The Carolina Panthers took on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday Feb. 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
The Panthers came into the game with a 15-1 record led by MVP Cam Newton, while the Broncos came into the game at 12-4 under the leadership of veteran Peyton Manning.
Carolina won the coin toss and deferred until the second half, so the Broncos took the ball to start.
Denver came out with a 10-play, 64-yard drive to get a field goal to start. On the series, Manning threw the ball six times for 47 yards, hooking up with Owen Daniels for 18 and Andre Caldwell for 22. C.J. Anderson ran twice for 20 yards before Brandon McManus came out to boot a 34-yard field goal to give Denver a 3-0 lead early.
The Denver defense got to Newton from the start, forcing a three and out on the Panthers first possession and forcing a turnover on the next from a Von Miller strip sack and a Malik Jackson recovery for a touchdown. This put the Broncos up 10-0 at the 6:27 mark of the first quarter.
The Panthers came out in the second quarter to finally get on the board off of a 1-yard touchdown run from Jonathan Stewart. The drive consisted of five runs and four passes and was nine plays for 73 yards. The score made it 10-7 Broncos at the 11:27 mark of the second quarter.
The Broncos closed out the first half scoring off the leg of McManus after a big punt return from Jordan Norwood set Denver up nicely. The field goal was a 33-yarder to put the Broncos up 13-7.
Carolina received the kick off to start the second half. Newton led the team down the field and into field goal range. Graham Gano came out to narrow the Panthers deficit when they reached fourth down. Gano lined up the field goal, but missed the kick wide right.
The Broncos drove down the field on their first possession of the second half with a seven-play, 54-yard scoring drive. The series consisted of four passes and two runs and was finished off by a 30-yard field goal from McManus to increase the Broncos lead to 16-7.
The Panthers would come back with one more scoring drive before Denver would apply the final dagger.
The Panthers score came off a six-play, 29-yard field goal drive, finished off by 39-yarder from Gano to make it 16-10 Broncos.
The Broncos final scoring drive put the game out of reach. Set up by a fumble recovery, the Broncos went three plays for four yards as Anderson stuffed the ball in the end zone to make it 22-10. Manning hooked up with Bennie Fowler on a two-point conversion to make it a 14-point game at 24-10.
Newton was frazzled all game by the Denver defense, only connecting on 44 percent of his passes for 265 yards with one interception and two lost fumbles. He was sacked six times in the game. Newton was also the leading rusher for the Panthers with six carries for 45 yards.
Corey Brown led the Panthers in receiving with four catches for 80 yards, followed by Ted Ginn Jr., who also had four catches. Ginn had 74 yards.
The Panthers defense was led by Luke Kuechly and Kony Ealy. Kuechly had 10 tackles including one sack, while Ealy had three sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception.
The defense for Denver led the way for them with the pass rushing combination of Miller and Demarcus Ware. Miller collected six tackles as well as 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble in his MVP performance, while Ware had two sacks. T.J. Ward contributed seven tackles with one fumble recovery and one interception.
The offense was led by Anderson, who rushed for 90 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown. Manning connected on 57 percent of passes for 141 yards, with one interception and one lost fumble. Emmanuel Sanders was the leading receiver with six catches for 83 yards.
The Broncos won Super Bowl 50 on the back of their defense by the score of 24-10 to collect their third Super Bowl win in team history.