Street Talk PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Super Bowl XLVIII Edition

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Reality: The #1 Offense has played the #1 Defense five times in the Super Bowl. The #1 defense has won four of those five.

Perception: I tweeted before the Super Bowl that I thought Seattle would win because “Defense Wins Championships.” I know that’s an old saying but it still rings true even in the modern day “passing league” NFL. When you have a suffocating defense, it can stop anyone, even the most prolific offense in NFL history. With that defense, Seattle will have a chance to be real good for a number of years to come. Just like Trent Dilfer with the 2000 Ravens, they just need their offense to do just enough not to lose the game.

Reality: Russell Wilson completed 72% of his passes for 206 yards and 2 TDs, with QB Rating of 123.1.

Perception: This can show you how much an offensive line matters. In the Super Bowl, Wilson’s passer rating dropped to 42.4 when he was pressured… but the Broncos only managed four QB pressures, according to ESPN. Wilson is a good NFL quarterback, but needs help from those around him to make him better. He is efficient and that’s all the Seahawks need with their quality run game and outstanding defense to be a great team.

Reality: The Seattle Seahawks won by 35 points Sunday.

Perception: Most of us who didn’t care who won the big game, just wanted to see a close game. That wasn’t the case. The previous six Super Bowls were decided by a total of just 34 points. The Ravens victory last year didn’t look like it would be close, but a power outage later it came down to the wire. The Super Bowls from the ’80s and ’90s weren’t that close, and now the Broncos have managed two of the worst losses in Super Bowl History… 55-10 to the 49ers and 43-8 to the Seahawks.

Reality: Peyton Manning is now 11-12 in 23 playoff games, including 1-2 in Super Bowls.

Perception: Sunday, Manning was 34 of 49 for 280 yards and 2 INTs. The first interception was on Manning, but the second one was not his fault… much like Flacco this season, Manning struggled behind an offensive line that did not play well and a run game that was non-existent. Yes, (like Flacco) Manning wasn’t great Sunday, but he was anything from poor, as I’ve heard since the game.

I do not agree with using “win/loss” records in the debate on quarterbacks. Why is Manning being killed for being 1-2 in Super Bowls, and no one is saying Wes Welker is bad for losing two of the last three Super Bowls? NFL football is the ultimate team game and claiming that Manning is not good because of his playoff record just doesn’t make sense. Manning helped get the Broncos over the playoff hump both seasons he has been there. Winning in the NFL playoffs is not easy, and winning a Super Bowl is just about as tough as anything you could do. Just ask Tom Brady.

Manning is always compared to Brady, as they are two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, and they are both still playing. After starting 10-0 in the playoffs, Brady is since 8-8 in the playoffs, including 4-5 since Spygate. Brady has had a number of stinkers in the playoffs over the last couple of years, but people aren’t claiming he can’t win the big one.

Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever step on the field. He has transformed two NFL franchises. Other NFL quarterbacks watch what he does and how he leads the offense and have requested they be allowed to do something similar. If I’m starting a franchise today, I’m still considering making him my franchise quarterback.

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Joe Polek

About Joe Polek

Joe Polek was born in Baltimore, MD, and was raised in Bel Air, MD. He lived in Maine from 2001-2012, where he met his wife and had two daughters. He now resides in Columbia, SC where he has left TV/Radio and is the South Carolina Marketing Coordinator for Bojangles’ Restaurants. Joe is a huge sports fan, but most importantly he lives and breathes Baltimore (and Maryland) sports. He routinely gets back to Baltimore for a Ravens and Orioles game once a year. A couple of his highlights were being at the final game at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, and also sitting in left field for “2130”, and “2131” (Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak).

Find Joe on Twitter @JoePolek.

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