The Broncos’ defense controlled the game and gave Denver the win in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
I am not going to say I told you so. That’s just not who I am, but the Denver defense ruled and slammed the Panthers in a bad way.
I will say, with the exception of Seattle’s bashing of Denver two years ago, the previous six games have been pretty exciting and this year will go down with them. Even though Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and his crew lost by two touchdowns, everyone knew that the Panthers could take the ball down the field.
I say that because it took Denver so long to get a good enough lead. Up until the last minute, the game could have gone either way because of Newton and his team’s offensive abilities.
In between trips to the chicken wing counter, I was on the edge of my seat and my eyes were glued to the TV.
Like any Super Bowl when the 49ers are not in it, I tend to be disinterested up until I start watching the game. I had told my wife that I wasn’t even going to watch it. Then we got a call from my father-in-law to come to his house.
I told the wife, OK, we will only stay through halftime and we ended staying for the whole game.
Back to the Broncos’ big “D”.
After the Panthers’ only touchdown drive in the second quarter, the Panthers never made it back to the red zone. They threatened instead from around 25 to 27 yards out. Now that’s defense. At the end of the first half Newton was 8-19 for 95-yards passing.
Here is an observation: as I watched the Broncos beat up on Carolina, I could see the frustration mount in Newton and his offense. The stupid penalties seemed to mount against the Panthers and perhaps this was due to the inexperienced leadership of Newton. After all, Peyton had been to the Super Bowl five times. This was Newton’s first rodeo. At one point, Newton had two of his tackles moving before the snap. Granted, both tackles were veterans, but Newton was leading them.
Then there was Newton’s fumble in the fourth quarter, where his arm is hit by Broncos linebacker Von Miller. Newton refused to jump on the ball to get it back. At that point, I think all the fight was whipped out of him. He just didn’t want to go on. He didn’t even try to get the ball back.
The clear indication that the young quarterback was beat was when he laid down on the sideline after Denver scored their first touchdown in the fourth quarter.
It may have not been pretty for Manning either, but Manning just showed so much poise even after he lost the ball in a fumble. He was dejected but not so that he couldn’t lead his team and lead he did.
Again, back to the Broncos defense. They really deserve the credit. They stopped the number one offense in the NFL. Carolina averaged 31 points a game going into the Super Bowl and the Broncos held them down to 10 points.
Von Miller was the Most Valuable Player of the Super Bowl. The Broncos linebacker had a defensive touchdown after stripping the ball, caused the fourth quarter Newton fumble and was credited with 2.5 sacks on the day.
Defense again was the ruler of the day.
This should be a hint for high school teams looking to rule the day. Of course a team has to be able to score, but if you can’t stop the run or the pass, you won’t be winning anything soon and Denver was able to do both on Super Bowl Sunday.
-Contact sports editor Vern Hee at firstname.lastname@example.org