The Denver Broncos have made idiots out of almost everyone (including me) once again.
One would think that we all would have learned our lesson from picking against the Broncos in the playoffs after they took apart New England (though I was one of the few who predicted a Denver win). Nevertheless, almost everyone and their mamas (including me) predicted a win for the Carolina Panthers. In some cases, a Panthers’ blowout.
But just like the AFC Championship game, the Broncos D overwhelmed the Panthers’ offense.
NFL MVP Cam Newton was running for his life most of the game. Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware abused Carolina’s offensive linemen and terrorized the hell of Newton, to the tune of 4 1/2 of the six sacks against Newton.
Denver’s defense stuffed the Panthers’ running game for most of the game. None of Carolina’s running backs had over 30 yards rushing.
With the running game rendered null and void, Newton was not able to have any room for his play-action passing. He had to resort to generating a bit of offense via his legs – and the Broncos’ D held THAT in check as well.
In short, the Broncos’ defense clearly won the Super Bowl for Peyton Manning and Co.
Speaking of which, it is good to see Manning have the chance to ride off into the sunset as a winner.
Manning defied the odds this season. With spotty performances throughout the 2015 regular season, it was easy for the media and fans to write him off. I mean, NO ONE expected him to bounce back after that horrific four-interception outing vs. the Chiefs in November.
And while some folks were split on his Broncos’ chances against my Steelers in the divisional round, hardly anyone thought that Manning would outplay Tom Brady and prevail over the Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
So while I – and most of the fans and media members – continue to lick my wounds over such a bad Super Bowl pick, I will not hesitate to give Manning and the Broncos’ D for winning Super Bowl 50.