Image via Matthew Emmons, USA Today Sports
The old saying goes that “Defense Wins Championships” – that was on full display in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California on Sunday night as the Denver Broncos road Von Miller and his teammates to a 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
So much going into the game was “how could the Broncos withstand the Panthers ferocious defense.” “How would old Peyton Manning be able to score against the Luke Kuechly lead turnover creating machine.” The answer was just enough. The Broncos offense scored 17 points, aided greatly by Carolina turnovers and the longest punt return in Super Bowl history.
Cam Newton, the new MVP of the NFL, was a shell of himself as he was beaten and harassed all night. Newton completed just 18 of 41 passes and turned the ball over three times, with two fumbles and an interception. His first fumble allowed the Broncos to jump on top 10-0. His second fumble, all but sealed the deal for the Broncos, as Newton showed no effort to even attempt to recover the football. Newton was also sacked six times.
Peyton Manning didn’t fair much better, his worst season of his career came to an end with the worst quarterback rating to ever win the Super Bowl. This 2015-16 Broncos team relied as much on its defense to win the Super Bowl as the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. The Broncos defense scored the first touchdown of the game. The clinching touchdown was set up by another fumble recovery.
The Super Bowl was far from a classic, but the best team won the game. As Bill Belichick would say its Onto 2016.