Super Bowl 50 Game Thread

In the modern era of offense-first-NFL?

Yup.
Obviously it was much easier to play defense back then but still....

Take the 1976 defense. The Steelers lost four of their first five games and Bradshaw missed the next six games due to injury. The only way to make the playoffs was to win nine straight, which they did by totally leaning on the defense. During those nine games the Pittsburgh defense gave up 28 points....TOTAL. That's an incredible feat in any era.

That year they ended up number one in defense scoring and yards allowed. Eight of the eleven Steelers defensive starters went to the Pro Bowl and four ended up in the Hall of Fame.

The Broncos had a great defense this year. Because of that I predicted they'd win on the SoSH poll and even put money on them (everyone here in SD was predicting a huge Denver loss). But I think you're overrating them tremendously if you believe they're in the class of those 70s Pittsburgh defenses.

Agree to disagree I guess.
 
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Super Nomario

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That's going to feed the frontrunner stuff that I think is largely undeserved.

He struggled. Wade Phillips, underestimated by some here, frustrated him and had one hell of a postseason.

I think Kubiak's solid too. The clamps were out on Peyton weeks ago and stayed on.

Panthers could have won this game. They made all the mistakes. Pretty big experience and maturity difference between these two teams, and Denver's coahing was superior.
The Broncos made a bunch of mistakes, too - three fumbles and a pick and three or four other passes that Panthers got their hands on and could have picked. The difference was Denver took advantage of Carolina's mistakes, while the Panthers didn't really take advantage of Denver's.
 

Silverdude2167

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The Broncos made a bunch of mistakes, too - three fumbles and a pick and three or four other passes that Panthers got their hands on and could have picked. The difference was Denver took advantage of Carolina's mistakes, while the Panthers didn't really take advantage of Denver's.
That Is basicly the story of the season for the Broncos. They took advantage of every break they got and the other teams could never do the same, everything broke right for them. It was really remarkable how many times other teams dropped picks or fumbles bounced to the broncos, not to mention officiating almost always being favorable to them.

I'm bitter but have to give them credit for taking advantage of their opportunities.
 
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tims4wins

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Not unlike the 2001 Patriots, a remarkable amount of things had to go right for Denver to win the title - but they all did, and Denver took advantage, and are deserving champions with a defense that played at a very, very high level to carry a truly ineffective offense.
 

Van Everyman

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Other than the Tuck Rule and an unconscious David Patten touching a ball while out of bounds, what "broke right" for the Patriots in 2001? I feel like that team pretty much earned everything they got.
 

NortheasternPJ

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The last two Super Bowl wins for Denver: 25/45, 264 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INT

Elway: 12/22, 123 Yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 13/23, 141 Yards, 0 TD, 1 INT

Elway wasn't kidding when he said he wanted to set things up for Peyton like Denver did to him. What a couple of suckbag games.

I believe those would be the two worst Super Bowl performances of a winning QB.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Other than the Tuck Rule and an unconscious David Patten touching a ball while out of bounds, what "broke right" for the Patriots in 2001? I feel like that team pretty much earned everything they got.
Mo Lewis? There's no way Brady was playing a game that early, if at all in the 2001 season without Drew getting killed.
 

Van Everyman

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I'm not sure losing your starting quarterback to a sheared blood vessel for the majority of the year counts as "things breaking right." Brady or no Brady, that seems more like overcoming adversity to me.
 

Stitch01

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Not unlike the 2001 Patriots, a remarkable amount of things had to go right for Denver to win the title - but they all did, and Denver took advantage, and are deserving champions with a defense that played at a very, very high level to carry a truly ineffective offense.
Yeah this Broncos team was better but that comparison crossed my mind too. They probably only win the Super Bowl a couple of times of we played the season 100 times, but that doesn't make them less worthy champions.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Other than the Tuck Rule and an unconscious David Patten touching a ball while out of bounds, what "broke right" for the Patriots in 2001? I feel like that team pretty much earned everything they got.
The AFCCG had Its moments: FG blocked for a TD, Steelers inexplicably punt to Troy Brown after a good kick is called back for a procedure penalty, Drew slinging it into double and/or triple coverage without consequence.

Obviously some of this falls under making your own luck but it's a thin line. I'm sure we could go back with a fine-toothed comb over almost any championship season and say damn that team got lucky.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I seem to remember the Raiders losing a couple of inexplicable games down the stretch (maybe one to the Jets? I'm too lazy to look it up) that allowed the Pats to get to the 2 seed with 11 wins which allowed the snow bowl game to even happen. I think it is a good parallel. The 2001 Pats really had no business winning that Super Bowl and I don't think the Broncos were close to the best team in football this year, but that's why you play the games.

The one big difference is that the Pats played brilliantly for most of the Super Bowl against a far superior team, caught a bad break on the McGinest penalty that overturned the TD that would have ended the game, withstood a ferocious comeback and then put together a drive for the ages to set up the FG to win it. The Broncos defense played well last night, but their offense was putrid and conservative and overall Carolina fell apart..
 

tims4wins

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The Raiders were 10-3 while the Pats were 8-5 and the Raiders lost their last 3 games of the year to let the Pats pss them for the two seed. It was a miracle.
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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Carolina got Denvered. Broncos easily the best team in the league.
C'mon, dude. Pitt had an injured QB and WR, New England had no o-line, and the Panthers just flat out choked.

Edit: I'm willing to concede that Denver's defense was "great" this year, but not Bears or Ravens-level great
 
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pk1627

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Your impression may be important to you, but the actual games have to be played. NE easily the second best (would have won easily on Sunday) had their shot and came up short.
 

CHAOS

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C'mon, dude. Pitt had an injured QB and WR, New England had no o-line, and the Panthers just flat out choked.

Edit: I'm willing to concede that Denver's defense was "great" this year, but not Bears or Ravens-level great

Not really fair, to focus on the limitations of Denver's opponents, and gloss over Miami torching the Bears defense. And while the Bears run through the playoffs was legendary, they faced Phil Simms, Dieter Brock and Tony Eason. Not exactly legends at quarterback. Denver just beat a future hall of famer, the GOAT and league MVP in successive weeks.
 

Stitch01

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C'mon, dude. Pitt had an injured QB and WR, New England had no o-line, and the Panthers just flat out choked.

Edit: I'm willing to concede that Denver's defense was "great" this year, but not Bears or Ravens-level great
This doesn't give enough credit to Denver. Carolina didn't play their best game or anything, and I don't think Denver was head and shoulders above everyone, but talking about their opponents choking or handing them games or the refs is sort of weak. Denver went out and beat three good teams, for the most part, fairly convincingly with, basically, a non-functioning offense. If its not one of the best defenses of all time (and I think it is probably a small step below the all time greats), it was up there with the '85 Bears for best playoff performance by a defense of all time.
 

BlackJack

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The Raiders were 10-3 while the Pats were 8-5 and the Raiders lost their last 3 games of the year to let the Pats pss them for the two seed. It was a miracle.
Yep - the Raiders lost at home to the Jets who they then beat by 14 the next week in the wildcard round.

If the Raiders won that game instead, the Pats would have been the #3 seed and would have hosted the Seahawks (would have won the tie breaker over the Jets based on conference record). Assuming they win that game they'd have had to play the division round in Oakland.
 

kenneycb

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The last two Super Bowl wins for Denver: 25/45, 264 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INT

Elway: 12/22, 123 Yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 13/23, 141 Yards, 0 TD, 1 INT

Elway wasn't kidding when he said he wanted to set things up for Peyton like Denver did to him. What a couple of suckbag games.

I believe those would be the two worst Super Bowl performances of a winning QB.
Pretty sure that's the wrong line since Elway had at least one long passing TD to Rod Smith, who torched Eugene Robinson on the play.
 

Harry Hooper

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Anybody see "Best in Show" She looked just like one of the dog owners in that film.
Is it the whole defense or is it the pass rush? This team's coverage didn't seem all that spectacular, certainly it was mortal for most of the season. But it was a hell of a pass rush.
'85 Bears pass coverage was pedestrian, but they got so much pressure on the opposing QB that it was seldom exploited.
 
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dynomite

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Congrats to Spike and j-man. The Broncos had a magical run in the playoffs and that defense earned every bit of this championship, suffocating the greatest QB of all time and this year's runaway MVP in back to back games (in which few fans gave them a chance).

My longstanding issues with some of the members of that defense aside, Miller's performance was stunning and the rest of the defense was nearly on his level, and they deserve to be the 2015 champions.

Not unlike the 2001 Patriots, a remarkable amount of things had to go right for Denver to win the title - but they all did, and Denver took advantage, and are deserving champions with a defense that played at a very, very high level to carry a truly ineffective offense.
It's similar in some ways, but the primary difference to my mind is that the 2001 Patriots were a collection of no names and underrated/role players. Bruschi and McGinest were homegrown and relatively unknown to the nation, Brady was famously #199, etc. They had gone 5-11 the year before and began the season 1-3. And of course they were one of the biggest underdogs in Super Bowl history.

The 2015 Broncos were an All-Star team featuring big free agent signings at many positions -- starting with Manning, but also Sanders, Ware, Talib, Ward -- and were expected to be good this year.

I'd compare them more to the 2002 Buccaneers, who had been good but brought in a veteran QB and prized free agents (Simeon Rice and Keyshawn Martin, who was traded then and then became the highest paid WR in the NFL) and then won an NFC Championship and Super Bowl in which they were underdogs with a suffocating defense and an unspectacular offense.
 
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86spike

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Denver's defense just beat 3 of the league's top 4 offenses (Pitt, NE, CAR with the other being AZ) by stuffing the run, blanketing receivers, dominating O-Lines and hitting the passers relentlessly. They customized their defensive approach for each opponent and did all of this while supporting an absolutely dogshit offense that failed to give them much time to rest and handed them dubious field position rather often.

If that is not one of the best defensive efforts in league history, I don't know what is. Top 4 in the modern era (the game was much different back in '85). 2000 Baltimore, 2002 TB, 2013 Seattle, 2015 Denver.
 

RedOctober3829

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So, next year's opening game in Denver after seeing Denver's home games.

Oakland--no shot
SD--no shot
Atlanta--no shot
KC and Houston--remote possibility but can't see that generating any buzz.

That leave these 3 possibilities.
Indy-- I can see them trying to use Andrew Luck to market around, but can't see it after seeing the next 2 teams.
Carolina--Super Bowl rematch....Newton vs. Denver D.....but don't know how keen they'd be with an SB rematch on the first game of the season.
New England--matchup of last 2 Super Bowl champions.

Has to be Patriots at Broncos, right?
 

dynomite

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If that is not one of the best defensive efforts in league history, I don't know what is. Top 4 in the modern era (the game was much different back in '85). 2000 Baltimore, 2002 TB, 2013 Seattle, 2015 Denver.
Absolutely. And congrats again!

As I said, beating Brady and Cam in successive playoff games is as impressive as it gets. Indeed, I'm sure Broncos fans will argue the Broncos run was more impressive than those other teams (the 00 Ravens only faced Gannon for half the AFC Championship game, then got Kerry Collins in the SB).

Anyway, no argument that it was a special run. I'd put the 01 and 04 Pats and 07 Giants up there, as well as the 74 Steelers, 69 Chiefs, and probably the 73 Dolphins. Good barroom debate.
 

Average Reds

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Denver's defense just beat 3 of the league's top 4 offenses (Pitt, NE, CAR with the other being AZ) by stuffing the run, blanketing receivers, dominating O-Lines and hitting the passers relentlessly. They customized their defensive approach for each opponent and did all of this while supporting an absolutely dogshit offense that failed to give them much time to rest and handed them dubious field position rather often.

If that is not one of the best defensive efforts in league history, I don't know what is. Top 4 in the modern era (the game was much different back in '85). 2000 Baltimore, 2002 TB, 2013 Seattle, 2015 Denver.
I think that this is about right. There are enough great performances to argue about, but Denver defense this year is certainly in the conversation. And Von Miller had one of the great postseason performances of all time.
 

kenneycb

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I think it depends if Brady's suspension is upheld or not.

Edit: Slow on the draw, talking about whether Denver will open against NE or not.
 

semsox

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Schefter weighed in on this a few days ago in his off-season storylines column (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14709420/five-biggest-nfl-offseason-storylines)

If the Broncos take home the Lombardi trophy, the NFL would have three compelling options: a Super Bowl rematch with Carolina, an AFC Championship Game rematch with New England, or it could go off the board and schedule the Colts and Andrew Luck.

The guess here is that the league would not open the 2016 season with the same matchup that ended the 2015 season, so Carolina would be out. New England is always a prime-time draw, but because of the number of games it has played at night, it might leave the Colts as the most likely opening-night opponent for Denver.
 

BigSoxFan

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Can we please stop it with the Pitt game? Denver beat the Steelers with a half broken Roethlisberger, no Bell, no Antonio Brown, and no DeAngelo. That wasn't a virtuoso performance. The Pats/Panthers games following that one absolutely were.
 

tims4wins

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Can we please stop it with the Pitt game? Denver beat the Steelers with a half broken Roethlisberger, no Bell, no Antonio Brown, and no DeAngelo. That wasn't a virtuoso performance. The Pats/Panthers games following that one absolutely were.
Ironically the Steelers actually played the best offensive game against Denver in the playoffs despite all the injuries. And likely would have won if not for a really bad fumble.
 

johnmd20

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Can we please stop it with the Pitt game? Denver beat the Steelers with a half broken Roethlisberger, no Bell, no Antonio Brown, and no DeAngelo. That wasn't a virtuoso performance. The Pats/Panthers games following that one absolutely were.
If Toussiant doesn't fumble. . . .Oh what could have been.
 
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http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14734128/ranking-reasons-super-bowl-50-upset-denver-broncos-nfl

Barnwell: "You know what, though? If anybody ever deserves to have a playoff game in which he is carried to a victory by his teammates, as Football Outsiders noted, it's Peyton Manning. Peyton had shockingly little support from his teammates in the playoffs early in his career, when the labels which would become unfairly associated with his playoff performance began to take shape. He's still the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and now he has a second ring to cement his legacy as such."

Oh.
 

luckiestman

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Ironically the Steelers actually played the best offensive game against Denver in the playoffs despite all the injuries. And likely would have won if not for a really bad fumble.

I really wish I could have seen the Jets play the Broncos this year just so I could see how they would have lost. I have a tough time getting a feel for this Denver team only watching their last few games
 
Denver's defense just beat 3 of the league's top 4 offenses (Pitt, NE, CAR with the other being AZ) by stuffing the run, blanketing receivers, dominating O-Lines and hitting the passers relentlessly. They customized their defensive approach for each opponent and did all of this while supporting an absolutely dogshit offense that failed to give them much time to rest and handed them dubious field position rather often.

If that is not one of the best defensive efforts in league history, I don't know what is. Top 4 in the modern era (the game was much different back in '85). 2000 Baltimore, 2002 TB, 2013 Seattle, 2015 Denver.
Your earlier post stated that you thought they were top three all time, which I thought was a little foolish (see my Steeler post):

Where does this defense rank all time?

Given (1)how shitty the offense that they carried was; and (2) how the modern NFL is tilted to favor offenses, I think they could be third all time (behind the '85 Bears and the '00 Ravens).
If you want to say they're a top 3 or 4 defense the past 20 years, I'll agree with you. And congrats on the SB. J-man too!

Edit - clarification
 
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86spike

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Can we please stop it with the Pitt game? Denver beat the Steelers with a half broken Roethlisberger, no Bell, no Antonio Brown, and no DeAngelo. That wasn't a virtuoso performance. The Pats/Panthers games following that one absolutely were.
People still think Big Ben was hurt?

That was just his usual "I'm so hurt" ruse. Dude was firing that ball all over the place in that game.
 

86spike

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Your earlier post stated that you thought they were top three all time (which I thought was a little foolish):



If you want to say they're one of top defenses the past 20 years, I'll agree with you. And congrats on the SB. J-man too!
Out of those 4 I would argue Denver is second behind Baltimore (last night I included the '85 Bears, but I feel like it's too hard to compare across wide differences in eras).

You could argue that TB and SEA were better. As someone said earlier, good bar room debate fodder.
 

dynomite

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I did. But arguing they were better than the 02 Bucs is tough.

2002 Bucs: Allowed 196 points (12.2/game)
2015 Broncos: Allowed 296 points (18.5/game)

2002 Bucs: Allowed 37 points in 3 playoff games (18 of which after they went up 34-3 in the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl)
2015 Broncos: Allowed 44 points in 3 playoff games.

The Broncos went on an incredible run and deserved to win. Once you get into "best" this or "greatest" that things get murky -- which is part of the fun.

Edit: and for completeness, the 13 Seahawks also allowed fewer regular season points (231) and playoff points (40) than the 15 Broncos.
 
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86spike

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http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14734128/ranking-reasons-super-bowl-50-upset-denver-broncos-nfl

Barnwell: "You know what, though? If anybody ever deserves to have a playoff game in which he is carried to a victory by his teammates, as Football Outsiders noted, it's Peyton Manning. Peyton had shockingly little support from his teammates in the playoffs early in his career, when the labels which would become unfairly associated with his playoff performance began to take shape. He's still the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and now he has a second ring to cement his legacy as such."

Oh.
Meh.

To me it is now Montana, Brady, Manning in that order. If Brady wins another ring he leap frogs Joe.
 

luckiestman

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Let's not get too carried away.

2002 Bucs: Allowed 196 points (12.2/game)
2015 Broncos: Allowed 296 points (18.5/game)

2002 Bucs: Allowed 37 points in 3 playoff games (18 of which after they went up 34-3 in the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl)
2015 Broncos: Allowed 44 points in 3 playoff games.

The Broncos went on an incredible run and deserved to win. Once you get into "best" this or "greatest" that things get murky.

Brad Johnson may as well be Johnny Unitas compared to what Manning was doing out there
 
Out of those 4 I would argue Denver is second behind Baltimore (last night I included the '85 Bears, but I feel like it's too hard to compare across wide differences in eras).

You could argue that TB and SEA were better. As someone said earlier, good bar room debate fodder.
At this point, I'd take Seattle and maybe TB just because they sustained their dominance for a few seasons. Denver may do that too - time will tell.

Not to sound snarky but you're the one who stated "all time" - that's why I posted those Steeler stats that you ignored. You're moving the goalposts in this thread not me.
 
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Meh.

To me it is now Montana, Brady, Manning in that order. If Brady wins another ring he leap frogs Joe.
Agreed. Just found it interesting that Barnwelll's tone was such that Manning is and was widely regarded as the GOAT prior to this game and this second ring sealed Manning's place at the top. I did not think that was the perception going in to the game- seems to me that most people have Montana and Brady and then a second tier that includes Manning. I'm fine with moving Manning into the Brady/ Montana tier, just the suggestion that he is unquestionably the GOAT seemed tone-deaf IMO.
 

86spike

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At this point, I'd take Seattle and maybe TB just because they sustained their dominance for a few seasons. Denver may do that too - time will tell.

Not to sound snarky but you're the one who stated "all time" - that's why I posted those Steeler stats that you ignored. You're moving the goalposts in this thread not me.
Psssssst.... I was drunk last night. My team had just won the motherfucking SB!
 

86spike

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Agreed. Just found it interesting that Barnwelll's tone was such that Manning is and was widely regarded as the GOAT prior to this game and this second ring sealed Manning's place at the top. I did not think that was the perception going in to the game- seems to me that most people have Montana and Brady and then a second tier that includes Manning. I'm fine with moving Manning into the Brady/ Montana tier, just the suggestion that he is unquestionably the GOAT seemed tone-deaf IMO.
Click bait from Barnwell.