If Champ Bailey had only known the outcome of his long awaited first ever Super Bowl – enduring 15 years in professional football before reaching the summit only to be crushed – he may have chosen a different career path.
“I was not surprised that we got here. I’m surprised about the way we played,” the veteran cornerback said in what was expected to be a joyous locker room inside MetLife Stadium. “We definitely didn’t play our best football tonight. We definitely played a good football team that was ready to go and we just didn’t match their intensity.”
The Broncos defense was resolute despite some unfortunate circumstances – most but not all that were out of their control. Bailey accounted for four tackles and was given the difficult task of keeping up with fast slot receiver Percy Harvin most of the night.
Denver stymied Tom Brady and the third best scoring offense in the league in the AFC Championship game to earn the chance to play in the final game but that unit was unable produce a similar effect Sunday.
“You can call it what you want. The several snaps after that we didn’t play good football either,” he said of the position they were in following the first snap safety by the Broncos. Following the ensuing punt, it took just five plays for the Seahawks offense to get inside the red-zone.
“They’re a good football team. You cannot make mistakes against a team like that,” Bailey continued.
Retirement could seem like the next logical recourse after a year hampered by a nagging foot injury and a drubbing in the Super Bowl. But that may instead make the desire to return even stronger – he didn’t play this long to finally get there and then go out like that.