Although Peyton Manning flunked an opportunity to establish a legacy as the greatest quarterback in NFL history, this was a team loss. The Denver Broncos were thoroughly outplayed in all three phases of the game.
"It's unfortunate that a lot of people are going to try to put it in on '18' because he doesn't deserve that," right tackle Orlando Franklin said after the game in reference to Manning. "We all had a hand in this loss."
Franklin emphasized that the Broncos "knew what was at stake," but were simply outplayed by the better team Sunday.
"They schemed the heck out of us," Franklin continued. "They did an extremely good job today, getting after guys."
With the booming leg of Matt Prater capable of sending the ball through the back of the end zone, the Broncos opted for a pop-up kickoff that Harvin returned for a back-breaking touchdown to start the second half.
Both of those decisions pale in comparison to an early third-quarter punt, down 29 points at Seattle's 39-yard line. It's not hyperbole to suggest this might have been the most nonsensical punt in football history -- Chuck Pagano's games excluded, of course.
Franklin took some semblance of solace Sunday night that the Broncos were able to accomplish a lot of things in this league that a lot of people are not able to accomplish.