By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Mon. Feb. 3, 2014: Kingston-born, Jamaica Orlando Franklin’s job as right tackle on the Denver Broncos Team at Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday was to protect his quarter back, Peyton Manning. At 6’ 7”, 330 pound, you’d think this would be fairly easy for the tough Toronto-raised kid. But instead Franklin, 26, got run over by a man weighing less than him at 260 pounds and standing beneath him at 6’ 3”.
Clifford Avril, the defensive end of the Seattle Seahawks, often considered one of the most underappreciated players in the NFL, like his entire team, came to win Sunday. And win they did as Avril simply overpowered Franklin, playing in his first Super Bowl, to put heat on Manning.
Avril collided with the Broncos’ QB just as he set to throw. The collision led to a wobbly pass that fell right into the Seahawks’ Malcolm Smith’s arms.
Smith picked off the Manning pass and raced 69 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, a game-changing play that gave the Seahawks a 22-0 lead and signaled that this was going to be a blowout.
Avril, who ended up earning the Most Valuable Player honor after Seattle’s 43-8 win Sunday night, was credited with three tackles, two QB hits and two passes defensed.
#74 Franklin did a terrible job against Avril on just about every play. As NFL writer Scott Kacsmar tweeted: “My Twitter block button is having a better night blocking than Orlando Franklin.”
Had Franklin been able to slow Avril down – even a little, Manning might have had a chance to complete passes down the field. The Seahawks limited Manning to 5.7 yards per pass attempt.
So out of the window went the dreams of a Broncos win and with it the hopes of many million fans left devastated by the shocking blow-out. Franklin can kiss dreams of a Super Bowl ring goodbye even if he vows to remember it.
“I’ll remember this season as a great season,” Franklin surprisingly said Sunday night after the loss. “We were able to accomplish a lot of things in this league that a lot of people are not able to accomplish. That’s how I’ll remember it.”
He stayed off Twitter Sunday night but we hope his feisty mother, Sylvia Allen, who was watching the game in almost 50 degree weather at Metlife Stadium, will have an earful for her son.