The Broncos' defense was just too much for the Panthers' running game offense to overcome. After going an entire post-season without trailing, Carolina were behind the Broncos on the scoreboard from the Broncos' first-quarter field goal through the end of the game.
The win was a historic one for the Broncos in many respects. First, Peyton Manning not only became the oldest quarterback to win the championship game, but simultaneously notched 200 career wins - the most of any player ever in the NFL. Gary Kubiak also became the first head coach to win a Super Bowl with the same team he played with.
It's been highly speculated that this will be Manning's final NFL season. The five-time league MVP with the most career touchdowns (539) didn't officially announce that Super Bowl 50 would be his last game, but said at the Lombardi Trophy presentation that he wants to take some time to think about it."I got some good advice from [former Indianapolis Colts head coach] Tony Dungy ... 'Don't make an emotional decision,'" Manning said. "This has been an emotional night, an emotional week. I want to go kiss my family, kiss my kids. ...Those are my priorities at this point."
If Manning does decide to retire after this season, he would be only the second NFL Hall of Fame quarterback to retire after a Super Bowl victory. Broncos General Manager John Elway is currently the only one to hold that honor.
On the Panthers' side, Newton notched 50 season touchdowns - only five behind Manning's record of 55. That stat, combined with the Panthers' impressive 15-1 regular season record, makes Newton the brightest rising star of the NFL. In contrast to Manning, it's safe to bet this won't be the last Super Bowl Newton will see.