Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Super Bowl 50: Watch the quarterbacks

Published:Sunday | February 7, 2016 | 2:00 AM
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning
Cam Newton ... the Usain Bolt of NFL.
1
2

SANTA CLARA, California (AP):

Peyton Manning's last game? Cam Newton's finest moment?

For all the golden tinge the National Football League (NFL) is placing on Super Bowl 50, this one just might come down to how the two star quarterbacks deal with the dynamic defences bent on humbling them.

There can't be a better storyline than a five-time MVP likely to take his final snaps with a championship on the line. Except, perhaps, the league's rising star carrying his franchise to its first NFL title in the face of detractors.

Throw in those defences: Denver rank first overall in many statistics and certainly in intimidation, with a pass rush capable of neutralising any air game; Carolina make game-changing plays to the tune of a league-high 39 takeaways and a plus-20 turnover margin.

Add in a pair of coaches at the peak of their NFL careers, a relatively new stadium with nearly all imaginable technology, and a half-century of America's biggest game and the intrigue metre hits the stratosphere.

"If you have any appreciation for the game, and certainly you have watched Super Bowls, played in the Super Bowls, have a sibling that has played in the Super Bowls," Manning says, ,"it does make it maybe even more special."

QUARTERBACKS: Manning, in his fourth Super Bowl, has been quiet on whether this will be the end of one of the most prolific and entertaining careers in sports history. He's 39, has been plagued by injuries for much of the last five seasons, and, win or lose, has nothing left to prove.

"I think it is important to use all of your experience to your advantage," Manning says. "I think you can always refer back to prior situations and two-minute drives, or a fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line. The more experience you have, you can use that to help you."

Newton doesn't have that background yet. But he was the NFL's most dominant and sometimes most polarising player this season. No one has more fun playing the game than the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, 2011 top overall draft pick and 2015 All-Pro quarterback who threw for 35 touchdowns and ran for 10.

If Manning represents the old guard, Newton with his celebrations, dabbing and just plain coolness is the future.

Some media compared Newton to Usain Bolt.

"Really?" Newton says, entertained by the comparison. "I got the opportunity to meet Usain last year. He was a cool guy. He was like real cool, you know? Like internationally cool. I'm just locally cool, you know?"

Bolt owns a vault full of gold medals. Newton goes for the gold of Super Bowl 50. Game time is 6:30 p.m. (Jamaica time).