The biggest losers in the aftermath of the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 beat-down of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII (in no particular order):
Peyton Manning; Richard Sherman haters; Bud Light’s marketing team; the majority of the betting public (newsflash: the books came out on top again, for the 22nd time in the last 24 Super Bowls); Peyton Manning’s legacy; anyone who chose the halftime show over … pretty much any other alternative; Broncos backers who willfully ignored Peyton Manning’s big-game résumé, which features one “W” against a shitload of “L’s” dating to his collegiate days at Tennessee; and anyone who did the (usually) logical thing and went against my betting recommendations.
Yep, I nailed the Super Bowl winner for the fourth consecutive year, successfully predicting an outright Seattle victory. OK, so my call for the game to stay “under” the total just missed—seriously, how in the hell does the “under” not cash when the Broncos managed just eight points?—but I did go 6-1 with my prop plays.
A quick pat on the back, er, I mean, recap of those prop selections:
Seahawks-Broncos Under 23½ points, first half: Down 22-0, Denver coach John Fox amazingly (stupidly?) forgoes a chip-shot field-goal attempt right before halftime, choosing instead to go for it on fourth down. Manning (as was the theme all night) failed.
Seahawks -3½ (+190) vs. Broncos: Thinking to myself when Seattle grabbed a 5-0 lead less than five minutes into the game: “Just hang on from here, boys!” Thinking to myself early in the fourth quarter when Seattle scored its final touchdown to go up 43-8: “Why the hell didn’t I bet the Seahawks minus-21½?!? Or minus-34½?!?”
Will either team score three straight times – No (+155): This one was dead before I finished my second beer. Thanks for nothing, Peyton.
Will there be a defensive or special-teams touchdown – Yes (+160): Forget “or”; how about one of each? For those keeping score, the “yes” on this prop has now cashed nine times in the last 13 Super Bowls, including six of the last eight. This includes two pick-sixes by Manning, the Super Bowl gift who keeps on giving.
Peyton Manning Over 26½ completions (-110): We interrupt all the Manning bashing to deliver this positive note: In the face of relentless pressure, Eli’s big brother completed 34 passes to eight different receivers. Alas, his two interceptions don’t count as completions, even though they should—the passes hit the two Seahawks defenders right between the numbers.
Russell Wilson Under 27½ pass attempts (-110): Seattle’s second-year quarterback was the picture of efficiency against Denver’s weak secondary, finishing 18-for-25 for 206 yards. Kudos to Wilson for pulling the ball down and running on three planned pass plays—three potential attempts that would’ve turned this winner into a loser.
Will Russell Wilson throw an interception – No (+105): In the last two postseasons, Wilson is 4-1 with six TD passes and one interception (at Atlanta last year), while Peyton Manning is 2-3 with eight TDs and five INTs, including two against Seattle (plus a lost fumble). Here endeth the nonsensical “Peyton Manning is the greatest QB of all time” debate.