Denver's league-best defense, coordinated by former Buffalo Bills head coach Wade Phillips (who just won his first ring), put on a clinic in the big game. Spearheaded by a pass rush that sacked Cam Newton a whopping seven times, the Broncos' defense recorded the first touchdown of the game (a Von Miller strip-sack recovered by Malik Jackson in the end zone), and recorded four takeaways in all in a completely dominant performance. Miller, who recorded 2.5 sacks by himself, is your likely Super Bowl MVP.
Carolina missed some opportunities to erase a 13-7 halftime deficit in the third quarter, but a missed field goal from Graham Gano and a Newton interception kept them scoreless in the quarter despite two separate 40-yard gains. Peyton Manning and the Broncos extended their lead to 16-7 in that quarter, which Carolina quickly brought back to 16-10 at the start of the fourth quarter.
That's when Miller struck again, forcing another Newton fumble that T.J. Ward recovered. The Broncos turned that into a touchdown, with C.J. Anderson scoring from two yards out, with Peyton Manning adding a two-point throw to provide the final two points of the 24-10 outcome.
They say that defense wins championships, and that was most certainly the case in Super Bowl 50. People will talk about Manning's second championship, and whether or not he'll retire on top, but it was Denver's outstanding defense that won the Broncos their third world championship.