The Denver Broncos have won the Super Bowl by beating the Carolina Panthers 24-10. This was Denver's third National Football League championship as well as winning quarterback Peyton Manning's second Super Bowl title.
The Denver Broncos scored early and never trailed as they held the league's highest-scoring offense in check en route to capturing their the first Super Bowl title in 17 years on Sunday. The top-ranked Denver defense can claim much credit for the victory after holding the league's highest-scoring offense to a single touchdown and 10 points.
The Broncos took a 13-7 lead into halftime at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. This was thanks in no small part to Denver capitalizing on a critical fumble by the Panthers' quarterback, Cam Newton, on his own four-yard line. The loose ball was smothered in the end zone by Denver defensive end Malik Jackson for the Broncos' only first-half touchdown.
The two teams traded second-half field goals, leaving Denver up 16-10 when Carolina took possession on their own 24-yard line with 4:28 to play. Two plays later, Newton fumbled again on a sack, with the Broncos recovering the loose ball on the 4-yard line. Burning the clock, Denver scored on their third short running play and executed a two-point conversion to seal the victory.
A special night for Peyton Manning
Denver's Peyton Manning, 39, playing in what could be the final game of his NFL career, added another line in the record books as he is now the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl game and the first to reach 200 wins in the NFL. Manning clinched his second Super Bowl victory, having already won the championship while playing for the Indianapolis Colts in 2007.
Peyton Manning celebrates after his team won the Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California
Manning is the first quarterback to win Super Bowls with two franchises - in addition to five NFL Most Valuable Player awards.
The much anticipated duel between Manning and the NFL's current most valuable ülayer, Cam Newton, never materialized. Manning remained largely a peripheral figure throughout, struggling to make any impression with his passing game.
Arguably the biggest part of Denver's defense on Sunday was linebacker Von Miller, who forced the two fumbles that set up those crucial touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters. Miller, who was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player, deflected credit for the victory to his teammates.
"I'm so proud of my guys," Miller said after the game. "It's been every last one of you guys in the locker room that has gotten me to this moment right here."
The Super Bowl is almost as much about entertainment as it is about the game itself. Lady Gaga sang the US national anthem prior to the game's kickoff.
Lady Gaga delivered a touching performance of the Star Spangled Banner ahead of a star-studded halftime show
As is always the case, the main attraction in terms of entertainment was the halftime show. While the British alternative rockers Coldplay headlined with some of their most recognized hits, R&B superstars Beyonce and Bruno Mars delivered the best in showmanship, turning the Super Bowl halftime act into a spectacle like no other.
All eyes were on Beyonce as she gyrated her way through her latest single "Formation" - released on the previous day. With her female dancers dressed in black shorts, crop tops and berets, Beyonce's performance was perceived as an homage to the Black Panther Party movement of the 1960s and 1970s, as her latest single appears to pick up more political themes than she has been known for to date.
Even for music's biggest stars, the Super Bowl halftime show is the largest stage of their careers, drawing more than 100 million viewers in the US alone to the live event.
ss/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)