Super Bowl is all Denver pressure by Bob Ryan


From the very first possession until the bitter end….it was all Denver pressure as they won Super Bowl #50, 24-10. It was an old-school type win….defense and special teams excel with your offense doing just enough…generally that means taking advantage of turnovers and not turning it over yourself. Most of our readers felt like Carolina was going to win but at the same time most also indicated that their heart belonged to Peyton Manning. I felt that way until the last days prior to this pressure-cooker…then I switched to thinking that Cam and his boys were going to win easily……right!….that’s why I don’t try to make my living with the good ol’ boys @ Vegas. How’d it happen?

Bronco D-Coordinator, Wade Phillips was the MVP of this game. He often lined up in an ol’ fashioned 5-2….that made the 5 Panther offensive lineman go 1 on 1 with each man….the 2 LB…were assigned the TE and RB…if they blocked, the LB rushed…if the released, the LB had them m/m coverage. The terrific secondary played a “1” cover which means….1 man plays as free safety and the others played m/m….not many teams could do that but it was possible because Denver’s secondary is so good and Carolina’s receivers…by NFL standards….is so-so.

It worked to perfection….in fact…I think it was even better at the end of the game because the Broncos seemed to have broken the spirit of the Panthers who realized ….down deep- but would never say it aloud….that they weren’t as good on this day as their opponents.

Denver’s opening drive would turn out to be their ONLY real drive….Manning went 4 of 6 for 47 yards ( he finished the game with just 104 net passing yards)—McManus booted a 34 yd FG to put Broncs on top…..the next score came after teams went 3 & out and the Panthers took over deep in their own end. The huge pass rush forced a fumble that Denver recovered in the end zone…yep…10-zip…I started realizing that my thoughts of a Carolina blow-out were about as possible as the Blues winning the Stanley Cup in my lifetime.

Carolina only TD drive (in 2nd quarter) was due to Cam Newton’s two long runs…remember the defensive descripton above…the QB is the ONLY unaccounted for person on the offense. Newton, a big man, took some very hard, clean hits from Denver. Those hits left an impression….Newton hardly looked to run in the 2nd half. It’s my thought that the NFL players. Consciously or not, … don’t usually “unload” on the real QB stars of the league (Manning, Rodgers, Brees, Luck, Wilson, Newton & Roethlisberger) while ALL the other QB carry bounty tags that defenders hope to claim as often as possible. In THIS game, Newton was hit HARD—early and often—and it left his confidence shaken…heck…I would be too with these huge, very aggressive, agile men honing in on me like a prized animal in the woods.

You didn’t see the smile, the antics for Newton in this game because he was too busy looking over his shoulder at who was in pursuit….he must have felt like Richard Kimble—always trying to find ways to escape and survive.

A long punt return set up a Denver FG just after Steward (Carolina’s best back) was escourted off the field with an injury. Next possession, Tolbert (Steward’s sub) fumbled away the ball to halt a tentative drive. Both QB went ice cold late in 2nd quarter on passes of more than 15 yards down the field.

Second half…like the 1st half…belonged to the Denver defense…who seemed to get stronger as the game unfolded. Denver could not take advantage of some short fields but it didn’t matter…there were 12 punts and 3rd down conversions were an abysmal 4 of 26 in the game…it was the Denver pressure that just kept coming!

Somehow it was like an old-time movie….the good guy won….not that Newton isn’t a good guy but he’s not retiring….Manning…like his boss John Elway…. will go out on top…a dream for all athletes and I suppose for most of us in our own worlds.

Other Super Bowl stuff……

….Lady Gaga’s rendition of the national Anthem was strong…I’m not one who’s gaga over this Lady but she sang the song beautifully

….presenting the 50 Super Bowl MVP’s brought back many memories (as it was intended to do)….those players…. long retired in most cases…showed respect for the game…dressed nicely…didn’t bring special attention to themselves..waved and move on…now my boy Tom Brady had to wear his shades….guess the bright lights forced him to wear them (btw…there weren’t any lights)…Bart Starr (winner of SB #1 & 2) & Chuck Howley both had shots from their home so one has to surmise that they are struggling physically which means this might be the last year that ALL MVP’s would be available. Hence, Joe Namath from #3 was the earliest Super MVP available—he looks pretty good to me considering his age and life-style.

…commercials seemed shorter to me….didn’t time them…but I’m thinking that the NGL (see article of 3 weeks ago) charged the same amount of money for less time

….more on commercials. None are aimed at guys my age so it’s hard to relate..but here goes …apparently GM and Ford didn’t want to compete for the auto business of America so they didn’t have any ads ? I did like the Bommarito ad with no words but a quick paced musical back-drop

….the Prius ad showing the driver of that brand escaping inept police didn’t do much for me.. we’re not driving like Bonny & Clyde on the streets and with Police already being the focus of much negative press…I thought this one was in very poor taste

..didn’t get the Doritos ads about dogs….not two of my favorite items

…Bud’s commercials seemed “flat” to me…I wouldn’t have remembered them if Bud didn’t usually have the best ads in the past

….seemed like a bunch of Marvel ads to me…OK..fine…movie promotions

….Shock Top spot was weak

…I liked Rocket Mortgage AD…can’t tell u why…but I did

….don’t think many non-football fans (who watch this game on Party Day) caught the reference to Odell Beckham in one ad…I had to explain it to the General

….do adults eat Skittles? Guess they do ??!

Some other tidbits (I promise these are shorter than most commercial breaks of Super Bowl)…..

….Rick Pitino’s bellyaching about the School self-imposed regulations is a joke…Louisville is doing it because the NCAA has caught them…the NCAA doesn’t want to look like the ‘Bad cop” so they have pushed Louisville into self-imposing …then the NCAA will add on a bit more…just like Mizzou with Haith……in case u missed it….Louisville has been caught providing female hosts to entertain the recruits with sex favors …in the dorm no less! Guess they don’t have those Dorm Mom’s any more ?

….Roger Dumbnall’s speech on StL becoming a NFL town is insulting….why would we?….as much as I enjoy the NFL…after all the lying, deception, and encouraging the hours of work, the efforts wasted by legislatures, the verbal and written contracts by StL companies to commitment to huge sums of money that would NEVER result in StL procuring a team matter what was accomplished…..Roger…I hate to tell ya…we’re not dating you anymore…go find another sucker…oops date….probably the ones that you’d like are across the River…

….some NFL players disgust me with their self-promotions after making a good play, or scoring a touchdown…or even a first down….they seemingly try to “outdo” the predecessors with bigger & better antics (that don’t do anything for me)but I feel like Cam Newton is actually having fun….sure his antics are close to the u-gotta-C-me guys…but …I guess it’s my interpretation of his actions are that he’s just having fun…ya know…these guys should all be having fun….they’re playing a game, paid tons of money (by regular man standards), and they’ve probably loved the game that they are doing since they were a kid…why not be happy and have fun ? He didn’t have much fun in the Super Bowl though!

….talk about having a chip on your shoulder…all winter we’ve heard about the Cubbies so we think the Cards are bristling….however, the Pirates won 98 games last year (1 more than cubs & 2 less than Cards) yet we don’t hear a peep about them….their club has a tremendous, athletic OF (Marte, McCutheon, Polanco), no real star but steady players in the INF, a starting staff with 3 lefties, a very strong bullpen in Melancon, Watson, Hughes and Caminero…Netali Feliz (seemingly on the DL more than in the bullpen) gets another…probably final…chance to use his strong stuff ..their top prospect is another power-arm RH starter….sure they lost Neil Walker (a power hitting 2B with a very modest average) and Pedro Alvarez who provide power but a miserable average and just so-so defense. Alvarez had plenty of years to convince the mgmt. that he was “worth it”…they let his walk into Free agency this winter (that was their answer)… so being totally ignored on the national scene (small market and never going deep into post season in recent years)…I’m sure that the Pirates “chip” is even larger than the chip that the Cards have on their shoulder….don’t overlook ‘em.



  1. Not really a Broncos fan but I’m so glad that they beat Cam Newton. Nothing against the Panthers, just don’t like Cam Newton ( loved “THE FUGITIVE” reference, BTW)
    Lady Gaga is a talented artist with a beautiful voice, just don’t care for her pop songs. Beyoncé is an embarrassment with her halftime homage to The Black Panthers.

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