Seahawks DT Tony McDaniel: Peyton Manning, Broncos gave up

Peyton Manning head

The Denver Broncos were destroyed by the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night, but did they fight until the finish? While the Broncos put together one nifty drive late in the third quarter that ended with a Demaryius Thomas touchdown, their team effort looked as poor as you will ever see in a championship game. Seahawks defensive tackle Tony McDaniel thought Peyton Manning and company gave up.

“When we was up about 29 points, just his whole emotion was kind of like he was dry,” McDaniel told Around the League’s Marc Sessler. “Just the whole team looked like they was giving up, and once we scored again, I knew it was over.”

The Seahawks were up 22 points going into halftime. The Broncos could not have been feeling great, but they should not have completely given up hope down three scores with the best offense in the NFL.

When Percy Harvin took the opening kickoff of the second half to the house to put Seattle up 29-0, everyone knew it was over. It would be human nature for the Broncos to feel their championship hopes evaporate at that point. Cliff Avril, who hit Manning’s arm to force a crucial pick-six late in the first half, was asked if he thought Denver packed it in after that.

“How could they not?” he asked.

Seattle is the best team in football for a reason, and they probably would have won even if the Broncos played their best. Denver simply picked a terrible time to have its worst game of the season.

Richard Sherman urges Twitter followers to not bash Peyton Manning

Richard-Sherman-SeahawksSeattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman clearly learned a lot from his postgame rants and taunting two weeks ago after the NFC Championship Game. He seemed like a completely different person following his team’s win in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday. Rather than talking trash, Sherman took the time to praise his family, teammates, the fans, and even Peyton Manning.

Hundreds of thousands of Twitter users spent their Sunday evening ragging on Manning and creating hilarious memes to commemorate his poor performance. Sherman urged Seahawks fans to simply enjoy the win rather than taunting Peyton.

Sherman is right. Manning is one of the classiest players in the game and a future Hall of Famer. That said, the ugly showing does hurt his legacy. He threw a pick-six to end the Super Bowl four years ago and did the same on Sunday to basically eliminate any chance the Denver Broncos had of coming back. Manning is now 1-2 in the Super Bowl and 11-12 in the playoffs overall.

As for Sherman, you can tell he meant it when he apologized for taking the spotlight away from his teammates two weeks ago. He carried himself with class after winning a championship.

Broncos C Manny Ramirez blames Peyton Manning for safety, then takes full responsibility

Peyton-Manning-safetyThe Denver Broncos began the Super Bowl in the worst way possible on Sunday, giving up a safety on their first offensive play of the game. Crowd noise and nerves probably played a role, but who was responsible for the play? After the loss, Broncos center Manny Ramirez said it was Peyton Manning’s fault. He then changed his mind and took full responsibility.

“I was shocked because you never expect anything like that to happen,” Ramirez said, via Around the League. “Of course I take full blame for that. They capitalized on it. We weren’t able to get going for the whole rest of the game … They capitalized on all our mistakes.

“It was real loud. We were trying to go on the cadence. I thought I heard him. I didn’t. He was actually walking up to me because he had already said the cadence, and I snapped it. But again, I take full responsibility for that. It’s just something that we should have been able to overcome, and we weren’t able to … It’s not an excuse. It shouldn’t have happened.”

Bart Hubbuch of the NY Post said Ramirez took a different stance when explaining the play, telling reporters that Manning was responsible.

Manning said the play was “nobody’s fault” and was a result of crowd noise. Why does it matter? It doesn’t, really. Unless you’re one of those people who loves to harp on how Peyton is a playoff choker. If the safety was his fault, it’s another stain on his less-than-stellar playoff career.

Related: Bettor wins $1,275 on first score of Super Bowl being a safety
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Deion Sanders has harsh criticism for Peyton Manning: ‘This was horrible’

Peyton Manning head

Peyton Manning’s legacy was one of the biggest storylines for Super Bowl XLVIII. With a win in the game, he’d have two rings to go along with his record five regular-season MVPs and countless other passing records. There really wouldn’t be much of a knock against him if he won the second ring. But Manning lost, is now 1-2 in Super Bowls, and continues to be viewed by detractors as a player who doesn’t play well in big games. Some say Manning’s legacy should be unaffected by his performance, while others say his performance — and the manner in which his team lost — keeps him from being the best of all time.

One person who firmly believes Manning’s legacy is negatively affected by the Super Bowl is Deion Sanders. The NFL Network analyst says Manning did not live up to his standard.

“Unfortunately, a few of us guys sitting up here have gold jackets, and we hold people to a criteria unlike others,” Sanders said, speaking on behalf of himself, Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin.

“This is not good. What we saw tonight is not good. I can’t even tell you one thing that I saw that I can take home and say ‘man, that was alright.’ This was horrible. And it started from the first snap.”

Rich Eisen suggested that most quarterbacks would have struggled against Seattle’s defense, but Deion disagreed. He feels like Peyton should be criticized for the loss the same way he’s praised for wins.

“This is the problem. We praise Peyton — we should — for calling everything, taking his team to depths, broke every record known to man — then we give him all the credit. So now when they lose, it’s not his fault. Whose fault is it? It’s a team, right? But is it the team’s fault when you win? No, Peyton’s calling everything at the line.”

Sanders didn’t exactly explain himself in the most eloquent way, but he’s right.

Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. It’s impossible to dispute that. But for as great as he’s been in the regular season, there has always been a consistent pattern of disappointing performances in the postseason. That is every bit a part of his legacy as his regular season dominance.

Peyton Manning on phone during Super Bowl sparks great meme

Peyton Manning phone

When FOX showed Peyton Manning using the phone on the Denver Broncos’ sidelines during the Super Bowl on Sunday, they probably had no idea that they were launching a meme. But that’s exactly what happened.

Denver struggled through the first quarter of the game, which was only a sign of what was to come. The Broncos were down 8-0 to the Seattle Seahawks and only had 11 yards in the entire first quarter. Their possessions went like this: safety, 3-and-out, interception. Peyton picked up the phone like he usually does whether the team is doing well or poorly. He mostly likely talked to the team’s offensive coaches up in the coaches’ box for some advice.

Instead, folks on the internet had a fun time putting their own spin on Manning’s phone call:

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Peyton Manning may retire, spend time with wife and family

Peyton Manning BroncosPeyton Manning is 37 years old and coming off the best regular season of his historic career. He made the Super Bowl for the third time and has the chance to win his second ring. Would he walk away from the game and retire if he wins? That’s the buzz around the Super Bowl, and some even feel like this may be his last game ever.

Manning said during the week when asked if this would be his last game that he still wants to continue playing.

“When you still enjoy the preparation and the work part of it, I think you ought to be still doing that. I think as soon as I stop enjoying it, if I can’t produce, if I can’t help a team, that’s when I will stop playing. If that’s next year, then maybe it is. I certainly want to continue to keep playing,” Manning said.

National NFL writer Mike Freeman at Bleacher Report and formerly CBS Sports says a lot of people believe Peyton Manning will retire win or lose. He believes Manning didn’t publicize his decision because he doesn’t want to turn the game into a huge storyline about him retiring. That’s what happened when Jerome Bettis and his Pittsburgh Steelers played the Super Bowl in his hometown of Detroit for the 2005 season. It happened with Ray Lewis last year when everyone knew he was going to retire. Both were lucky enough to win the big game, but will Manning be?

If Manning is considering retirement, he’s keeping it quiet on purpose.

But at 37 years old, how much more can Manning give to the game? He just won his fifth MVP award, which is an NFL record. If he can win a second Super Bowl, his career would be validated beyond belief. What more would he have to show?

I didn’t believe most of the retirement speculation surrounding Peyton until I saw Drew Brees’ interview with David Letterman. In the interview, he talked like he thought Peyton Manning would be retiring. That really made me think it could be coming to an end.

Also during the week, Peyton talked about how much he’s enjoyed being in the New York area and getting to play uncle to brother Eli’s children. Eli has two kids, as does Peyton. Peyton and his wife Ashley have been married since 2001 and met before Peyton entered college. She’s really only known him as a guy to whom football has been his life. Imagine how things will be for them when he no longer has to worry about playing. They have fraternal twins — Mosley Thompson and Marshall Williams — who will turn three years old in less than two months. You don’t think he might want to quit worrying about listening to practice plays with his helmet on in the hot tub so he can spend time with the wife and kids? I bet you he does.

Peyton Manning: I’m proud of the ‘ducks’ that I throw

Peyton-Manning-BroncosIn one of the columns that he wrote for The Monday Morning Quarterback this year, Richard Sherman listed who he thought were the five smartest quarterbacks in the NFL. Peyton Manning was No. 1 on his list, but that is no fun for reporters who are looking to drum up controversy the week before the Super Bowl. That’s why some have focused on Sherman’s assessment of Manning’s arm strength.

“His arm, however, is another story,” Sherman wrote. “His passes will be accurate and on time, but he throws ducks.”

Sherman was asked on Wednesday about what he wrote, and he did not back down.

“I still feel the same way I felt,” he told reporters. “He’s a great quarterback, he does a great job. But at the same time, when he catches the ball, he doesn’t necessarily catch the laces all the time. But he throws an accurate ball, regardless of how he catches it, how he gets it — he delivers it on time and accurately.”

Anyone who has watched Manning play over the years can tell you that he throws the prettiest ugly ball in NFL history. At least half of all of the completions Manning has thrown prove how overrated the spiral is. He had no problem admitting that this week, and even said that he takes pride in it.

“I believe it to be true as well,” Manning said Thursday morning, via Pro Football Talk. “I do throw ducks. I’ve thrown a lot of yards- and touchdowns-ducks, so I’m actually quite proud of it.”

When Manning first returned from his neck procedures, analysts loved to talk about how his passes seemed wobbly and his velocity was lacking. He’s been throwing balls like that throughout his entire record-breaking, Hall of Fame career. The ugliness of Manning’s passes has never been much of an issue, and I don’t expect it to be one on Sunday.