EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Perhaps the ultimate dream, playing a Super Bowl in your home state, became reality for four Broncos on Sunday.
And for no one was that more apparent last week than for Denver safety Mike Adams, who vowed after the AFC Championship Game that he would walk directly to Paterson, N.J., where he was born, if his team won Super Bowl XLVIII.
Estimated distance from MetLife Stadium: 9.4 miles. Estimated walking time: two and a half hours.
No surprise he pulled back on the promise closer to kickoff (not that it was ever in danger once the game started).
For Adams, home wasn't so sweet against the Seahawks at MetLife Stadium, but being able to celebrate with a community, along with family and friends, added special memories to an already special Super Bowl buildup for Adams, running back Knowshon Moreno (born in Belford), linebacker Shaun Phillips (went to high school in Willingboro) and defensive end Robert Ayers (born in Jersey City).
Adams had a pep rally held in Paterson in his honor: "It was a warm welcome. ... That definitely gave me chills."
Moreno got a surprise visit from his high-school coach, Steve Antonucci, at Media Day: "He means a lot. I almost thought about quitting football, not playing football, and he taught me to just stay consistent, working hard to get better each day. ... He's like a family member to me."
Nostalgia took a different form for Phillips, who was born in Philadelphia and didn't move to New Jersey until high school. The Garden State, though, was where his football career began:
"I didn't even touch a football until I was in ninth grade," Phillips said. "This is pretty much where it all started for me."
Fox joins elite companyDenver's John Fox became the sixth coach in NFL history to lead two teams in a Super Bowl on Sunday, joining Mike Holmgren (Green Bay, Seattle), Dick Vermeil (Philadelphia, St. Louis), Dan Reeves (Denver, Atlanta), Bill Parcells (New York Giants, New England) and Don Shula (Baltimore Colts, Miami).
Need your starsIt was no secret that if the Broncos were going to be successful, it would be behind Manning's lead. Two first-half interceptions were an ominous start.
"Obviously, your star players have to be great in championship games," Fox said before the game. "There have not been very many championships in any sport where your big players didn't play big."
Manning came into the game with an 11-11 record in the playoffs.
One change in inactivesPlayers inactive for the Broncos on Sunday were quarterback Zac Dysert, running back Ronnie Hillman, cornerback Quentin Jammer, tackle Vinston Painter, guard Chris Kuper, tight end Joel Dreessen and defensive tackle Sione Fua. Jammer was replaced by cornerback Marquice Cole, who was signed before the AFC Championship Game but was not active.
Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas caught his 12th pass on the final play of the third quarter, a 14-yard touchdown reception. The 12 catches were a Super Bowl record. Four players had made 11 catches in Super Bowls, including Thomas' current teammate Wes Welker (then with New England).
The Broncos hold the three largest halftime deficits in Super Bowls (25 points to Washington in Super Bowl XXII, a 42-10 loss; 24 points to San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIV, a 55-10 loss; 22 points to Seattle on Sunday).
-- Denver was the 12th team in Super Bowl history to be shut out at halftime. Those teams are 0-12.
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