You had to know that despite all the talk about Peyton Manning and Cam Newton, Super Bowl 50 was not going to be a showdown between the outstanding QB's, but rather a game dictated by which dominating defense played better. Broncos linebacker Von Miller led a unit that tied a Super Bowl record with seven sacks, harassing Cam Newton into a miserable performance in Denver's 24-10 victory.
If this was indeed Manning's last game, he needs to thank his defense for delivering his second Super Bowl victory. The Panthers were used to having their way this year, dancing toward a record of 17-1 heading into the big game. But Carolina's league-leading offense, which averaged over 30 points per game heading into the playoffs and an astounding 40 in the postseason, was stymied by the NFL's best defense. The Broncos lead the NFL in total defense, pass defense and sacks, and they made easy work of Cam and the Panthers, holding them Dab-less.
Miller, who was named the game's MVP, created Denver's first touchdown when he forced a Newton fumble in the first quarter on the strip sack that defensive end Malik Jackson scooped up to score, giving the Broncos a 10-0 lead.
Miller forced his second fumble from Newton in the fourth quarter, a ball that safety T.J. Ward recovered and returned it to the Carolina 4-yard line. Denver proceeded to score their first offensive touchdown of the day, icing the game with 3:08 left.
Carolina , who looked exceptional throughout the year, looked less than ordinary as they bumbled and stumbled through the night with 11 penalties, four turnovers and a missed field goal attempt. Their lone bright spot was defensive end Kony Ealy, who became the first player in Super Bowl history to have three sacks and an interception.
As nice as it was to see Peyton Manning get rewarded with another Lombardi Trophy as an exclamation on what could be perhaps the greatest QB resume in NFL history, this Denver win was all about the Broncos defense.