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Defense Defined this Year’s Superbowl

After two weeks of Quarterback coverage on Cam Newton dabbing his way to the Super Bowl and Peyton Manning’s last rodeo, it was all about the defense in Super Bowl 50. With a final score of 24-10, there were no touchdowns scored by either quarterback.

 This was a big surprise to Panther fans because their quarterback was one touchdown pass behind league leading Tom Brady in touchdown passes on the season. Newton also led all quarterbacks in the rushing touchdown column recording 10 this pass season. It is safe to say Cam Newton did not look like the 2015 NFL MVP on Super Bowl Sunday.  Newton completed only 18 of his 41 pass attempts and threw one interception. He also fumbled the ball twice. The first time, the ball was returned for a Broncos touchdown. The second fumble was the most controversial. Newton was seen stepping away from the fumbled ball instead of making a diving play to try to recover it and keep the Super Bowl hopes of the Panthers alive.  

But all the blame should not be placed on Cam Newton. He had little help from his offensive line and wide receivers. His only interception was a pass that was thrown perfectly to the hands of his number one wide receiver Ted Ginn, who just let the ball bounce right off his hands and into those of a member of the Broncos defense. There were also 2 crucial drops by Jericho Crotchety, which would have been two big gains for the Panthers. Newton’s offensive line also did a terrible job protecting him all night. He was constantly under pressure and was knocked down multiple times after throwing the ball.

 The Broncos defensive was wreaking havoc on Cam Newton and the Panther’s offense.  Broncos linebacker Von Miller led the team with a performance that earned him Super Bowl MVP. He had 6 tackles and 2.5 sacks, and 2 of his sacks forced fumbles.

 On the offensive side of the ball for the Broncos was veteran quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning didn't have a great game completing 13 of his 23 pass attempts and throwing 1 interception, but coming back from a foot injury at the age of 39 to win the Super Bowl is pretty impressive.  Broncos’ running back C.J. Anderson also took some of the workload off Manning by rushing for 90 yards and scoring one touchdown.  The Broncos punt return specialist Jordan Norwood put the Broncos in excellent field position after returning a punt for 61 yards. This was the longest punt return in the history of the Super Bowl. 

In the end Peyton Manning walked away with his second and maybe final Super Bowl ring but he could not have done it without his defense.

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