Miller, Manning fire as Broncos D stifle Panthers in Super Bowl
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP):
A reborn Orange Crush might have sent Peyton Manning into retirement with a Super ending to his career.
Von Miller and the impenetrable Denver defence harassed Panthers quarterback Cam Newton all game Sunday and the Broncos made enough big plays for a 24-10 victory, Manning's 200th and perhaps his last before retirement.
He wasn't the star of Super Bowl 50 - game MVP Miller seemingly was everywhere on every Carolina play - but Manning really hasn't been the headliner in this injury-shortened season.
"This game was much like this season has been, testing our toughness, our resiliency, our unselfishness," he said. "It's only fitting that it turned out that way."
Emulating his Broncos boss, John Elway, the 39-year-old Manning can ride off with the Lombardi Trophy after leading Denver to their third NFL title, first since 1999 - when Elway was the quarterback.
"I'll take some time to reflect," Manning said when asked if this is the end. "I got a couple of priorities first. I'm going to go kiss my wife and my kids. ... I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight."
Denver's suffocating defence kept Newton jittery all day. Despite wearing gold shoes before the golden Super Bowl, Newton couldn't finish off a dynamic season in which he was the league's MVP. Miller twice stripped him, once for a touchdown, the second time setting up a clinching TD. Denver's top-ranked defence, the one that ran roughshod over Tom Brady in the AFC championship, simply wouldn't let Newton get comfortable.
"There was a certain point where it was like guys on the sideline were saying, 'Cam is very stressed,'" Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby said. "For two weeks straight, that's all we heard was Cam this, Cam that, dab this, dab that. They were dabbing in their team photos. It was very disrespectful. We wanted to come out and prove that we're the best."
Newton was sacked six times - receiver Ted Ginn Jr went down once on an aborted trick play - and if Miller wasn't torturing him, DeMarcus Ware was. Ware had two of the seven sacks, equalling the most by one team in the Super Bowl.
Carolina led the league with 500 points, but were held to their fewest of the year and Denver set an ignominious mark with 194 yards gained, the fewest for a Super Bowl winner.
So what, The Broncos (15-4) are champions and Manning is the first quarterback to win Super Bowls with two franchises; Indianapolis in 2007 was the other. Gary Kubiak is the first to win a Super Bowl as player and coach for the same team.
Manning finished 13 for 23 for 141 yards against a strong Carolina (17-2) defence that just couldn't match Miller and company.
"I feel very, very grateful," Manning said. ... "Obviously, it's very special to cap it off with a Super Bowl championship."