Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
The Broncos defense has been great all season long, but in front of a national audience on the NFL’s biggest stage, they cemented their legacy as one of the best units in league history and lead their team to a Super Bowl 50 victory, 24-10 over the Carolina Panthers.
And in doing so, they brought one battle-worn, sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterback named Peyton Manning to the promised land for the final time.
For the better part of his illustrious 18-year NFL career, Manning made a living out of tormenting opposing defenses while coming to the aid of his own defensive unit by scoring at will whenever he needed to do so.
In an ironic twist of fate in this game however, it was Manning’s defense that came to his aid time and time again.
With the Broncos leading 16-7 early in the fourth quarter, a Manning fumble at mid field threatened to give momentum to the Panthers.
The Broncos held Cam Newton and company to a field goal.
At every turn, and after every Broncos three-and-out gave the Panthers the ball and another opportunity to claw closer, the Broncos defense was there to put their foot down.
The Broncos defense – lead by Super Bowl MVP Von Miller who accounted for 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles – sacked regular season MVP Cam Newton seven times and kept him under duress for the entirety of the game. Newton was never able to find his rhythm and finished with a lackluster stat line of 18 of 41 passing, for 265 with 0 TDs and an interception as well.
Manning had a rough final outing himself and finished 13-23 passing, with 0 TDs and an interception as well. In the fourth quarter, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak actually took the ball out of Manning’s hands, opting to run on third and long with the game in the balance and rely on the Broncos defense to win the game. They did just that.
This is the Broncos’ third Super Bowl victory and their first since John Elway lead the team to back-to-back Super Bowl wins in 1997 and 1998.
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for any of his other three teams.