A massive showdown between old-school and new-school shined some light on the meaning of being a team. A game is not won by a quarterback, but by the support system it carries. The Denver Bronco’s defense played reckless, making the Carolina Panthers’ offense uncomfortable. After being the NFL’s leader in takeaways and turnovers this year, the Panthers faced a challenge they never expected—the Broncos defense. Peyton Manning, the defense, and MVP Von Miller were crowned the 2016 Super Bowl Champions.
Peyton Manning corrected his mistakes from Super Bowl XLVII and made an effort to score the first moment he can. The defense provided Manning with the time he needed to throw long drives down the field. As soon as the game started the Broncos made it to Panther territory, only to settled for a 37-yard field goal from Brandon McManus.
Panthers 0 – Broncos 3
Trailing behind three points, this was the Panthers’ first deficit in the postseason. Struggling, they failed to score on their first two runs, losing a challenge in between. A surprising Von Miller sacked Panthers’ QB Cam Newton, fumbling the ball out of his hands into the end zone as the Broncos defense recovered it, scoring the first touchdown of the game.
Panthers 0 – Broncos 10
Filled with panic, the Panthers couldn’t hold a grip on the ball. Their FB Mike Tolbert fumbled on their next drive but successfully recovered it. Their defense, however, was overrun by the Broncos as Cam Newton is sacked for a second time this quarter. A taunting penalty against Broncos’ CB Aquib Talib saved the Panthers run but they failed to capitalize on it, punting in the end.
The NFL’s top-ranked offense returned over fifteen minutes into the game after missing in actions. Back with the energy needed to start off the game, the offense worked together. With a face-mask penalty against Talib, it set the stage for RB Jonathan Stewart to go up and over the end zone, scoring the Panthers’ first touchdown, putting them on the board.
Panthers 7 – Broncos 10
A tight race forced the Broncos to adjust their playing tactics, now up against a different Panthers team from the first quarter. But it was WR Jordan Norwood to stomp on their momentum with a 61-yard punt return, the longest in Super Bowl history. All this excitement from fans in the crowd as the Broncos settle for a field goal.
Panthers 7 – Broncos 13
Another Panthers fumble hands the football back to the Broncos at their own 40-yard line. Playing like the 7-8-1 team from last season and not like the 15-1 team from this season, the Panthers are struggling. As they intercepted the ball at their own 39-yard line, the ball barely moved across the field. With OLB Demarcus Ware’s sack of Cam Newton, the first half was over, with many improvements needed for the Panthers.
With children running around, enjoying the festivities, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was on his knees singing his 2000 hit “Yellow” to open up the Pepsi Halftime Show. They segued their way into Grammy-Award winning “Viva La Vida” just before Chris Martin Had some inspirational words of wisdom with those watching at home. “Wherever you are, we’re in this together” he spoke into the camera, spreading love to everyone around. Sharing the microphone with fans, everyone on the field got together to sing along to “Paradise” and “Adventures of a Lifetime.”
The songs were cut short as the dance-off was about to begin. Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson reunited to sing their record-shattering hit “Uptown Funk” an improvement from his past Super Bowl performance. Dressed in all leather and paying homage to the late Michael Jackson, Beyoncé joined the performance to sign verses from her brand new song “Formation.” It was the guys against the girls in this epic dance-off. After almost falling, Beyoncé recovered and the three acts joined together to finish singing “Uptown Funk.”
Coldplay took center stage, paying tribute to all the past Super Bowl performances. While singing a medley of songs from past performers, including Prince’s “Purple Rain,” video footage of past performances began playing on the stage, acknowledging the legends and the music’s ability in bringing everyone together. Finishing off with fireworks and a rainbow flag, the performance was over.
Opening up the second half with a 45-yard pass to Ted Ginn into Bronco territory, Cam Newton and the Panthers appeared to be regaining momentum. As they try to shorten the Broncos lead with a field goal, bad luck continues to surround the team. The ball hit the top of the poll, bounce back with no new points on the scoreboard. Denver now in possession of the ball, become 0-for-3 in the red zone, failing to make a first down and settling for a field goal.
Panthers 7 – Broncos 16
The Broncos’ offense has been playing the game safe, letting their defense take over the direction of the game. As they intercepted the ball, the Panthers chances of scoring a touchdown and tying the game are fading away as the sun goes down.
On track to being the first team to win a Super Bowl without an offensive touchdown, a Peyton Manning fumble was not what they expected. The Bronco defense took action and stalled the Panthers, forcing them to score a field goal rather than a touchdown, tying the game.
Panthers 10 – Broncos 16
With time running out on the Panthers to make a comeback, their offense is once again overpowered. Cam Newton fumbles the ball in their own field, allowing for Broncos RB C.J. Anderson to score the game defying touchdown, followed by a successful two-point conversion.
Panthers 10 – Broncos 24
Out of timeouts and out of chances, the Carolina Panthers fail win their first Super Bowl title for the franchise in this defense-driven storybook ending for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. With speculations over his retirement, Peyton Manning won his second Super Bowl ring and his 200th win, leaving behind his legacy in the Levi’s Stadium.