Super Bowl 50 Recap
Joe Montana tossed the coin. Carolina won the toss and surprisingly elected to defer. From the Denver 20, Peyton Manning came out throwing, completing his first pass for 18 yards. After easily moving into the red zone, the drive bogged down. Brad McManus hit the 34 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Broncos.
From the Carolina 19, a third down completion by Cam Newton near the sticks was ruled short of the first down. Carolina went 3 and out.
Denver got it back and soon faced 3rd and 1. Out of the shotgun, Manning threw a completion in the flat for no gain as a pair of Carolina defenders made a perfect tackle. Carolina took over at their own 15.
Newton threw a 24 yard completion that was ruled incomplete. Replay clearly showed the ball never hitting the ground. Yet on further review the incompletion stood. The refs messed up. 2 plays later Newton was sacked near his own goal line by Von Miller. Miller ripped the ball out of Newton’s hand. The fumble was recovered in the end zone by Denver for a 10-0 Broncos lead.
With the Broncos in total control, their cornerback Aqib Talib was not. After Denver stopped Carolina again on third down, Talib took a stupid taunting penalty. In the second quarter the Panthers finally got going. Newton moved the Panthers with his arm and his legs. A completion inside the 5 saw Talib get flagged again for a face mask. From the 2, Jonathan Stewart jumped over the top like Marcus Allen used to do. Talib jumped offsides on the extra point as the Panthers were within 10-7.
On the next Denver series Manning fell down, got up, and threw incomplete. Ron Rivera again challenged the call and on further review Manning was down by contact for a sack. However, only 4 minutes into the second quarter, Carolina was out of challenges.
The Panthers did now have the momentum, beginning their next series at midfield. Yet they went 3 and out anyway after a trick play went nowhere.
Then things got bizarre. Norwood took a punt and 2 Carolina players refused to tackle Norwood, thinking it was a fair catch. Norwood never signaled for one. He raced 61 yards to the Carolina 14. Making things even more chaotic, running into the punter was never called. Denver again got away with one.
On 3rd and 1 from the 5, Anderson got stopped cold. Gary Kubiak decided to go for it. It appeared Carolina had another stop. Then it appeared a second effort meant first and goal. Finally offensive holding on Denver meant 4th and 11. McManus hit the 33 yard field goal as the Broncos led 13-7 midway through the second quarter.
Newton ran for a first down, fumbled, was ruled down your contact, and saw another personal foul on the Denver defense move the ball to midfield. On the next play Mike Tolbert fumbled for the second time, and this time Denver recovered.
CJ Anderson took a handoff, broke several terrible attempts at tackling, and raced 34 yards to the Carolina 25. On 3rd and 8, Manning was intercepted. Big man with football got a big paw in the air and somehow caught the ball. Yet Carolina again could not move the ball as a well thrown third down pass was dropped. The defense was solid but Carolina receivers dropped several passes.
Denver went 3 and out as the Panthers took over at their 18 at the 2 minute warning. After getting to midfield with 18 seconds left, Newton was sacked to end the half.
The Panthers came out firing in the third quarter. Newton hooked up with Ted Ginn Jr. On a seam route over the middle for a 45 yard gain. They connected again for 14 more yards. Another well thrown ball inside the 5 became another dropped Carolina pass as the drive stalled. The 44 yard field goal try by Graham Gano doinked off the upright no good.
Taking over at their own 33, Manning passed the Broncos into the red zone. On 2nd and 5 from the Carolina 12, Manning threw incomplete twice. McManus hit the 30 yard field goal to make it 16-7 Broncos.
On the next series Newton went deep and took a shot just as he threw the ball. Brown out-jumped double coverage for a 42 yard defense. Again the Panthers were on the move. Again they self-destructed. A pass to Ginn that should have been caught went off his hands for an interception. The Broncos took over at their own 5 yard line.
Early in the fourth quarter with the Broncos driving, Manning twice had the ball knocked out of his hand for a fumble. The second time the Panthers recovered at midfield.
A completion to Funchess gained 11 and a run by Stewart gained 17 more to the 22. On 3rd and 10 a pass to Ginn was dropped again, although Denver got away with blatant defensive pass interference. Gano hit the 39 yard field goal. The Panthers were down 16-10 with a full 10 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.
After an exchange of punts, the Panthers had another chance with 4 minutes left from deep in their own territory. Newton went back to pass and had the ball knocked out of his hand again. Newton had a chance to dive on it and backed away. Perhaps he thought it was an incomplete pass. Denver recovered at the Carolina 5 yard line.
On 3rd and goal, Manning threw high and incomplete. Yet in a game where the Panthers made far too many mistakes, the last one killed them. Defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the two. On the next play Anderson got the carry and stretched just past the plane of the goal. Manning hit Fowler for the 2 point conversion. The Broncos led by 14 with 3 minutes left.
Carolina needed a miracle. They would not get one. Von Miller was named the game’s MVP. Peyton Manning won his 200th game, breaking a tie he held with Brett Favre. Favre was elected to the Hall of Fame one day earlier. If this is Manning’s last rodeo, he will join Favre in Canton in five years.
John Elway got his first win as an executive two years after a nightmarish loss in the big game. It was the third Super Bowl win in Broncos history against five defeats. The Panthers lost in the big game for the second time, having yet to win one.
Both Manning brothers Peyton and Eli have 2 Super Bowl wins. Peyton Manning also lost twice in the big game.
Elway’s backup quarterback Gary Kubiak is now a Super Bowl winning head coach. Former head coach and beloved defensive coordinator Wade Phillips got his ring.
For league MVP Cam Newton, it was a bitter loss after a 15-1 season.
Like Elway, Manning has a chance to go out on top. Super Bowl 50 and the 2015 NFL season is now in the books. 24-10 Broncos