Super Bowl

Super Bowl 50: Broncos Defense Rolls Over Panthers

Victoria Barnett

By Victoria Barnett

February 8, 2016

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Ah, Super Bowl 50. We’ve been experiencing the hype for quite some time now, and we were finally graced with its presence. The game was bitter for some and sweet for others, but either way, it was a night to remember like always.

Peyton Manning's Happy Ending (Maybe)

What a glorious day for Peyton Manning. He can wake up and bask in the fact he just won the Super Bowl…again. He gets to ride off into the sunset with the Lombardi Trophy after leading the Broncos to its third NFL title. That makes two rings with two different franchises for Peyton – who now ties his brother Eli with two rings. What a way to go out! (Or not, I mean who really knows if this is it for Peyton Manning. We can only assume.)

Of course, we are all dying to known if this is the end of the road, but when asked last night, his response was simply, “I’ll take some time to reflect. I got a couple priorities first. I’m going to kiss my wife and my kids. I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight.” Apparently, he didn’t get paid to say that. At least he has his priorities straight.

Denver's Torturous Defense

The game was a little underwhelming to many football fans. We expected an explosive Panthers offense, but they fell short. The Denver defense suffocated the Panthers and kept Cam Newton pretty jittery all game. The league’s MVP just couldn’t finish what he’s been doing all season long, and I honestly hate it for him. Newton has led the Panthers to an incredibly dynamic and record-breaking season, and for many people, the loss is utterly heartbreaking.

We knew heading into the game how powerful Denver’s top-ranked defense is, but we really thought the Panthers offense could give them a run for their money. The problem was Newton did not look like himself at all as he was sacked six times, and Von Miller stripped him twice, both of which led to touchdowns. Was Cam stressed? Broncos players sure thought so. The Denver defense tortured him all day. I would say that’s pretty stressful.  

Peyton Manning faced his fair share of harassment by the Panthers’ defense and finished 13-for-23 for 141 yards. I guess you could say he got the job done, but that’s not what won this game for the Broncos. The defense is what won this game, just like we said it would. They stole the show and they stole the Panthers’ thunder. MVP Miller was on fire with six tackles, 2 ½ sacks, two hurries, two forced fumbles and a pass defensed. And of course, he couldn’t resist dabbing in the end zone after a defensive touchdown.

The Plays of the Game

Neither team’s offense really came out swinging. Or maybe they tried but were shut down by the defense. No surprise there.

SF-Skyline-With-Football-3-1.pngIn the first quarter, the Broncos hit a 34-yard field goal and then scored a defensive touchdown to lead the Panthers 10-0. The second quarter brought a Carolina touchdown to put them on the board followed by a Broncos field goal to make the score 13-7. As the first half came to a close, the defense struck from both sides. Carolina fumbled, then Peyton Manning threw an interception. Hello, halftime.

The 30-minute halftime break gave us Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars plus plenty of the highly-anticipated commercials. How did you feel about it all? The reactions on social media were really all over the place.

Moving right along.

The Panthers started with the ball in the third quarter, were stopped near the red zone and had to settle for a field goal, except the field goal was NO GOOD. It hit the post and bounced out. The Broncos got the ball and took it down field to get another field goal. The Panthers started to make some progress in the fourth quarter, but the Broncos defense kept them to just a field goal.

The Broncos didn’t answer; Carolina had the ball. Well what do you know! The Broncos defense bulldozed again – Von Miller knocked the ball out of Newton’s hands, and the Broncos recovered. Before we know it, the Broncos landed on the four yard line, got a touchdown and successfully went for two. And the rest is history! The game slowed down with the Broncos leading 24-10 – a lead they never gave up as they went on to win Super Bowl 50.

The Outcome

The outcome of the game is bittersweet for many football fans. Carolina fans are obviously devastated especially considering the AMAZING season the Panthers had this year. We have to give credit where credit is due. They are a solid team with impeccable talent; they just didn’t have the spark they usually have.

How can we not be happy for Peyton Manning though? Whether or not you are a Broncos fan, it’s still a great moment in history for this future Hall of Fame quarterback. If this really was his last hoorah, it doesn’t get much better than this. He’s a hero, a legend and role model for football enthusiasts across the world.

Congratulations, Denver Broncos! What a way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Super Bowl. And hey Panthers’ fans, I think we can all agree the buck doesn’t stop here. You’ll be killing it next year, too. Keep Pounding.

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