AUBREY BRUCE

AUBREY BRUCE

Hey boys’ and girls’. The NFL held Super Bowl 50 this past Sunday and the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10.  Okay, okay I am preaching to the choir because that being said I fully realize that a significant percentage of the human population living or deceased knows this unless they are according to current United States Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie “living in a bubble.”

However what isn’t so clear is how a Denver Broncos defense, “the legion of swoon,” disturbed, diluted and dissolved a Carolina Panthers offense that had been annihilating some of the NFL’s top defenses on a weekly basis, considering the fact that Carolina finished the 2015 regular season with a 15-1 record.

Case in point; in week 15 of the NFL 2015 season, when the Denver Broncos traveled to oxygen rich Heinz Field to face the postseason chasing Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger completed 40 of 55 passes for 380 YDS, 3 TD,’s.  Couple that with the fact that the Broncos starting QB Peyton Manning who despite having a foot injury as well as facing arm strength “questions” was sidelined with an injury.  However, his replacement Brock Osweiler threw a few fireballs at the Steelers secondary but in the end Pittsburgh prevailed.

When the Steelers traveled to Denver to face the Broncos in the AFC Divisional round of the 2015 playoffs the Broncos won by the score of 23-26.  However even with Manning back under center, Ben Roethlisberger again torched the so-called “number 1” Broncos defense completing 24 of 37 passes, for 339 YDS, and if not for a fumble by Steelers substitute running back Fitzgerald Toussaint with the Steelers driving toward the end zone possibly for the tying or winning score,  Manning may not have had the to horse to ride off into the sunset of Super Bowl 50.

The offensive line of the Carolina Panthers looked to be and were “quite offensive.” The Broncos defensive line and linebackers were running amuck unchecked for almost the entire game.  They were eating up the Panthers QB Cam Newton on such a regular basis, I coined the nickname “fig Newton” for him after I received several texts from one of my buddies seated on press row asking me the question; “has the Carolina O-line given up on protecting “Cam-Cam?”  The Uniform Code of Military Justice defines desertion as: “[anyone that] quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service.  The Carolina offense looked as if they tucked their tails between their legs and just gave up and quit.

Also Denver Broncos Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips appeared as if he was a disciple of master illusionist Harry Houdini playing a cat and mouse game with the Carolina offense that looked like it was a cage match between a Bengal Tiger and a Gerbil.

The media is all up in arms concerning the fact that Cam Newton stormed out of the postgame interview.  Wouldn’t you have taken a hike and  been supremely “pissed off” after your offensive line played as if they were a bunch of girls armed with ribbons and short mini-skirts?

Newton’s O-Line deserted him. Throughout the 2015 season, the Steelers were forced to piece together a patchwork offense beginning with their starting QB, first, second and even third string running backs, injuries and suspensions at wide receiver and a plethora of offensive line injuries. But you know what, they fought down to the final gun of the season.

Cam Newton did not bail out on his team, his offensive line did not have the heart, soul or the guts to compete in Super Bowl 50 because they seemed to have lost their “heart” after Super Bowl MVP Von Miller’s strip sack of Newton resulted in the Broncos and the game’s first touchdown.

Also the offensive play calling of Carolina at times seemed sort of “conciliatory.”  There were times when the Panthers would split 3 wide receivers to the left of right and then run a play inside.  Now generally when a team lines up triple or double receivers to either side the purpose should be; to lessen the possibility of one of the receivers from being contacted or jammed within the 5 yard limit.

Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412.583.6741

Follow him on Twitter@ultrascribe

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