NFL Game Recaps: Super Bowl 50






Broncos 24, Panthers 10

  • If there was ever any question that defense wins championships, this game will affirm that mantra. Despite Peyton Manning doing absolutely nothing to help his team's cause, the Broncos were able to dominate Super Bowl 50 with a two-touchdown victory, thanks to one of the most impressive defensive efforts ever in the league's final game.

    Cam Newton had absolutely no chance. None. The Broncos were the best pass rush Carolina had battled all year by far, so it was no surprise that Newton was under heavy pressure on almost every snap. Newton was sacked seven times, and he was hit on so many more occasions. He was forced into numerous throw-aways, some of which could've been easily flagged as intentional grounding. The offensive tackles predictably were huge liabilities. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware easily got by Michael Oher and Mike Remmers, as they combined for 4.5 sacks. Miller was named MVP, logging 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles, one of which was scooped up for the opening touchdown.

    Thanks to the immense pressure, the Panthers were limited to just 4.2 yards per play, which is a horrific number. As a comparison, the Brian Hoyer-led Texans posted a figure of 3.6 in the wild-card loss to Kansas City, so there wasn't much of a difference. Carolina couldn't do anything to maintain most of its drives. Newton missed numerous throws and was even picked once on a high attempt, while his receivers dropped some big passes. It didn't help that the running game was absolutely dead.

    Manning, meanwhile, was only marginally better because he didn't have to do anything. As in the AFC Championship, he made some nice passes on the opening drive, but struggled afterward. In fact, the Broncos went into a shell in the fourth quarter, as Gary Kubiak decided to allow his defense to protect the lead. With about six minutes remaining, Denver called a run on a third-and-9, which spoke volumes about the team's lack of confidence in its quarterback. And it was the absolute right move! The Broncos converted only 11 first downs, including 1-of-14 third downs. They also averaged 3.5 yards per play, which was actually worse than the Hoyer aforementioned number.

    The difference, besides the Denver defense, was a challenge that occurred in the opening quarter. Jerricho Cotchery appeared to make a great diving reception. It was ruled incomplete, so Ron Rivera threw the challenge flag. It appeared as though Carolina was going to win, allowing the offense to start a new set of downs near midfield, but Clete Blakeman, one of the most crooked refs in the business, said that the pass was incomplete without any sort of explanation to the bewilderment of Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Mike Carey and everyone watching the game at my house. The review turned out to be a huge deal because Miller strip-sacked Newton, allowing Denver to score a defensive touchdown. That gave the team a 10-0 lead that Carolina couldn't overcome.




  • Manning finished 13-of-23 for 141 yards, one interception and a lost fumble. He could've easily tossed three or four picks, and he fumbled on another occasion that his team recovered, so he was fortunate to get away with only two turnovers. He also missed some throws that he would've completed in his sleep a couple of years ago, including an early touchdown.

    Manning was asked after the game if this was indeed his last rodeo. He dodged the question, citing that he didn't want to make an emotional decision, but instead plugged Budweiser a few times, proving that he's the first-ever walking advertisement. If South Park doesn't make him the ruler of the ad-people who are trying to take over, they're absolutely going to blow it.

  • Manning primarily focused on Emmanuel Sanders, who was just one of two Broncos to catch more than one pass. Sanders collected six receptions for 83 yards. The other was C.J. Anderson, who caught four balls for 10 receiving yards. Demaryius Thomas, meanwhile, dropped a pass. He was also wide open for a touchdown at one point, but Manning somehow didn't see him. Thomas hauled in just one ball for eight yards.

  • Speaking of Anderson, he once again was extremely superior compared to his counterpart, generating 90 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Anderson didn't have much room to run on many downs, but did a great job of breaking through some tackles. It was no surprise that Ronnie Hillman struggled in comparison. Hillman couldn't manage a single yard on five tries, as every time he touched the ball was once again a wasted down. As a positive, Kubiak finally realized that Anderson deserved the majority of the touches.




  • Going back to the Panthers, Newton went 18-of-41 for 265 yards, an interception that was really a drop by Ted Ginn, and two killer lost fumbles. Like Manning, Newton could've been picked on numerous occasions. The difference was that Manning actually had help. Newton, as mentioned, didn't have any time in the pocket. His front office desperately needs to upgrade the two tackle spots, as Carolina won't be fortunate enough to navigate through such a soft schedule with horrible pass rushes in 2016. Oher had no chance, while Remmers was even worse. Both probably need to go, though finding a better blind-side blocker and moving Oher to right tackle could work.

    The offesive play-calling deserves some blame as well. I don't know why Newton didn't run the ball very much. He scrambled six times for 45 rushing yards. The kicker is that he took off just once in the second half, losing a yard in the process. Newton has improved tremendously as a passer, but his legs are his best attribute. It appeared as though he forgot that in this game, which was a huge mistake, given how horrible his receivers were; they were guilty of four drops.

    Instead, Newton struggled with numerous overthrows and ultimately displayed some poor body language he was guilty of earlier in his career. He came into the game arrogantly wearing gold shoes with the letters "MVP" on them, but he sulked during the post-game press conference, barely answering questions and bolting early. I don't mind Newton's celebrating and dancing and dabbing, whatever the hell that is, but as a player, if you're going to act arrogant when you win, you should show a better attitude amid adversity because every player in the history of the league has gone through it.

  • It hurt Newton that his top option all year, Greg Olsen, was smothered by the elite Denver linebackers that had shut down tight ends all year. Olsen caught just four of his nine targets for 41 yards. He was outgained by Philly Brown (4-80) and Ginn (4-74). Ginn, hilariously, ended up costing me money when he dropped a pass in the red zone. The Panthers, as a result, kicked a field goal of longer than 33 yards, which ended up costing me a prop victory.

  • Jonathan Stewart hurt his foot on a brutal first-quarter tackle, but was able to gut it out and play after a brief absence. Stewart didn't find any runing room, mustering just 29 yards and a 1-yard touchdown plunge on 12 carries. Take away a 12-yard burst, and Stewart was limited to 17 yards on 11 tries. When he was off the field, Mike Tolbert (5-18) lost a fumble near midfield to ruin a potential scoring opportunity in the second quarter.



  • Moving forward, the Panthers figure to be in Super Bowl contention again in 2016, though things definitely won't be as easy for them. As mentioned, they need to improve the offensive line. Getting Kelvin Benjamin back will help, but they'll definitely have a tougher schedule, if only by default. The Broncos, on the other hand, have plenty of work to do. They have a number of free agents - as you can see in the NFL Free Agent Tracker - and Brock Osweiler, if re-signed, will command a chunk of the salary cap.

  • As for some random stuff, the Super Bowl commercials were a disaster. I only laughed at them twice, and many of them were downright awful. From the dog-monkey-baby, to the work-out warriors who drank light beer, to the old English lady scolding drunk drivers, the "creative" people behind these ads all need to find a new line of work. That, or they should be deported.

    The halftime show was trash as well. The combination of Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce was just weird, and the latter, by all accounts at my Super Bowl party, looked horrible. My guests' words; not mine. OK, maybe mine, too.

  • For more on the Super Bowl, check out my Live Super Bowl 50 Blog.


    For more thoughts, check out my updated NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.



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  • Comments - Viewing Page 1





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    Richard (Anonymous Poster)
    20 day(s) 0 hour(s) ago - hide

    The idea that Belicheck should have just kicked two field goals is a pretty lazy critique.  It assumes the game would have played out exactly the same way and the Broncos would do nothing differently.  That assumption doesn't fly.

    The Broncos, on their final drive, ran twice into the line to force NE to use two timeouts prior to the two minute warning.  Most likely this (terrible) strategy is a result of them being up by 8.  If they're up by 2, chances are, their play calling is completely different.

    5    1 Reply
    Kamala the Ugandan Headhunter (Anonymous Poster)
    16 day(s) 16 hour(s) ago - hide
    @Richard 

    I agree with you 100 percent but in defense of Walter this seems to be the way that everyone feels not just him.
    1    2 Reply
    Bill (Anonymous Poster)
    4 day(s) 12 hour(s) ago - hide

    @Richard

    True as that all might be, I still should have settled for the first FG for sure.

    0    0 Reply
    NotMyBall (Anonymous Poster)
    5 day(s) 15 hour(s) ago - hide
    Why aren't people hammering on how Cam did a " thats' not not my ball"  while staring at his own fumble in the 4th quarter. He could have at least tried to recover it.  It was last chance time and he showed he wasn't up to it.
    0    0 Reply
    Cam Is a baby back @#$@ (Anonymous Poster)
    5 day(s) 16 hour(s) ago - hide
    Guess Cam was just waiting until he got to San Fransisco to reveal his true identity: Colin Kaepernick 2.0
    0    0 Reply
    Prof Owl (Anonymous Poster)
    5 day(s) 18 hour(s) ago - hide

    "but Clete Blakeman, one of the most crooked refs in the business, said that the pass was incomplete without any sort of explanation to the bewilderment of Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Mike Carey and everyone watching the game at my house."

    I usually defend you Walt but this part was nonsense. For one, they never give a detailed reasoning for results of challenges, you know this. There would be no reason to expect one here. For another, the review didn't say it was incomplete. it said the call on the field "stands". You're not new enough at football to not know what this means. They didn't find irrefutable evidence that the call on the field was wrong. There was a point in the catch where it looked like the ball might  have touched (if anyone cares I'm sure I could dig it up) so they can't overturn it even though the call on the field was wrong (and it was wrong, that was a catch).

    If anything I thought the calls on the field were crooked in favor of keeping it an even game for the Panthers.

    2    1 Reply
    DBevel (Anonymous Poster)
    5 day(s) 23 hour(s) ago - hide
    Awesome Walt finally got a SB pick right for once (although he did have Panthers winning) maybe now we can get something resembling honest analysis instead of the butt hurt ramblings of a whinny turd
    2    2 Reply
    bobbobbob (Anonymous Poster)
    5 day(s) 20 hour(s) ago - hide
    @DBevel 

    Not sure why, but your comment made me chuckle....  That is all.
    1    0 Reply
    Derp (Anonymous Poster)
    19 day(s) 15 hour(s) ago - hide
    Bill Belichick was the person who introduced a harder PAT as a rule change.
    0    0 Reply
    Andrew (Anonymous Poster)
    19 day(s) 17 hour(s) ago - hide

    @Dinner but Arizona is still overrated 

    1    1 Reply
    Wesley C (Anonymous Poster)
    19 day(s) 20 hour(s) ago - hide
    Palmer is 1-2 in the postseason in my eyes. I don't pin the 05 loss on him since he got hurt on the 3rd offensive play
    1    1 Reply
    Andrew (Anonymous Poster)
    19 day(s) 22 hour(s) ago - hide
    The cardinals lost because there defense is overrated. There d-line and secondary is pretty good. But try naming one of there staring linebackers, and they run a 3-4 for crying out loud.
    7    0 Reply
    Dinner 24 Posts (24 )
    19 day(s) 22 hour(s) ago - hide
    @Andrew  The Cardinals lost because the Panthers scored more points than they did.
    3    0 Reply
    sorcerer (Anonymous Poster)
    20 day(s) 10 hour(s) ago - hide
    Arguing Brady's yards came in garbage time is absurd considering it was a one score game pretty much from beginning to end.
    9    1 Reply
    Dinner 24 Posts (24 )
    20 day(s) 10 hour(s) ago - hide
    Its crazy the Panthers let go of Williams for Steward, and both RBs have dominated this season.
    3    1 Reply
    Robert K (Anonymous Poster)
    25 day(s) 20 hour(s) ago - hide
    "I don't get how the NFL allowed it to be that bad, but Roger Goodell always seems content with screwing over Seattle in every way imaginable because he doesn't want them in the Super Bowl."

    Can someone provide some context here regarding this conspiracy? Why doesn't Goodell want Seattle in the Super Bowl? Does he think that Carolina or Arizona would pull in more viewers? Is it a personal beef with Allen or Carroll? What's the deal here?

    2    2 Reply
    Dinner 24 Posts (24 )
    20 day(s) 12 hour(s) ago - hide
    @Robert K Because he has the refs working on that. This season there were probably 4 controversial games Seattle won.
    1    0 Reply
    sorcerer (Anonymous Poster)
    27 day(s) 12 hour(s) ago - hide
    Manning's play to Sanders was totally legit. Apparently you do not know the rules of the game, Walt. He was not touched, got back up and made a good throw. Also there were 7 drops by Bronco players from my count, not 5. Do you even watch these games? Both teams had some poor play calling, mainly running the ball. It came down to who made the big mistake and this time it was Pittsburgh, a team that had no business being in this game by being very lucky last week (Hill fumbling)...football karma, I say.
    1    1 Reply
    Walter 1842 Posts (2409 )
    27 day(s) 12 hour(s) ago - hide

    @sorcerer 

    When you give yourself up, the play is over, regardless of whether you're touched or not. That's the rule.

    6    5 Reply
    ifthethunderdontgetya 25 Posts (2 )
    26 day(s) 23 hour(s) ago - hide

    @Walter , you didn't answer the question!!!

    Do you even watch these games?

    1    0 Reply
    coords 92 Posts (27 )
    26 day(s) 21 hour(s) ago - hide

    @ifthethunderdontgetya 

    I was his college roommate...he watches all the games...with the volume pretty much all the way up.  

    2    2 Reply
    ifthethunderdontgetya 25 Posts (2 )
    26 day(s) 19 hour(s) ago - hide

    @coords Sorry, we need a /sarcasm tag here.

    ~

    1    0 Reply
    Apt_pupil (Anonymous Poster)
    23 day(s) 8 hour(s) ago - hide

    @sorcerer one could say the same about the broncos this week had the officials called even 1 of 3 blatanf PI against denver.

    0    1 Reply
    Simon (Anonymous Poster)
    26 day(s) 16 hour(s) ago - hide
    The lack of talk about the Edelman penalty is unreal. IMO it was way worse than Burfict. Told my buddy last week before the Amendola play that the worst helmet to helmets are always the punt return ones as you have one guy moving as fast he can and taking aim at a stationary target. This is much worse than a player playing defense doing this as the punt returner defender knows before the snap exactly where the ball is going. Plus you have a guy whose head is in the worst and most vulnerable position, looking straight up in the air. Thankfully there was no serious injury on it but sadly it looks like because of that there wasn't nearly enough anger from the media on the play. That looked to be one of the most blatant targeting hits I've ever seen before as there's not excuse for what he did as the ball hadn't even arrived yet.
    1    0 Reply
    sdmcc (Anonymous Poster)
    26 day(s) 19 hour(s) ago - hide
    I mentioned before.. William Gay, as you say there is nothing wrong with that, however there IS something wrong if he's your best corner!!! I mentioned that they hadn't taken a CB in the first round since HOF Rod Freaking Woodson, I was corrected in that they took Chad Scott in 1997.. Still, No CB in the first round in 20 years, yet they had kept stocking up on LB's over the last several drafts.. I do think Colbert should be watched at Draft Time this year, he hasn't done so well lately (even when they seem to catch a "Falling Prospect" so far, it's proven more so than not why that prospect fell)
    0    1 Reply
    Joe Q Murrcano (Anonymous Poster)
    27 day(s) 13 hour(s) ago - hide
    LOL at Walt once again @#$@ing about how Seattle somehow got screwed over again. At this point, Walt might as well become a member of Seattle's whiny fanbase
    6    2 Reply
    Dinner 24 Posts (24 )
    27 day(s) 13 hour(s) ago - hide
    @Joe Q Murrcano Considering Seattle only made it to the playoffs based on the refs handing them games, I'd expect you guys to be happy you even made it. Then again, you'll probably be a Panther fan tomorrow, so IDK.
    4    3 Reply
    Robert K (Anonymous Poster)
    26 day(s) 23 hour(s) ago - hide
    @Dinner Wow....you completely missed the point of his post. Talk about a swing and a miss.
    1    1 Reply
    Dinner 24 Posts (24 )
    26 day(s) 21 hour(s) ago - hide
    @Robert K Oops, I did, sorry!
    0    1 Reply
    Morons Unite (Anonymous Poster)
    26 day(s) 20 hour(s) ago - hide

    @Dinner & Joe Q

    So clueless - they even miss their own point

    1    0 Reply
    Dinner 24 Posts (24 )
    27 day(s) 13 hour(s) ago - hide
    Sad the Steelers lost to Denver after controlling the game for so long, but then again this should have been a blow-out so I'll take the minor victories.
    1    0 Reply
    Robert K (Anonymous Poster)
    27 day(s) 21 hour(s) ago - hide

    So Walt was right again about Alex Smith not getting it done in big games. I'm sure all those Chiefs fans will be coming back to admit he was right...

    LOL. Keep digging in, Chiefs fans. Smith is never getting a title as a starter.

    1    1 Reply
    LOLOL (Anonymous Poster)
    1 month(s) 3 day(s) ago - hide
    Walt's probably mad his prediction for Steelers/Bengals was wrong and wants to use the narrative that the steelers won because of the refs rather than face the fact he was wrong. The fact that he wants to claim that on the 3rd quarter Shazier forced fumble that there was not enough evidence to rule the fumble when the ball was clearly coming out as soon as the hit was made shows how weak his argument is. What Walt won't tell you is that at the time of the hit, the receiver became a runner after completing the catch and taking multiple steps. Furthermore the only thing the refs screwed up on that play was whistling the play dead prematurely when Shazier recovered the ball and started running. If this is called correctly the Steelers go up 22-0. Also, Burfict got away with a hitting a Steelers lineman after the play, Pacman got away with a pass interference penalty, and the Steelers got penalized more often. Walt of course will ignore all this because it doesn't support the narrative he wants to portray that the steelers won because of the refs
    2    4 Reply
    Walter is Crazy (Anonymous Poster)
    1 month(s) 3 day(s) ago - hide
    So the ref is incompetent for not overturning a call on the field where there was no conclusive video, and for not calling an intentional grounding.  But the PI call on Chancellor when he was standing there and Rudolph ran into him was just fine in your books?  Did you have the Vikings to win in this one Walter?  What a bunch of one-sided BS.  The officials did not decide this game.
    2    1 Reply
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