Last night, the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10. In the game, the Broncos amassed just 104 passing yards. They went 1-14 on third downs. They ran the ball five times more than they passed it. They racked up six of the game's 18 total penalties. And Denver's defensive pressure on Carolina QB Cam Newton was relentless as they tallied seven sacks, 2.5 of which came from the game's MVP, Von Miller.
It was a perfect exhibition of how Fisherball can work on the biggest stage.
And the Rams weren't anywhere close to it.
In last night's open thread, I said that the Super Bowl answers every question and sets the narrative for the entire season. The game reinforced the "defense wins championships" mantra and certainly took some of the steam out of the QB balloon. And while it wasn't necessarily a fair endorsement of a strong running game per se, it did follow the Fisherball script.
Where some might see that as validation for the Rams' strategy and a pathway to success, I'm more inclined to question why the results haven't been more apparent after four years.
How did the Broncos manage to win 12 games this year on the back of their defense while the Rams only won seven? If your answer is Peyton Manning, proceed to go and do not collect $200. Brock Osweiler went 5-2 in the seven games he started in Manning's absence.
And maybe a better question is how did the Broncos manage to build a defense that finished fourth in points allowed and was the league's best in yards allowed just two years after finishing 22nd and 19th in those areas? The Rams finished 2013, Jeff Fisher's second year in charge, 13th in points allowed and 15th in yards allowed. After four years, Fisher improved the defense to finish 13th and 23rd, respectively.
The answer to both, obviously, is that the Broncos played better Fisherball this season than Jeff Fisher's Rams did.
That should worry all of us who are left waiting for a breakthrough by a team that hasn't improved in nearly any measure in the last four years.