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Wagner: Broncos were intimidated

Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner believes the Denver Broncos were intimidated by his team's defense from the start of their 43-8 Super Bowl XLVIII loss to Seattle.

Wagner was a guest Tuesday on ESPN's "First Take" in Los Angeles when co-host Stephen A. Smith asked him if he thought the Broncos' offense was intimidated by the Seahawks' defense.

"You're not wrong," Wagner said. "They looked scared out there. Nobody wanted to catch the ball. Nobody wanted to come up the middle."

Wagner thought the intimidation factor started early in the game with Seattle strong safety Kam Chancellor's bruising hit on Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas on a short crossing route in the first quarter.

Right as Thomas made the catch, Chancellor launched into Thomas' shoulder high and knocked him backward five yards.

"If you look at the previous games, [the Broncos] got a lot of balls across the middle," Wagner said. "That first hit [by Chancellor] came across the middle and smacked him.

"You didn't really see too many balls caught across the middle [after that play]. They were very timid. That says a lot about our defense."

Wagner said physical intimidation is what the Seahawks thrive on as players.

"If you go out against our defense, you really have to have your head on a swivel because everyone is trying to tackle you," Wagner said. "If I miss a tackle, somebody else is going to come and clean it up. Everybody is coming after your head."

The Seahawks play at Denver in the preseason on Aug. 7. The Broncos face the Seahawks in Seattle on Sept. 21, the third weekend of the regular season.

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sports espn demaryius thomas kam chancellor nfl super bowl bobby wagner denver broncos seattle seahawks first take
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