An emotional Peyton Manning was adamant that the Denver Broncos' Super Bowl XLVIIIblowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks was not "embarrassing."
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"We've got to give credit to Seattle, you could tell they wanted it way more than us," Rodgers-Cromartie said, via The Denver Post. "They were not going to take a loss. They definitely came out and punched us around."
Coach John Fox told reporters he needed time to "lick my wounds." It's an apt description. All season long, the physical Seahawks have left opponents reeling with a weeklong hangover.
The Broncos were not just demoralized but also aggressively bullied by an intimidating team that was superior in all phases -- including scheming and in-game strategy.
The beatdown was so severe that it has left many wondering what the Broncos can do to prevent a similar outcome in the future.
"What you take out of this is you take that feeling of getting punched around -- twice by that team -- and work hard this offseason to come back stronger," Rodgers-Cromartie added.
Manning will get another shot to fine-tune his legacy next season, but the 2013 Broncos will be remembered as a record-breaking offense that was exposed as fraudulent by a historically great defense on the NFL's biggest stage.
- The "Around The League Podcast" taped our Super Bowl XLVIII recap from MetLife Stadium right after the game. *