Instead of writing some sappy prose about how Peyton Manning makes grass grow in lawns throughout America by just looking at it, I’m going to take a slightly different tact.
The Denver Broncos Defense* won Super Bowl 50 on Sunday night by topping the Carolina Panthers 24-10.
The game sucked for what people want these games to be….filled with touchdown passes, big plays, dancing, terrible decisions, etc.
Instead, it was just what Denver needed – a complete mess. The Broncos thrived best during the postseason in mucking and grinding.
At the center of the mess was Von Miller, who punctuated one of the great postseason runs by a defensive player in NFL history.
Miller, who was named Super Bowl MVP, picked up 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles – one led to a defensive touchdown and the other led to Denver’s game-sealing touchdown by C.J. Anderson.
The second overall pick from the 2011 draft keyed Denver’s nuclear pass rush that frustrated Cam Newton all day.
However, the most impressive part of Denver’s performance came knowing they were carrying 11 tomato cans on the other side of the football.
The Broncos’ offense gained just 194 yards, allowed five sacks, turned it over twice, and went 1 for 14 on third down conversions. Elsewhere, Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman put Demaryius Thomas in the Witness Relocation Program. The former Pro Bowl wideout had just one catch for eight yards.
Meanwhile, Denver survived another underwhelming Super Bowl effort by Manning, who posted the lowest QBR of a Super Bowl winning quarterback over the last 10 years.
To win the Super Bowl, Denver beat Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, and Cam Newton. The first two have combined to win six Super Bowls and the latter is the newly minted MVP.
That takes an impressive defensive effort to stop those three in the manner that Denver did. It takes an all-time effort to stop those three without the aid of an actual suitable NFL offense.
In the coming days, weeks, and months, the narrative should be about the Broncos’ D and their place in history. It shouldn’t be about one player’s place in history, which wasn’t going to change win or lose on Sunday.
Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Adding another Super Bowl to his resume doesn’t really change that. However, we’ll have plenty of time to suck up to him and kiss his ring (not me, anyways).
The only reason he’ll be wearing ring #2 is because one of the greatest defensive runs in postseason history. He was a mere spectator or Trent Dilfer II, whichever you prefer.
Congrats Denver D. Much respect.
Also, shout out to the Broncos special teams. They were lights out too during the playoffs.
*That’s not a typo. The Denver Broncos Defense won Super Bowl 50. When you go 1 of 14 on third downs, I will not be handing out offensive credit to you for winning the Super Bowl.