Seattle’s performance in Sunday night’s Super Bowl seemed almost too dominant to be true. Not only did the Seahawks beat the Broncos and their NFL-best offense, but they made Peyton Manning and co. look like a pee-wee team in the process.
Of course, Seattle’s lopsided win led some viewers to ask the age-old question when it comes to big games: was it rigged?
The writers over at Huzlers, a satire-based site in the model of the The Onion, say yes. In the hours following Sunday’s game, the site posted a story with the headline “Super Bowl XLVIII Believed To Have Been Rigged And Currently Under Investigation by NFL.”
The story, which, again, isn’t supposed to be taken seriously, says “NFL officials have just found clues that might prove the game was rigged. Officials believe the Broncos intentionally lost the championship in exchange for a large amount of money.”
Apparently some people missed out on the joke, because comment sections across the web were filled with people (see: Broncos fans) referencing the story in order to justify the game’s outcome.
While a rigged Super Bowl probably only exists in the minds of the tin-foilers, a few players from the Seahawks' defense gave some real clues as to how they were able to shutdown the most prolific offense in league history. Both defensive end Michael Bennett and stud cornerback Richard Sherman said their squad picked up on Peyton Manning’s hand signals during the game.
Sherman said it took him and his teammates just one quarter to crack Peyton’s signal code.
"We knew what route concepts they liked on different downs, so we jumped all the routes,” he said. “Then we figured out the hand signals for a few of the route audibles in the first half. ... Now, if Peyton had thrown in some double moves, if he had gone out of character, we could've been exposed."
Ouch. Not only did the Sherman and his team embarrass the Broncos on a national stage, but now they’re telling them how they could have been beaten too. Salt on the wounds.
Regardless of all the postgame words flying around right now, Super Bowl XLVIII taught us one undeniable thing: Seattle is scary-good. You get the feeling this young squad is just getting started too. We’ll see if they can handle the pressure of being the hunted – not the hunter – next season, but football fans up in Seattle must be drooling over the possibilities the next 4+ seasons hold for their team.