Groundhog Day: Defense Still Wins Championships

Posted by Jack Tumen

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

“The Seattle Seahawks are world champions.” It makes me happy to be able to speak that sentence. At heart, I’m a die hard Jets fan, but the Seahawks have always been my second favorite team since I can remember watching football. Now, Seattle has secured its first Lombardi Trophy; the 19th NFL franchise to accomplish such a feat.

In my eyes, ’04-’10 was a generation of football. I base that on the time that Chad Pennington was cemented as the Jets’ starting quarterback to the end of Jerricho Cotchery’s tenure with Gang Green. To me, ’11-’13 was a transitional period of limbo for the league; older players like Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb and Brian Urlacher were on the outs while young guns like Cam Newton, Julio Jones and A.J. Green took center stage.

Now that the “Big Three” QB class of 2012 is about to enter its third season (and already has a ring,) the next youth movement is in full swing. The defining group to bookend this generation is the ’04 QB class of Manning, Rivers and Roethlisberger; 4 combined rings and the latest comeback player of the year.

I’m still only a young fan of the game; the first Super Bowl I can remember watching was Radiers-Bucs back in ’02. Every Super Bowl since then has been competitive, but seemed to lack true significance. After Sunday’s game, it’s evident that a new generation of the NFL has officially kicked off.

The Seahawks won this game with intensity, unity and physicality; a simple recipe that was expertly crafted by Pete Carroll and his coaching staff. While everyone in the NFL world grew hypnotized by high-flying videogame offenses over the last half decade, Carroll employed a school of thought based off football’s roots; physically dominating the man across from you. So when the offense they finally faced had seemingly reached its zenith, the Seahawks had the perfect antidote to counter everything they had thrown at them.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I feel badly for Peyton because his window is closing. I can’t imagine the guy would play into his 40s, so realistically I’d give him 2 more years to play. The Broncos took the field for the biggest game of their lives and had the worst performance possible. Seattle wanted it more, plain and simple.

The way that Seattle’s receivers stepped up was remarkable. Jermaine Kearse’s touchdown was one of the best plays I’ve ever seen by a receiver. Sure, the Broncos couldn’t tackle a practice dummy, but that’s a play I’ll remember for a long time.

As evident in the title of this post, Super Bowl 48 was a Groundhog Day for the league. There couldn’t have been a grander stage to ultimately determine which side of the ball is more important to thrive on. Against the greatest offense to ever assemble on a football field, the Legion of Boom cemented themselves as one of the most epic defenses of all time while reminding us all that defense does indeed win championships.

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