Bad matchup dooms Denver
Posted February 3
No matter how you plan and prepare, I know as a coach that something crazy is always possible on the football field. That's why I don't make game predictions and I didn't have a pick in this year's Super Bowl.
Look at that first play. Who anticipates that a snap will go over your head and the game opens with a safety?
That said, Seattle and San Francisco represented the real strengths of the NFL. Both teams deserved to be there. And you can never bet against Peyton Manning.
The Denver Broncos just ran into the ultimate bad matchup. The Seahawks and their top-rated defense had a good game plan and the Broncos have a bad game plan. It's that simple and today the Seahawks are celebrating.
All evening long, the Seahawks ran their two gold-standard, lock-down cornerbacks deep in man-to-man coverage with zone coverage underneath. I was shocked that Denver did not do more in the passing game to challenge that single Seattle safety underneath. They kept running crossing routes into the zone coverage and BAM.
We never saw the play we call "four vertical" which would exploit that middle part of the field.
On offense, Seattle played it just right. All offensive coordinators have what they call "investment plays." They run these early in the game to set up other plays later on.
We saw Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson several times pull that ball from Marshawn Lynch and run around the end. With that threat established, Seattle could go back to Lynch and Percy Harvin later to pound, pound, pound in the running game.
The first Super Bowl for a city is such a rush. Trust me, while the fans celebrate the coaches and players are already feeling the pressure of "the next."
You need to be so good and so lucky, extremely good and extremely lucky just to get to that far. Wilson's early success puts pressure on him, his coaches, his teammates to match it.
Use Manning as an example. The guy has five MVP trophies and Super Bowl win. But the story line is always, "Will he get another one?"
Wilson's rise also raises fan expectations for how quickly a quarterback can lead his team to a title.