Super Bowl XLVIII: game over for Manning after Seattle rout?
What next for the Denver Broncos quarterback after the Seahawks romp to Super Bowl win?
THE Seattle Seahawks stormed to victory in Super Bowl XLVIII, demolishing the Denver Broncos 43-8 in a one sided match at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey.
The game had been billed as a match-up between Denver's unstoppable offence, led by quarterback Peyton Manning, and Seattle's immovable defence. The result was a comprehensive victory for the Seahawks as the Broncos offence fell apart from the off.
The game was a nightmare for Manning, even though he claimed a Super Bowl record of 33 completed passes. Things went wrong from the very start when the first snap of the match flew past the Broncos quarterback and into the end zone, gifting the Seahawks a two-point safety, the fastest opening score in Super Bowl history.
Things went from bad to worse as the Denver offence failed to secure a first down until well into the second quarter. By half time the score was 22-0 to Seattle and Manning had thrown two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. When Percy Harvin began the second half with an 87-yard touchdown from the kick-off it was 29-0 and the game was up.
"Peyton Manning will go down as an all-time great NFL quarterback who came up small when the stakes were the biggest," writes Chris Chase for USA Today.
But the defeat will not damage his reputation. "You can't hurt a reputation that never existed," explains Chase. "His regular season dominance will never be in doubt. The playoffs are the only question mark at this point in his career. Failing again sustains that narrative."
Not everyone agrees. "The talk about legacy can sometimes be overblown, but there's little doubt that Manning's will take a hit after the disaster against Seattle," says Jason patt of SB Nation. "While Manning will still go down as one of the top quarterbacks of all time, he may not be considered the best because of his lackluster performances in the Super Bowl."
Manning has won the Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts, but he has now lost twice and as Steve Busfield points out in The Guardian, he "has now lost more NFL playoff games than any other quarterback in history (12)".
However, he could yet turn things round. "He can find inspiration from the executive who hired him for Denver, John Elway. Back in his playing days Elway lost three straight Super Bowls before rallying to win two later in his career," says Busfield.
But first he may need to address claims by Seattle that they have figured out how to read Manning's game. According to Brendan Prunty of NJ.com Manning's eyes reveal his plans for each play, and Seattle used that to their advantage.
By looking at his eyes Manning's opponents were able "to find out which one of his receiving threats he was going to go to," claims Prunty. "That was all the league's best defense needed."
Next season, Manning may have to wear a visor.