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By Michael Marzzacco
The Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos went head-to-head Sunday night in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. It was an exciting matchup that could have certainly gone either way. In the end, Peyton Manning and the Broncos would come out on top 24-10.
Cam Newton, who was arguably the top quarterback in the NFL this season, faced his toughest challenge of the season: The Broncos defense. Newton and the NFL’s highest scoring offense had a tough day. They hit Newton 13 times, seven of them were sacks. Leading 3-0 in the first quarter, Newton fumbled the ball and Malik Jackson picked it up for the touchdown.
The Panthers would respond early in the second quarter on a touchdown run by Jonathan Stewart, but that was the closest they would get. Two Denver field goals in the second and third quarter and a C.J. Anderson touchdown run with 3:08 left in the contest secured the win.
I was especially happy for Broncos fans, including some close friends of mine that root for them. Two years ago, Denver got destroyed 43-8 at the hands of the Seahawks in Super Bowl 48. This was sweet redemption for them.
It was an even bigger deal for Manning. While he only threw for 141 yards on 23 attempts with two turnovers, he was able to come out on top in what is rumored to be his last NFL game. Manning is a hall of famer with a great career wins record and numerous passing records. It was redemption for him. Having come out on top in Super Bowl 41 with the Colts, he went on to lose the next two Super Bowls he participated in. The first came against the Saints while still playing for Indianapolis. The second was the loss to Seattle two years ago. Amid all the rumors the last few weeks about him retiring, it is very fitting that he came out on top. Nobody wants to head to retirement with your last game being a Super Bowl loss. While there is not any official word yet on what he is going to do, it is fitting that he goes out after winning Super Bowl 50, and he will certainly be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible.
The halftime show was also entertaining. I thought Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars each killed it and I loved the montage near the end with clips from all the halftime shows.
Football season is over and the Broncos will look to defend their title. As for the 31 other NFL teams, they all have the same goal: Participate in the next Super Bowl. The road to Super Bowl 51 will begin this September.