Super Bowl 50: Denver Broncos defeat Carolina Panthers 24–10

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Von Miller, the Super Bowl 50 MVP.
Image: Jeffrey Beall.

On Sunday, the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 by a score of 24–10. The game, played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California in front of 71,088 spectators, marked the Broncos' third Super Bowl victory and their first since 1999. Entering the game, the Panthers had lost only once in the 2015 NFL season, while the Broncos won 12 of their 16 games.

The Panthers kicked off to start the game, and the Broncos scored first with Brandon McManus' 34-yard field goal. After both teams exchanged punts, the Broncos scored again when linebacker Von Miller stripped the ball from Cam Newton, forcing him to fumble, and the ball was recovered by Malik Jackson in the endzone to result in a Denver touchdown. In the second quarter, the Panthers scored a touchdown when running back Jonathan Stewart jumped over the goal line. The two teams punted again on their next drives. The second turnover of the game occurred when Bronco Darian Stewart forced Mike Tolbert to fumble, with Danny Trevathan recovering; however, the Broncos failed to capitalize when Peyton Manning was intercepted by Kony Ealy. The half ended with the Broncos leading 13–7. In the second half, the Panthers had a chance to narrow the margin to three points, but kicker Graham Gano's 44-yard field goal attempt hit the goal post's right upright. Afterwards, Denver increased the score with McManus kicking a 30-yard field goal. On the next series, Newton led the Panthers' offense to the Broncos' 28-yard line, but was intercepted by T. J. Ward. Denver and Carolina both subsequently punted. Afterwards, Manning was sacked by Ealy and fumbled; Carolina took advantage with Gano's 39-yard kick to make the score 16–10. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Miller forced Newton to fumble at the Panthers' four-yard line and Ward recovered. With 3:08 left in the game, Denver's C. J. Anderson sealed the game with a two-yard touchdown run, followed by Manning's two-point conversion to Bennie Fowler.

Miller ended the game with six tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles and was awarded the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award. Manning, who is the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl at the age of 39 and is rumored to have played his final game in the National Football League, completed 13 of 23 passes for 141 yards with an interception and a lost fumble. The Broncos recorded only 194 yards, the fewest by a Super Bowl winner.

The game's festivities featured Lady Gaga performing the national anthem. After the second quarter, Coldplay performed the Super Bowl 50 halftime show with former Super Bowl performers Bruno Mars and Beyoncé. Coldplay opened the show with "Viva la Vida" and "Paradise", followed by a performance of "Uptown Funk" with Mars. Afterwards, Beyoncé performed her new song "Formation" and joined Coldplay and Mars on stage to end the show.