The Denver Broncos defense gave Peyton Manning a retirement gift in the form of a second Super Bowl trophy, while Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, after an incredible season, mostly got memes of sad Jordan faces and other negative mentions of the league’s MVPs.
Everyone said the Broncos defense, with Von Miller (Super Bowl MVP) as the vanguard, won’t be able to handle Newton like they did Tom Brady in the AFC championship game. In the end? Newton was even worse, thanks to a coaching staff that wouldn’t budge from the original plan of running up the middle, resulting in six sacks on Newton, who also lost two fumbles and was intercepted once. He was also hit 13 times, as the offensive line completely fell apart against the fantastic Broncos pass rush.
Peyton Manning still hasn’t announced his retirement, but now, finally with the same amount of Super Bowl rings as his far less talented brother, one of the greatest of all time can walk away peacefully. He didn’t have a good game – he simply can’t do it anymore (two turnovers, 13-of-24, 0 touchdown passes). But he didn’t get in the way of his defense, as the Broncos won despite having just 194 rushing yards.
The end of an NFL season saw Tom Brady booed one last time, a set of bizarre Super Bowl commercials, a boring halftime show and a defensive Super Bowl, like the one won by the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with quarterbacks that don’t interfere with the other unit’s greatness. The Broncos might have come to the end of the line after going hard after the Super Bowl four years in a row, while the Panthers are hoping that this is just the beginning.