IRVING, Texas. – The staff writers of DallasCowboys.com shared their initial feelings after the Seahawks' dominant 43-8 victory against the Broncos in the Super Bowl.
Nick Eatman: Haven't been this wrong since thinking Kyle Orton would be able to lead the Cowboys to a win over Philly. At least that was close. Usually, plays in the opening drive have little effect to the outcome but this was an exception. That first bad snap just set the tone that this game wasn't going to be close. This game just proves to me that maybe we shouldn't judge QBs by Super Bowl wins. I still think Peyton Manning is the best in the league but it just wasn't his night or their night. Seattle was nasty on defense and just beat up the Broncos. Congrats to them. I don't always buy into the theory but defense certainly won this championship.
Rowan Kavner: I thought the Seahawks would be able to withstand some of the Broncos' offensive firepower, but no one would have predicted it would have gone that smoothly for the Seattle defense. No one would have predicted Russell Wilson would outplay Peyton Manning. When that's happening, you know it's not going to be close. And it never was. I predicted the Seahawks would eventually pull out the win. But I thought if this game was going to be a blowout, it would have been the other way around. This game was a rout, literally from the first play of the game on an unanticipated safety from the most dynamic offense in the league led by one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. Seattle's defense is something fierce, even against the best offense this league has seen.
Bryan Broaddus: My thought going into this game was the Denver would be able to finds ways to move the ball with their passing attack and the running of Moreno but that wasn't the case at all. The Seattle defense came ready to play like they had all season and were able to get Manning off the field early in the game on 3rd down. The turnovers that the Seahawks were able to create also played a large role in the outcome of the game. Where the Broncos had been beating opponents all season was their ability to stay on the field and finish drives but this Seahawks defense with their front four and physical secondary prevented that from taking place. Hats off to Dan Quinn and this Seattle defense, it was your night to shine.
David Helman: Well, I couldn't have been more wrong about that. I really thought Peyton Manning was going to cement his legacy as the game's best quarterback at MetLife Stadium. He's still a fantastic signal-caller, but the Seahawks made him look horrible in an absolutely dominant defensive effort. Seattle's nasty defense forced turnovers, and more importantly, the Seahawks made life miserable for every Bronco who touched the ball. On top of that, Russell Wilson turned in an efficient, if not entirely amazing performance. It was really an amazing game across the board -- Seattle scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams. There isn't a single doubt about who the NFL's best team was this season.
Here were the gut feelings for Nick Eatman, Rowan Kavner, Bryan Broaddus and David Helman, posted Friday.
Nick Eatman: This is a classic matchup between the NFL's best , and best defense. People that believe defense wins championships will have a great argument if Seattle wins. There's no denying that great defenses will put you in position to win. But something tells me this is just Peyton Manning's year. I've always thought he's the best QB in football. He has just one Super Bowl ring, half as many as his brother. There's something very wrong about that. But the fact Eli won his second Super Bowl in Peyton's house lets me think Peyton is going to win his second one in Eli's house. Give Manning two weeks to figure out Seattle's scheme, which really isn't that complicated to start with, and I think Denver has the edge. We all remember what the Cowboys did to Denver through the air, but not really on the ground. I don't think Seattle is capable of having that kind of offensive explosion on Denver. I see the Broncos winning it 30-17 and Richard Sherman gives up a touchdown pass to Deymarius Thomas in the first quarter.
Rowan Kavner:A Super Bowl championship would be the cherry on top of Peyton Manning's unheralded season, and it's rarely wise to pick against that guy, particularly with all the weapons at his disposal that Dallas fans know about all too well. But if there's a defense equipped to stop that aerial attack, it's the Legion of Boom in Seattle. Most of the pregame talk is understandably on Richard Sherman, but I think it'll be another corner, Byron Maxwell, who'll garner the postgame chatter. I expect Manning to test the side opposite Sherman most of the day and Maxwell to get a pick. If Denver gets up early, it's over, but I expect the score to stay in the low-20s and benefit Seattle. Percy Harvin returns and scores a touchdown, while the Denver defense struggles to slow Marshawn Lynch, who bowls in for a late go-ahead score. Don't underestimate Steven Hauschka, either. Maybe the Cowboys keeping it close against the Broncos early in the season is weighing too much on my mind, but the Seahawks are "just 'bout that action, boss," and I expect they'll prove it by pulling out a late 23-21 win.
Bryan Broaddus: The focus will be on both quarterbacks in this matchup between the Broncos and Seahawks but this game will in my feeling come down to which defensive coordinator puts his players in the best positions to make plays. It's not hard to respect the work that Dan Quinn has done with this Seattle defense but my gut feeling is that Jack Del Rio and his troops will expose Russell Wilson's inability to throw the ball consistently enough to keep pace with the Broncos, who will find ways to score and put pressure on the Seahawks to try and keep up, which they will not be able to do.
David Helman: I'm going to buy into the hype. I'm aware that "defense wins championships," and I'm aware that it's only been four years since Peyton Manning threw an interception that lost his team the Super Bowl. But Manning has a chance to put a stamp on the greatest season by a quarterback in the history of the sport on Sunday, and I don't think he's going to let it slip away. The Seahawks are going to make it difficult, and I'm going to go on the record and say that Richard Sherman – or at least one of the members of the Legion of Boom – gets a pick on Manning. I don't think the Seattle offense can keep pace with Manning and Co., though. My guess is the Broncos win, 27-17. I think Montee Ball scores the touchdown that puts Denver in front for good.