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Super Bowl 50

Final score: Carolina Panthers 10-24 Denver Broncos

  • Denver secure their third NFL championship and a first since 1998 with victory at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California
  • Broncos had just 194 total yards but the league's best defence prove their worth once again as outside linebacker Von Miller is named MVP
  • Peyton Manning collects second Super Bowl ring in what could well be the final game of his illustrious career
  • Cam Newton struggles throughout as the Panthers fail to replicate their excellent regular season form
CJ Anderson
CJ Anderson scored Denver's only offensive touchdown of the game in Santa Clara, California Getty

Miller is deservedly named MVP for his latest stellar defensive effort and the trophy celebration is set to begin.

That is it for this particular live blog, but stay tuned to IBTimes UK for a report on tonight's events.


Final score

Carolina Panthers 10-24 Denver Broncos

Newton finds Cotchery for a gain of six and he then produces a lateral for Whittaker.

Ware and Miller have just given Denver head coach Gary Kubiak a traditional Super Bowl-winning Gatorade bath on the sideline.

Timeout Denver with a minute remaining. Manning walks off the field for what could be the last time in his distinguished NFL career.

The Panthers punt on fourth-and-24. They know this game is done, barring the most incredible of last-gasp comebacks.

After a loss of 14, Newton strides across his own endzone but cannot find Funchess. The regular season MVP then shows his frustration by protesting a slightly late but otherwise fair tackle from Wolfe.

I've said this plenty of times already tonight, but this Denver defence is just insatiable. As Newton looks down field, Jackson and Ware swarm through to record the team's seventh sack of the night.

After a quick review, the touchdown is upheld. The Broncos' attempt at a two-point conversion then comes off as Manning finds Bennie Fowler in the endzone.

No way back for Newton and Carolina now, surely? 24-10.

Manning hands off to Anderson, who shows great determination and persistence against Kuechly, Boston and Davis to spin before being effectively shunted over the line by Vasquez.


With the Panthers D expecting the run on third down, Manning instead elects to throw towards Thomas.

He puts too much power on it, but Norman is quickly whistled for defensive holding and that will bring up first-and-goal for the Broncos on the one-yard line.

Newton's pass to Funchess is incomplete. Despite being held, Miller then records a strip sack and the ball bounces around after a touch from Ware before Ward pounces on it.

Another Denver touchdown here would surely seal victory.

A quick three-and-out for Denver as Anderson and Hillman combine for minimal gain.

Manning is not willing to take any big unnecessary risks late in the day here, an understandable approach given how unforgiving their defensive unit has been throughout the game and indeed the season as a whole.

Cotchery claims 11 yards with a catch but it's not enough for first down and another Panthers series ends with no meaningful result. Still just the one offensive touchdown in this game thus far.

Away from the Super Bowl for a second, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch may just have announced his retirement with a cryptic post on Twitter.

Not exactly great timing...


Two short gains from Anderson before Manning tries to find Thomas with a pass to the right that is nearly picked off by Norman. The Panthers are back in the saddle with nine minutes to play.

Frustration from Ginn as he is targeted by Newton on third down and the ball is knocked away by Bradley Roby. He wants a flag but one is not forthcoming.

Gano hit the upright with his last field goal attempt, but his latest effort from 39 yards sails through the posts.

16-10 and the Panthers are back within six.

The Panthers keep the chains moving as Funchess gains 16 and Stewart then picks up an additional 12 on the run.

Manning has not made too many mistakes tonight, but he does there as he is stripped from behind by the formidable Ealy as he is about to release and the Panthers take control at the 50-yard line.

The Panthers defensive end has now tied the Super Bowl record with his third sack of the game.

Poor discipline from Boston as he gives up an extra 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after knocking the ball out of Sanders' hands following a gain of 16.

Manning then fumbles after a sack from Johnson but does well to quickly get it back.

Anderson is tackled for no gain and that will end the third quarter. The Broncos, riding their phenomenal defence, still lead 16-7 and are on course for their third Super Bowl victory.

Newton's next pass to Ginn is incomplete and the quarterback is then guilty of taking his eye off the clock and is sent back five yards for a delay of game.

A ball to Olsen picks up seven but Wolfe and Miller then force fourth down with a joint sack.

This Denver D is just relentless.

Ginn picks up 11 for a first down before stepping out of bounds.

By the way, you can relive all of the action from the half-time show with IBTimes UK right here.


Anderson burrows forward with the help of the Denver offensive line for a gain of 13, but punter Britton Colquitt is back out again after Manning is brought down by Ealy and Hillman cannot make up enough ground.

Ginn and Stewart combine for a first down but it is another Carolina turnover as Newton's pass deflects off the former's hand before being intercepted by TJ Ward.

He then fumbles, but luckily Trevathan is alert to recover the ball.

Plays like that are exactly what the doctor ordered. Newton, who is hit late by Shane Ray, bombs the ball down field and Brown does brilliantly to haul in an impressive catch for a gain of 42.

Newton and the rest of the Panthers offence return to the field. Still plenty of time left here, but they could really do with putting some points on the board soon if they are to mount a comeback and win the first NFL championship in franchise history.

After Charles Johnson is penalised for a neutral zone infraction, Anderson struggles to make any headway before Manning overthrows Thomas in the end zone with Cortland Finnegan lurking closely.

Sanders is the target once again on third down but McClain does well to stop the pass.

McManus then stretches the lead to 16-7 with a successful 30-yard field goal.

Sanders' fourth reception of the games goes for 25 yards and the former Pittsburgh receiver then picks up 22 more after a short run from Anderson.

Confident passing from Manning.

That sequence rather sums up the Panthers' disappointing night so far. Had Cotchery held on to that pass, they would have had a first and goal opportunity. Instead, they will kick the ball back to Denver still trailing by six.

On second-and-11, Newton hurls a well-timed pass to Cotchery on the right sideline but he commits another disappointing drop under pressure from Miller.

Suspicions of defensive holding are waved away and fourth down sees Gano hit the upright with a 44-yard field goal attempt. So unlucky.

Whittaker picks up 10 but guard Trai Turner is quickly penalised 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. A short run from Tolbert is then followed by a second catch of the half from Ginn for a first down.

The longest play of the day so far as Newton finds the rapid Ginn for a big gain of 45 yards.

McManus' kick gets us back underway. Newton was 8/19 for 95 yards in that first half, while Manning completed nine of 16 passes for 76.

It's probably fair to say that reaction to that performance was mixed across social media.

Now it's finally all over, the second half should begin shortly...

Denver's defensive unit definitely lived up to their fearsome reputation in that opening half.

The Panthers have looked sluggish and Newton is notably out-of-sorts. They are still well in the game at 13-7 down, however.

The eagerly-anticipated half-time show is coming up shortly, with Coldplay expected to be joined on stage by Beyonce and Bruno Mars.




Carolina Panthers 7-13 Denver Broncos

Newton tries to find Olsen again but it's incomplete. The 26-year-old is then left in a crumpled heap after a forceful sack from DeMarcus Ware that will represent the last play of the first half.

Under severe pressure on the Panthers 17-yard-line, Newton maintains his composure and rookie receiver Devin Funchess rises to claim a very nice catch in midfield.

Another pass to Olsen and a QB scramble gains a first down before the clock is stopped again with 18 seconds remaining before the break.

Newton looks to set off with a trademark run to the right-hand side of the field but only gains three after a textbook open-field tackle from Chris Harris, Jr.

Left tackle Michael Oher then gets slapped with a five-yard penalty for a false start and it's third-and-12 after a pass to Ginn falls incomplete. The Panthers take a timeout with one minute and 22 seconds of the first half left to play.

Thomas picks up eight yards but it's a swift three-and-out for Denver as Anderson fails to make any inroads on the ground and the former is unable to collect a short pass.

This is fast turning into a defensive battle, as you might expect.

Another disappointing Panthers series ends as Brown can't hold on to a long pass through the middle from Newton. That was a regulation catch for this team during the normal season.

A costly mistake from Manning as he looks to find Sanders but Ealy, who usually rushes the passer, drops back in coverage and easily picks off the pass for Carolina's first interception.

Thomas fails to bring in Manning's pass but it's no matter as Anderson bursts through Kuechly and Tre Boston during an impressive 34-yard run.

Hillman then picks up three before losing one and Denver need eight yards for the first down.

A tidy 14-yard run from Newton is followed by another cheap Broncos penalty as Jackson costs his team 15 more for unnecessary roughness.

Tolbert then drives through the middle but commits another fumble and Trevathan recovers the ball for Denver on their own 40-yard line.

Crucial tackle from Jared Allen to thwart Anderson on third-and-one.

The Broncos, perhaps concerned about their ability to sustain any meaningful offence against this Panthers D, decide to go for it on fourth down and the running back looks to have snuck over the line before guard Louis Vasquez gives up the penalty for offensive holding.

They eventually have to settle for a 33-yard McManus field goal. 13-7 Denver.

Anderson gains an extra seven yards on a pass from Manning before a timeout is called.

That run from Norwood, by the way, was the longest punt return in Super Bowl history. Super stuff.

Brilliant from Norwood as he returns Nortman's punt for a massive 61 yards. Excellent field position for Denver now.

The Panthers go again as Stewart picks up a couple before a six-yard loss when Newton finds Ginn but the receiver is set upon by multiple defenders.

The challenge is successful but Rivera has no more left to use for the remainder of this game.

A deep shotgun pass from Manning towards Jordan Norwood is nearly picked off by Norman and the Broncos' attempts to earn a first down on 3-and-17 fail as Kuechly scores a big hit on Thomas.

A confusing few moments as Manning stumbles to the ground before shovelling an incomplete pass towards Virgil Green.

He appeared to be touched by defensive end Kony Ealy, however, so that probably should be given as a sack.

Rivera is visibly furious and uses his last challenge to try and overturn the call.

Newton and co certainly needed that. Brown's catch had set up excellent field position anyway, but Talib did not cover himself in glory with those two costly personal fouls.

The highly-rated cornerback then jumps offsides to compound a miserable stretch.

Gano's extra point attempt is successful and it's 10-7 to Denver.

Great athleticism from Stewart as he takes the ball and leaps over a crowd of bodies and linebacker Trevathan to get Carolina on the scoreboard.


Carolina are beginning to make things happen now as they set up for a run on third-and-short but Olsen cuts to the left and is found for a gain of 19.

They then reach the Denver one-yard line as Talib is penalised for grabbing the facemask when stopping Brown after another good Newton pass.

The first run of the game from Newton sees him earn 11 yards and a first down before sliding to the turf. Tight end Ed Dickson is then whistled for a false start and a second QB run goes for another 12 before a tackle from Miller.

No doubts as to who had the better of that opening 15 minutes. The decision to deny Cotchery what looked like a good catch was an important moment, but Denver's defence were simply ferocious in forcing the first touchdown.

Von Miller really is an exceptional player.

Carolina give up a penalty on the punt return but good news as Stewart trots back on to the field.

Newton finds Brown for a 20-yard gain and the first quarter ends with a short pass to the returning running back for a short loss.

Denver's turn to punt now as Manning's six-yard throw to Sanders is followed up with an ill-advised run from Anderson and the experienced quarterback is then sacked by Kuechly for a loss of 10.

Stewart is questionable to return with a foot injury. His absence would be a huge blow for this Panthers offence...


A short run from Whittaker is followed by a six-yard pass to Brown. It's another four-and-out for the Panthers, though, as Cotchery fails to bring in a bullet delivery from Newton.

It's been an uncharacteristically nervous start from the pre-game favourites.

Newton again puts too much heat on a pass towards the wide-open Ginn and Denver then bring up fourth down as the MVP is sacked by Stewart.

However, Talib is subsequently punished 15 yards for taunting and the Panthers are handed a reprieve.

Better from Newton as he finds Whittaker for a 16-yard gain. With Stewart off injured at the moment, full-back Mike Tolbert fumbles on the run but luckily recovers possession.

McManus adds the extra point and Denver now boast a 10-point lead with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Third and long for Carolina after Stewart, who has now limped to the sidelines, is wrapped up by Wolfe. Newton is then sacked and stripped by Miller on his own three-yard line and defensive end Malik Jackson dives on the ball in the end zone.


That looked like a legitimate catch on the replays, with Cotchery maintaining control despite being hit hard by Broncos safety Darian Stewart.

However, the officials decide not to overturn the ruling on the field.

Strong work from Kayvon Webster to tackle Ted Ginn for a one-yard loss on the punt return.

A laser pass through the middle from Newton to Jerricho Cotchery is ruled incomplete before Panthers head coach Rivera throws down the challenge flag. They will look at this one again.

Another pass from Manning as Sanders collects for a seven-yard gain on the slip screen.

Anderson wins another yard before running into Kuechly, but Denver cannot convert on third-and-short as the same man is stopped by a combination of Thomas Davis and McClain after catching a short ball.

The first play is a run as Stewart makes two yards or so before being stopped by Trevathan. Newton then overcooks a pass towards Corey Brown on the left sideline before finding Olsen but the catch is just short of the first down.

Fine defensive work from Talib and punter Brad Nortman will kick the ball away. Fair catch signalled by Sanders.

Fozzy Whittaker takes the ball back to the Panthers 19 and that will allow Newton and the offence to take the field for the first time. Let's see what the MVP has in store for the biggest stage of his career...

The next play sees Manning find Anderson for a one-yard gain that brings up fourth down. An early chance to put points on the board for kicker Brandon McManus and the 34-yard field goal is good.

This has been a positive start from Denver, but Carolina will be relieved that they have only given up three points.

To the ground now, where Anderson picks up a combined 20 yards on two carries. Hillman is stopped on the next down and cornerback Robert McClain then deflects a pass towards the 24-year-old.

As expected, Carolina are blitzing Manning early and he responds by throwing to tight end Owen Daniels for a quick first down. He keeps the chains moving by finding Sanders before a good take from Caldwell.

Norman is penalised for holding and Denver are making good progress in this first series.

Trusty Scottish-born Panthers kicker Graham Gano gets Super Bowl 50 off and running.

Andre Caldwell runs it back before being stopped at the Denver 20.

Four-time Super Bowl winner and 49ers icon Joe Montana is assisting with the coin toss.

The Panthers choose tails and win before deferring the choice. Denver will receive possession first.

Levi's Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers that only opened in 2014, is bathed in glorious mid-afternoon sunshine as the teams complete their introductions and Lady Gaga belts out the Star-Spangled Banner before a flypast courtesy of the US Navy Blue Angels.

Kick-off is now just minutes away and the atmosphere is certainly bubbling...

For a full preview of Super Bowl 50 written by my esteemed colleague Tony Mogan, click here.

As the old adage goes, defence wins championships and this game will play host to two of the very best units in the league.

The ferocious Broncos are simply unmatched on that side of the ball, with strength from linebacker right through to safety in the likes of DeMarcus Ware, Brandon Marshall, Danny Trevathan, Derek Wolfe, Chris Harris and Aqib Talib.

Carolina are certainly no defensive slouches either. Luke Kuechly and shutdown corner Josh Norman are their most important players in that regard.

There is simply no question that the NFC champion Panthers and Ron Rivera boast a more potent and dynamic offence, even with number-one wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin having missed the whole campaign due to torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered during training camp.

Newton and running back Jonathan Stewart are able to inflict significant damage with ball in hand and tight end Greg Olsen always poses a huge threat as the team's primary passing option.

The Broncos were actually pretty average offensively, with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders often reduced to a spectator's role as CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman pick up the majority of the slack.

Stepping into the breach for what is likely to be his "last rodeo" is arguably the NFL's greatest-ever QB in Peyton Manning.

The Sheriff, who led the Indianapolis Colts to victory at Super Bowl XLI, endured a horrendous start to the year, with a series of mistake-ridden performances and a variety of ailments leading to a six-week absence.

He returned during the second half of the regular-season finale, however, repaying head coach Gary Kubiak's trust and helping the AFC's top seed to progress past the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tom Brady's New England Patriots.

Although Manning has yet to confirm beyond doubt that he will definitely retire after this game, that is expected to be the case. And what better way for the league's all-time passing yards leader to sign off and firmly cement his legacy than with a second championship ring?

So just who is best equipped to get their hands on the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy?

There are so many different narratives in play tonight, but, as is often the case in American football, the two quarterbacks will take centre stage.

For the Panthers, Cam Newton has enjoyed a terrific 2015 season to date, culminating in the 2011 first-overall pick unsurprisingly being named as the league's regular season MVP last night.

Built like a defensive powerhouse, the confident and ridiculously mobile former Auburn star is an absolute menace on the ground but has also demonstrated his quality through the air time and time again.

After what has felt like an eternity of extended build-up, hyperbole and pre-game predictions, finally the talking can stop as the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos go head-to-head in the 50th edition of the NFL's annual showpiece at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Kick-off is now around 35 minutes away, so sit back and relax as IBTimes UK guides you through one of the very best and most-watched sporting events on the planet....