A popular saying in the world of sports rang true this past Sunday night during the 50th Super Bowl, at San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium: “defense wins games.” Much to the surprise of football fans everywhere, the stellar defense of the Denver Broncos held MVP Cam Newton and his Panthers’ top offense at bay, allowing only ten points. At age 39, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is now the the oldest quarterback to ever start and win a Super Bowl, and is also now the first starting quarterback to win the Super Bowl for two different teams.
Led by the eventual Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, Denver’s defense forced Newton and the Panthers to turn the ball over three different times, tying their most in any game this season. Additionally, the Panthers’only scored ten points, which is the fewest they had scored in any game this season, in which they finished with a remarkable 15-1 record.
In what is believed to be the final game of his storied career, future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning led his team to a Super Bowl win in a much similar fashion to their twelve regular season wins – by playing great defense and scoring just enough to get the job done. This formula was also key in their 18-12 defeat of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, another game in which Miller played exceptionally well.
While the outcome of Super Bowl 50 was much different than most sports fans had anticipated, the game further proved the importance of great defense in winning a game in football, or in any sport for that matter. Peyton Manning, Von Miller and the Denver Broncos are Super Bowl Champions; Cam Newton and the Panthers are losers for now, but are hungrier than ever to get back to the big game and bring home the championship.