by Will Kharfen
The Super Bowl is largely considered the biggest sporting event in the world. In it’s 50th edition last Sunday, the thought-to-be underdog Denver Broncos defeated the 17-1 Carolina Panthers by a score of 24-10. Giving Denver quarterback and all-time great Peyton Manning his second Super Bowl victory and another reason for his inevitable Hall of Fame Induction, which could give “The Sheriff” a perfect way to end his career.
After finishing the season 15-1, the Panthers went into the game with the league’s best offense, MVP quarterback Cam Newton, big tight end Greg Olsen, quick running back Jonathan Stewart, and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., “Dab nation” were the clear favorites to win the prized Vince Lombardi Trophy. Yet the Broncos were able to win the game on the back of their incredible defense, with their first touchdown of the game coming from a fumble recovery in the end zone by defensive tackle Malik Jackson, which gave them a 10-0 lead. Newton was not his usual play-making self, throwing an interception, taking sacks, fumbling, and not running as much as we are accustomed to seeing. The Panthers just weren’t able to play like themselves due to the amazing Denver defense. Carolina trailed the whole game.
The game itself was far more defensive than offensive. In the end, Denver’s defense was simply better, with huge contributions from Super Bowl MVP linebacker Von Miller who contributed six tackles and three sacks, linebacker Danny Trevathan, and safety T.J Ward. The game was never close, however, the Panthers were only trailing by six at the half. The Panthers just never got into a groove offensively. Out of the 34 total points from both teams combined, only 15 were from offensive touchdowns. The rest were defensive points and field goals.
After his first Super Bowl appearance, Cam Newton was noticeably upset by his team’s performance, even though the 26-year old and his team have a 10-1 chance of reaching the promised land next season, according to the 2016 preseason odds. As for Denver, they have a 14-1 chance to win Super Bowl 51 next season, with one of the all-time best quarterbacks in Peyton Manning, if he chooses not to retire at age 39.