Truth be told, it was as simple as this. The Panthers got caught in the overhype. The Panthers were led by a rapidly developed Star Quarterback in a pretty young Cam Newton. The Broncos consist of a few veterans who are being led by a future Hall-of-Famer, and already proven legend, Peyton Manning. Viewed as underdogs, the Broncos felt underrated and encouraged to prove themselves. Perceived as soon-to-be Champs, the Panthers felt pressure and maybe a little cocky. Right off the bat, the Broncos had a psychological advantage.
Denver understood that Peyton may not have the best game of his career for Super Bowl 50, so they focused on the logical: defense, defense, defense. Broncos Head Coach, Gary Kubiak, must have prematurely understood that the offense wouldn’t have him holding the trophy and followed his gut. The Panthers probably didn’t look at their chances the same way and presumed that their regular season (and post-season) dominance would continue into the Super Bowl. It’s a rookie mistake and I believe is where the Panthers failed. Newton’s quick ascension to such a high level of skill may have convinced him that the rewards would arrive just as quick.
The public underestimates how far an athlete’s mental health and focus will lead to their success. It’s the primary reason, why in basketball, we appreciate Michael Jordan‘s greatness. The guy sports a 100% win rate when reaching the Finals! Newton could’ve had a great start with a win, but like Peyton, LeBron, and hundreds of other legends, he soon realized it’s not that easy. Reaching the Finals is one thing, winning it is another.
Before the game, my logic & mind was telling me that the Carolina Panthers would win it all. However, my heart & gut were leaning on the Denver Broncos. For some reason, it felt that destiny would have Peyton Manning hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy. America’s most recognizable quarterback winning one of the most memorable Super Bowls ever – I mean, it’s the 50th anniversary! Not to mention, he would finally tie his not-as-praised quarterback brother Eli Manning. Furthermore, I feel like Cam Newton is still very young and felt it too soon for him to win a Super Bowl just yet. The guy still has a bit of maturing (as displayed in his Super Bowl press conference) and training to do. Don’t be mistaken though, I believe Newton will be the future “Brady” of NFL Football.
There you have it. For a not-so-dramatic 50th Super Bowl, Peyton Manning, Von Miller, and the Denver Broncos are NFL Champions!
Now Manning can retire in peace.