By Daniel Popoloski
Von Miller and the Denver Broncos defense rattled Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers all Sunday night in Super Bowl 50 and handed Peyton Manning his second championship with a score of 24-10.
Miller, the game’s MVP, had two and a half of the Broncos’ Super Bowl record- tying seven sacks on quarterback Newton, who won the league MVP award the night before. Miller also forced two fumbles, one of which was recovered for a touchdown. The rest of the Bronco defense provided one other forced fumble and pressured Newton into throwing an interception that was snagged by safety T.J. Ward.
While many fans were worried that this would be a repeat of the drubbing the Broncos fell victim to two years ago in the championship game against the Seattle Seahawks, Manning and Co. erased that notion by driving down the field for a quick field goal on the first series of the game. Shortly after, their defense recovered a fumble for a touchdown to give them a 10-0 lead going into the second quarter.
The start of the second quarter saw the Panthers charge back down the field, punctuated with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Stewart. However, that was as close as they would get; the Broncos answered back with another Brandon McManus field goal, his second of three that night. While the Panthers would score one more field goal, they couldn’t make up the deficit, as McManus kicked a third field goal.
While the Panthers never truly threatened the Broncos at any point, the game wasn’t sealed until Manning passed for a two-point conversion to Bennie Fowler with three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
One of the biggest storylines though doesn’t have an ending yet: Is Manning going to end his football career with this victory? While he has previously waived away such questions, there really isn’t a better way to retire than fresh off a Super Bowl victory.