The Denver Broncos and their reborn Orange Crush defense may have sent Peyton Manning off to retirement in a Super way. Von Miller, the eventual MVP, and Broncos linebacker, harassed Cam Newton consistently throughout the game, as did the rest of the Broncos defense, forcing errant throws and more than a few glaring mistakes.
In addition to the Broncos defense playing lights out (defense wins championships, that old adage) there were a few key contributing factors to their victory.
On offense, Peyton Manning did what he had to. He wasn’t flashy, not nearly, throwing for 13 for 23 for 141 yards and no touchdowns and one interception and one lost fumble. Though the interception and lost fumble are mistakes, they were not as glaring as Carolina’s turnovers and so are not of consequence.
Peyton was efficient if not underwhelming, but connected on a few key long passes to keep drives moving.
The run game was all it had to be and more as C.J. Anderson rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown against a previously stifling Carolina Panthers rush defense.
Enough can’t be said about this Denver Broncos defense. Von Miller was the rightful MVP causing two fumbles and accruing 2.5 sacks throughout the duration of the game. The Broncos sacked Cam Newton six times en route to a 24-10 victory.
”There was a certain point where it was like guys on the sideline were saying, ‘Cam is very stressed,”’ Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby said. ”For two weeks straight that’s all we heard was Cam this, Cam that, dab this, dab that. They were dabbing in their team photos. It was very disrespectful. We wanted to come out and prove that we’re the best.”
Peyton Manning, with last night’s win, eclipsed Brett Favre as the winningest quarterback in NFL history. Earlier this year he set the passing yard record and also has the most touchdowns in NFL history. The guy has done it all. And this may very well be his last rodeo.
”I’ll take some time to reflect,” Manning said when asked if this is the end. ”I got a couple priorities first. I’m going to go kiss my wife and my kids. … I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight.”
He coyly refused to answer the question on everyone’s mind last night but we know he will eventually get to it and we hate to speculate but we all expect Peyton to retire. He just won the Super Bowl there truly is no greater exit point than that.
The Broncos were truly a great and deserving team this year and though their offense wasn’t the best, their defense proved that defenses do indeed win championships. The big question now is the signing of Von Miller and how much the Broncos will pay to keep him in Denver. But that is for another time. For not we bask in the majesty of the storyline that is Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.