EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Denver Broncos wanted Super Bowl XLVIII all the usual reasons, and they also wanted to win it for veteran cornerback Champ Bailey.
Since coming into the league in 1999, Bailey had been named to the Pro Bowl a dozen times, but he had never made it to the Super Bowl.
Over the two weeks since Denver took the AFC championship with a win over New England, the Broncos said they wanted to win the championship for Bailey about as often as they said they wanted to win it for quarterback Peyton Manning.
Before the Broncos took the field at MetLife Stadium, Bailey addressed his teammates.
“(I reminded) them why we’re here and what you play for, things like that,” he said. “It’s not about one individual. It’s about the whole team. I just wanted to kind of give them a sense where I was coming from and what it means to me.”
However, the chances of Bailey, 35, winning his first Super Bowl started slipping away early. The Broncos trailed 8-0 after the first quarter, 22-0 at halftime, and fell behind 36-0 before finally getting on the scoreboard.
“You definitely don’t want to start like that,” Bailey said. “… You can’t play a good team like that and make mistakes. They’re going to make you pay.”
One of the reasons the Broncos felt an urgency to get Bailey a ring was because they weren’t sure if he was coming back next season.
After the Super Bowl, he indicated that he is open to doing so, even if it means shifting to safety.
“It just needs to be the right situation, the right fit, something I want to do,” he said. “I don’t need this job, but I definitely want it.”
He was asked how he was going to remember his 15th NFL season.
“Lot’s of ups and downs,” he said. “There were a lot of things we overcome, but what’s going to stick out the most is we lost the last game.”
John Elway – the former Broncos quarterback who now serves as executive vice president of football operations, was asked about his disappointment in the result. However, his answer stuck to the disappointment he felt for the players.
“I just know how hard these guys worked this who year, and really had a good year,” he said. “… In my situation, I feel bad in the fact that we couldn’t play better, especially with all the effort the players put in and the coaches put in. And so, I’m disappointed for them.”
The Broncos made history Sunday becoming the first team to lose five Super Bowls. They’ve also amassed a reputation for epic implosions.
In addition to Sunday’s blowout loss, they’ve allowed the most points in a quarter and suffered the biggest loss in Super Bowl history.
Denver allowed 35 points in the second quarter of its 42-10 loss to Washington in Super Bowl XXII. The Broncos also lost 55-10 to San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIV.
Malcolm Smith’s 69-yard second-quarter interception for a touchdown was the longest in a Super Bowl since New Orleans’ Tracy Porter went 74-yards in Super Bowl XLIV. That pass also was thrown by Peyton Manning. … The Seahawks got seven interceptions against the Manning brothers this season – all at MetLife Stadium. On Dec. 15, the Seahawks intercepted Eli Manning five times on their way to a 23-0 regular-season win over the New York Giants, and on Sunday they added two against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. … Denver receiver Wes Welker was asked if things got chippy with the Seahawks’ secondary Sunday, especially in light of cornerback Richard Sherman’s infamous rant in the wake of the Seahawks’ NFC championship win over San Francisco,
“There’s always chippiness and different things like that,” he said.