Super Bowl 50: The Sheriff Rides Off Into The Sunset.
In a thrilling and sometimes cringe inducing fashion, the Old-Testament Denver Broncos stuck it to the fun-loving Carolina Panthers for a 24-10 victory in Super Bowl 50. In a game polluted with turnovers, an amazing 7 fumbles and 2 interceptions, the Broncos were able to steal drive after drive, no two thefts being more symbolic than Von Miller’s two strip fumbles off Cam Newton for the game’s opening and closing touchdowns.
The story here is not the Bronco’s offensive struggles, or Peyton Manning’s inability to drive the ball more than five yards down the field, but the inability for Cam Newton to make reads, make throws, or escape the pocket to extend plays. All the things that Carolina Panthers do well, the Denver Broncos were able to stop. At times, it seemed like Newton had gotten something going, including several deep passes that connected with receiver Corey Brown, only to find that the deep pass would not dissuade the Bronco D from continuing its merciless pass rush. Even when Denver showed only a single-high, deep safety look, Cam didn’t have enough time to even hit a slant, or he would overthrow the route.
The Panthers were always an expectation defying team. Few expected them to make it to the Super Bowl in September, especially with the giant holes in their roster. They were propelled by an astonishing +28 turnover ratio. Once the Panthers could not maintain that nearly impossible level of excellence, the wheels started falling off the bus. Without a doubt, the Bronco D was unlike any the Panthers had seen all year. They weren’t ready for the attack that awaited them.
Post-game, it was hard to tell which story entertained people more. The Sherriff riding off into the sunset or Cam Newton losing the big game. For me, I am a fan of the Sheriff going off into the sunset. I’m no Peyton Manning fan, but here you have a guy who probably never struggled at being a quarterback for his entire life. Peyton is used to being the best football player on any team he is on, playing against any team he is playing against, and he is used to dictating what happens on the field. He’ll never admit it, but for Peyton, to lose everything, to have his body betray him so quickly and so decisively, to basically embarrass himself every time he stepped on the field and invite due criticism, listen to me, that takes balls, it takes big balls. What I learned from this season is how much the game of football means to Peyton. I think it goes beyond his own excellence. I think he really does want to come back, but he won’t, but he is debating it, because he would rather be the worst football player than the best at anything else.
As for Cam, he is an emotional dude, and he wore it on his sleeve yesterday, which was not advisable. The post-game press conference made him look bad, no doubt. He needed to handle losing the big game better, but I think the more compelling and inspiring story is the Peyton Manning sunset.
The Champions of the 2015 season are the Denver Broncos, who returned to the Super Bowl two years after one of the biggest loses against the Seahawks in 2013, to prove to themselves and the world that they are champions and they did exactly that and did it in commanding fashion. Congratulations Denver, may the Seahawks forever kick your ass going forward!