Denver’s defense was pretty nifty in Super Bowl 50.
The Broncos defense had powered Denver all season. And for one final game, the Broncos defense carried Denver to its third Super Bowl triumph, 24-10 over the mistake-prone Carolina Panthers.
In what may have been his final game, 39-year-old Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning did just enough to manage the victory to give him a 2-2 record lifetime in Super Bowls. This was Manning’s 200th career victory.
Manning was 13 of 23 for 141 yards with one interception. That was enough for him to outplay Carolina QB Cam Newton, who struggled all game. Newton finished 18 of 41 for 265 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He fumbled twice, leading directly two touchdowns, and was sacked six times.
One of Newton’s fumbles was recovered in the end zone by Malik (mah-LEEK’) Jackson for the first TD of the game that gave Denver a fast 10-0 lead. His final fumble led to C.J. Anderson’s clinching 3-yard TD run with 3:08 left.
Special teams did their part for Denver. Jordan Norwood set up Brandon McManus’s 33-yard field goal with the longest punt return in Super Bowl history, a 61-yard scamper down the sideline.
The game was no artistic beauty. It featured just two offensive touchdowns, 18 penalties, six combined turnovers and 12 sacks. The Broncos won despite managing just 11 first downs.
Denver has now won three Super Bowls. They won back to back in 1998 and 1999, with John Elway at the helm. They added Super Bowl 50 with Elway as Denver’s vice president of football operations and GM.
Carolina is 0-2 in Super Bowls.