KHMO Sports Director Bill Shuler Grades Super Bowl XLVIII
No pregame show grades. I don’t watch. So much air time, so little substance. I did watch an old NFL Films Football Follies while getting ready for church Sunday morning…
With that being said, I’ll start where I start paying attention on Super Bowl Sunday…
The National Anthem. A+. Well done by Renee Fleming. Best rendition since Whitney Houston in 1991.
The Denver Broncos..
Overall grade: D
Offensive line F. Started with the bad snap and did not improve. It would be appropriate to charge both of Manning’s interceptions to the OL. They got blown away.
Running game—Incomplete. Hard to run with no blocking.
Recievers—B. Open fairly often against a solid defense.
Quarterback—B- Two interceptions that were mostly the fault of the offensive line. I'd like to have seen more running plays but there may be good reasons why we didn't. Under the circumstances, only two interceptions isn’t a bad day in this case.
D-line and LB’s-- B. Not bad overall.
DB’s D-. The grade is dragged down by poor tackling.
Special teams—F. Poor decision on the opening kickoff. No excuse in my book for guys good enough to sign a pro contract to fail to properly cover a kickoff. Harvin's 87 yard return dropped the chances of a Bronco comeback into the near impossible range.
Coaching--- D-. No obvious, serious attempt to run the football. I’ll concede that the Bronco staff may have figured that to be a futile thing with the blocking available. The wasted replay challenge on a very obvious forward pass is notable.
Overall grade A-
Offensive line: B+ Did a nice job with the strength of the Denver defense.
Running Game. A-. Moved the ball. Helped control the clock and extinguish any remaining chance in the second half.
Recievers. B+. Not a flashy group beyond Harvin, but they did a solid job of getting open.
Quarterback. A. No turnovers. Throws were on target. Wilson also extended some plays by getting away from pressure. First time I've had the chance to watch him play an entire game. I'm impressed.
D-line and LB’s—A. Exploited the Broncos problems up front. Good tackling. That limited Denver’s ability to gain yardage after the catch.
DB’s—A. Pressed the Denver receivers and limited Manning’s ability to make quick throws. Good tackling is also a huge factor in this grade.
Special Teams—B+. Deep kicks limited Denver’s return game. Good job of containing a very good return man.
Coaching—B+. The early use of a challenge on the spot drops this from an A.
Halftime show. C. Bruno Mars was good enough to keep my attention away from the buffet and the microbrews in the fridge. Not so much when the Re Hot Chili Peppers appeared.
Brevity is the soul of wit. The NFL needs to remember this. Regular season NFL halftimes last 12 minutes and that is a very good length for halftime.
High schools use 18 minutes—unless the homecoming ceremonies aren’t sufficiently organized, College halftimes are 20 minutes. 30+ minutes is way too long.
TV Broadcast—B. Solid job overall on play by play, color and sideline work. There is a noticeable drop in commercial quality in recent years.