Anyone that remembers Super Bowl XXXV knows that that game was a complete domination by the Ravens defense.
The “D” essentially pitched a shutout, as the only points scored by the Giants were on special teams. They forced Kerry Collins into one of the worst games ever by a QB in the Super Bowl, as he threw 4 interceptions. It’s not like the Ravens got a lot of help from the offense, as Trent Dilfer was just 12-25 for 123 yards with 1 TD, 0 Int and a QB rating of 52.6. The Ravens offense produced just 244 yards of offense, which was the record low for a Super Bowl winner…until Sunday. The Broncos put up just 194 yards. They were just 1-14 on third downs and 0 for their last 13.
So, the point is, the Broncos defense got no help. It was all on them. And, man, did they deliver. In an era where the rules are heavily slanted towards the offense, more so than when the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV, the Broncos defense turned in an astonishing performance. Cam Newton was a huge running threat as QB, and he was sacked a record trying 7 times. To put that in perspective, he was sacked an average of twice a game this year. The Broncos got him 7 times. He was also hurried more than any game in his career. Throw in 3 turnovers by him, and another one by Tolbert, and it was a suffocating and epic performance by the Broncos defense.
In my mind, that’s particularly impressive considering that few prognosticators even gave them a chance. Combine that with what they did to Tom Brady the week before, delivering more QB hits than any QB had faced since 2006-07 and a case can be made to put Denver in the conversation as one of the great Super Bowl defenses ever.