The Denver Broncos upset the top-seeded Carolina Panthers to win the Super Bowl 50 on Sunday (7 February), giving quarterback Peyton Manning the chance to call a fairytale ending to his storied career. The 24-10 win over the Panthers marked the third Super Bowl triumph for Denver and the second for 39-year-old Manning, who was playing in what many expect to be his final game.
"We were facing our toughest challenge tonight, the Panthers defense without a doubt. They were every bit as good as we thought they were but I thought we did our part," Manning told reporters after the game. "Up until that final second goes off, like I said, you are kind of into the game and into the moment but I was certainly very excited and it's a special moment to be there with your team mates and see coach Kubiak get the Gatorade poured on him and, you know, I've had the chance to visit with coaches and players and that is a unique moment because after that it gets chaotic and everyone is kind of going separate places and getting pulled on but that moment on the sidelines is always something that you'll remember," he added.
Manning, a five-time league's most valuable player, added yet another line in the record books as he became the NFL's oldest quarterback to play in a Super Bowl and first to reach 200 career wins. Manning, who has kept fans guessing about his playing future, refused to show his hand after the game as a shower of golden confetti fell on a capacity crowd of 71,000 at Levi's Stadium.
"Like I said, everybody has analysis of that. I'm going to follow the coach's advice and I think I'll make a good decision, and I think I'll be at peace with it whichever way it goes. Like I said, I'm looking forward to tonight and being with my family and my friends and some team mates, and celebrating this special victory and this special win," said Manning.
It was the top-ranked Denver defence, however, that can claim credit for the victory against the Panthers after holding the league's highest-scoring offence to a single touchdown and 10 points. The Denver defence was led by a rampaging Von Miller, who forced Panthers quarterback Cam Newton into two fumbles that led to touchdowns and ultimately earned the outside linebacker the Super Bowl most valuable player honours.