Can Peyton Manning sustain the success of last night’s amazing win?
So, why were Denver Broncos the underdogs in Super Bowl 50? After all, it’s a team that can boast the legendary Peyton Manning – a five-time league MVP, a Super Bowl champion, the all-time passing yards record holder (71,840 and counting), the most touchdowns in a game (7) and the most touchdowns in a season (55) and many more records too numerous to list.
It’s simple. Because the 39 year old hadn’t looked the same after four neck surgeries and additional ailments had caught up with him. He had nine touchdowns to go along with seventeen inceptions, which are bad stats for an average quarterback, never mind a great one. He missed the remaining six matches with a partially torn plantar fascia.
Not to mention they would be facing the juggernaut Carolina Panthers who were coming into the game 17-1 and had been steamrolling teams, with a combination of great defence along with their hulking quarterback and newly crowned MVP Cam Newton.
But the Broncos still have the best ranked defence in the league shutting teams down, and Peyton had rehabbed and rested his worn body. You could see a real difference on his return, in the last game of the regular season, when the velocity in his throws was noticeably better.
This led on to a remarkable Super Bowl performance run that saw the Broncos drag their opponents into a low scoring game, taking the pressure off Manning. The Broncos eventually beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10, with their defence getting to Cam Newton all night.
There were already rumblings that the Super Bowl would be Peyton Manning’s last game. He neither confirmed nor denied this in the post-match interview, saying he would go away and think about it.
But with his injuries persisting, what better way to go out than on top as a Super Bowl champion.