Seahawks vs. Broncos: Biggest Disappointments for Both Teams

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIFebruary 4, 2014

Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) and Kam Chancellor (31) tackle Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker (87) after a reception during the third quarter in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium.Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In a blowout win for the Seattle Seahawks at Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos, there were some pretty big disappointments, even for the winning team.

The Seahawks won with ease at MetLife Stadium, shutting down Peyton Manning and company to get a 43-8 win. Malcolm Smith, who returned an interception for a touchdown while adding 10 tackles and a fumble recovery, was named the Super Bowl MVP.

But not everyone played as well as Smith, so let's take a look at a couple of players who didn't live up to expectations on the biggest stage in professional sports.


Eric Decker, WR, Denver Broncos

In a game where Manning needed some help from his wide receivers, he didn't get a lot, and Eric Decker was almost completely invisible throughout the entire game.

Despite being targeted six times throughout the game, Decker caught just one pass for six yards. He was shut down and almost never got open, with the Legion of Boom containing him more effectively than both Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker by a considerable amount.

The fact that Decker wasn't even able to pick up garbage-time yards says a lot about how much he was manhandled. After catching 87 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns during the regular season, the expectations were a lot higher for him in this game.

Now Decker will be a free agent, and given the current situation in Denver, there's no guarantee that he's coming back, although fans would like him to. If this ends up being his last game as a member of the Broncos, the 26-year-old receiver will definitely be heading out on a low note.


Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) is tackled by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Nate Irving (56) in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If I had told you that Marshawn Lynch would have put up less than 40 yards rushing, chances are that most of you would have quickly bet on the Broncos to win this game. While it seems a little picky to criticize Beast Mode in a game like this against a solid run defense, many expected him to have a better game.

Lynch finished with just 39 yards despite carrying the ball 15 times, which comes out to just 2.6 yards per carry. If you take out his one big run of 18 yards, he averaged just 1.5 yards per carry on the other 14 touches.

Still, Beast Mode came away with a one-yard touchdown and didn't have to do too much with how well everyone else played. Given everything else he had done for the Seahawks this season, Lynch gets a pass in this one.


Orlando Franklin, OT, Denver Broncos

Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive tackle Orlando Franklin (74) against the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

No player had a worse game for either side than Denver's right tackle Orlando Franklin.

The pressure was on Manning throughout the game, forcing him into some bad throws, a couple of interceptions and even a strip-sack. It seemed like Manning rarely had a clean pocket, as players like Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons continued to get in his face.

Franklin was a major reason for that on the right side. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Franklin was responsible for four QB hurries and a hit on Manning, earning the worst overall grade for the Broncos at minus-3.6. 

Franklin couldn't contain Avril the entire game, but he was one of the best offensive tackles all year, as Pro Football Focus had him as the 17th-best offensive tackle in the league for 2013.

At the end of the day, no one on that offense could get going, and while Franklin was a big reason for that, he isn't the only one to blame for a rough day.