Richard Martin

Denver Super Bowls Tend To End In Epic Failure

Created on Feb. 03, 2014 10:21 AM EST

Some viewers might have wondered if the margin was the biggest ever in the Super Bowl. If you were watching Fox’s telecast, you’d know that’s not the case. 

The 49ers crushed these same Denver Broncos, led by John Elway (now president of the team) in 1990, 55-10. That was a dynasty led by Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, and coached by Bill Walsh. It was one of the best teams ever.

The second-biggest Super Bowl beatdown ever was in 1986, when the Bears beat the Patriots, 46-10. Third is a tie between Sunday’s 43-8 game and the Bills’ loss to the Cowboys, 52-17.  A fifth blowout was also by Denver, when they lost 42-10 to the Redskins in 1988. 

So the Broncos have set a record by losing a fifth Super Bowl. Those losses have been by margins of 17, 19, 32, 45 and 35. Ouch. They’re going the wrong direction.

Of course, Denver fans can stick out their tongues at Vikings and Bills fans. Both those teams lost four Super Bowls and lost nary a one. The Bills can claim at least that their first one was close, but after the Scott Norwood game, they lost by 13, 35 and 17. 

Vikings fans can’t hang their hat on anything good in the Super Bowl. They weren’t in any of those games, losing by 16, 17, 10 and 18.

Peyton Manning has now been on three losing Super Bowl teams, twice with the Colts and one with the Broncos. But at least he has someone to commiserate with: Elway, who was on three of the Broncos’ losing Super Bowl teams, including the one suffering the biggest beatdown.

The question many will ask is: Will this affect the legacy of Manning? 

That’s an easy one. No, of course not. He faced a great defense, and his team played horribly around him. The pass protection was weak, receivers didn’t get open and the defense suffered major lapses. That said, Manning wasn’t very good in the Super Bowl.

Manning’s been a great quarterback, but he’s never been on a great team. I never thought those Colt teams were particularly good. He’s never been on a team with anything more than a decent defense. This year the D was a definite weakness.

All those Super Bowl losses didn’t affect the view people had of Elway. He was a great quarterback on some less-than-great teams. Again, some of those Denver defenses weren’t very good, though Montana and Rice could make just about anyone look bad.

Jim Kelly and Fran Tarkenton can, I’m sure, commiserate with Elway and Manning. Kelly was on all the Bills’ losing Super Bowl teams, and Tarkenton quarterbacked three of the four Vikings teams that lost in the Super Bowl.

Quarterbacks get the glory when all goes well. When the team’s stomped on, the first fingers are pointed at them. It’s rarely deserved. But they know it comes with the territory.

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