Monday, February 8, 2016

Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning: "I'll take some time to reflect. I got a couple priorities first. I'm going to go kiss my wife and kids. I want to hug my family. I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight."

With his second Super Bowl ring, Manning...
  • became the first quarterback to win 200 games (regular season and playoffs), breaking a tie with Brett Favre.
  • became the first starting quarterback to lead two different teams to a Super Bowl win.
  • raised his career postseason record to 14-13, which would give him the third most playoff wins of all time (he'd be tied with Terry Bradshaw and John Elway)
  • became the fourth quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different head coaches (also: Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, and Ben Roethlisberger).
  • became the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, passing his boss John Elway, who won at age 38.

Denver Broncos 24 : 10 Carolina Panthers
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Von Miller forced two fumbles to set up Denver's two touchdowns and the Broncos defense frustrated Cam Newton all game to carry Peyton Manning to his second Super Bowl title with a 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Manning threw for just 141 yards and committed two turnovers in one of the least productive games of his brilliant career that could be coming to an end. But with Miller leading a defense that recorded a Super Bowl record-tying seven sacks and forced four turnovers for the Broncos (15-4), Manning ended an up-and-down, injury-riddled season with another title to go with the one he won with Indianapolis nine years ago. Newton's MVP season ended in disappointment for the Panthers (17-2). He lost two fumbles, threw an interception and failed to produce a touchdown for the only time this season.

"Denver led the NFL in fewest yards allowed and pass the eye test. And they are led by Wade Phillips, one of the best defensive coordinators in NFL history. The Panthers, meanwhile, were the league's top-scoring team. Led by Cam Newton's MVP-caliber season, they have successfully made the transition to an explosive offensive team. No running game has more "base" running plays that look similar but have nearly infinite variations.

We are more convinced than ever that this will be Manning's last season. Common sense says no, but Manning has left plenty of signs. His decision to soak up the afterglow Sunday with his entire family on the field in Denver was telling. His son Marshall joined him at the podium after the win over the Patriots. Even Archie Manning believes this is it for Peyton, although he insists his son hasn't said a word.

This has been Cam Newton's season. He's going to win the MVP and the Panthers are one tough loss to the Falcons away from being undefeated entering this game. This feels like Newton's championship season. But feelings before the Super Bowl are overrated. Just ask the 2001 Rams or the 2007 Patriots. It's up to Newton to earn his coronation."

  • In case you missed it: This will be the only time in NFL history that the game’s two starting quarterbacks were the No. 1 picks in their respective drafts.. The 2011 draft is also the first draft to have its No. 1 (Cam) and No. 2 picks (Von Miller) face off in the Super Bowl. It's also the third straight year that the NFL's top-seeded playoff teams have reached the Super Bowl. It's good to be chalk!
  • Newton is 26. Manning is 39. The quarterback age gap in this game is greater than any matchup in Super Bowl history.
  • Ronald Reagan was president -- and Cam Newton wasn't yet born -- the last time a Heisman-winning signal caller played in the Super Bowl. It was January 1984 and Jim Plunkett was competing in Super Bowl XVIII. 
  • Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is currently tied in first with Brett Favre for career quarterback wins (199). If this ends up being Manning’s final year in the NFL, a Super Bowl win would just put him over the top. Eighteen-year vet Manning is also the first signal caller ever to lead multiple franchises to the ’ship multiple times.
  • Assuming that he does indeed start next month, Peyton Manning will have had the bleakest regular-season TD/INT ratio (nine touchdowns, 17 interceptions) of any starting signal caller since the 1970’s. Vince Ferragamo of Super Bowl XIV beat him out, having tallied just five touchdowns to his 10 interceptions back in 1979.
  • This is Demarcus Ware's first Super Bowl in a potential Hall of Fame career. Thomas Davis, coming off a broken arm, is one of the most inspirational figures from the last decade in the NFL. Von Miller is building an all-time great career and is coming off an all-time great performance. Miller was otherworldly, slashing past Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon for a gameplan-crushing 2.5 sacks, which set a single-game playoff record for the Super Bowl-bound Broncos. Miller also set up Denver's second touchdown with an athletic interception of Brady, who absorbed a whopping 19 hits, the most on a quarterback in a single game since 2006, when Cleveland's Charlie Frye was hit 20 times by the Ravens.
  • Broncos general manager John Elway looked at his team after they lost Super Bowl XLVIII to Seattle and vowed to become tougher. He wanted a team that looked more like the defense and running heavy squads he won the Super Bowl with in the late 1990s. Just two years later, his vision has been realized. The defense is loaded with Elway draft picks, not to mention free agent signings like DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib. 
  • Both the Panthers’ Ron Rivera and the Broncos’ Gary Kubiak dethroned the same guy -- John Fox -- to earn their respective head coaching positions.
  • While Carolina went 15-1 in the regular season, just two of the six past clubs that notched at least 15 pre-playoffs victories went on to win the title: the 1984 San Francisco 49ers and the 1985 Chicago Bears (which Panthers coach Ron Rivera just happened to be on).
  • When the team steps on the field in February, Carolina will be the first NFC South franchise ever to play in more than one Super Bowl. 
  • If we include the postseason, the Panthers currently have a .500 all-time record (175-175-1). If they do manage to win it all this year, the Santa Clara victory would bump the franchise up to a winning record for the first time since 1998.
  • If the MVP race goes as expected and the Panthers claim the title, Newton will become the first signal caller in history to have brought home the Heisman, National Championship, NFL MVP and Super Bowl trophies.

More information:
» "Seven big storylines heading into Super Bowl 50"
» Huffington Post: "17 Fun Tidbits About the Super Bowl 50 That Will Get You Hyped"
» Maurice Jones-Drew and Ike Taylor: "Why Cam Newton's Panthers won't win Super Bowl 50"
» CBS Sports: "11 stats to arm yourself with for Panthers-Broncos title game"
» Deadspin: "Nobody Much Likes Losing"

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