7 games by three points or less, and have won 8 if you include the NE game. They may not have the best offense, but they have embraced the “grinder” mentality to the core and it paid off this season in a big way. I think it was a great job by the coaching staff, in particular Kubiak, to instill that attitude into the broncos team for them to embrace.
    4. BONUS: This one’s for Pat

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I am a former film coordinator for a FCS school. Currently serving in the Navy. I was glad to be around the game of football and had the chance to learn from a lot of great people. I wouldn't be where I am without the gracious support of my family, coaches, assistants, players, and friends. I also greatly appreciate you guys who take the time to read my stuff and show genuine appreciation. It means a ton! You guys are awesome! Twitter Handle: @FBDubs