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Photostories about Super Bowl50 in Santa Clara

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- There was nothing different and nothing exotic about what the Denver Broncos' defense did to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthersin Super Bowl 50, Broncos linebacker Von Miller insisted. 

It was just brutally timely and efficient.

Miller was at the center of the storm for the Broncos, and he was the game's MVP after racking up 2.5 sacks of Newton, including two game-changing strip-sacks that first set the tone, then sealed the Broncos' 24-10 victory at Levi's Stadium. 

 Broncos LB Von Miller named MVP of Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning, who turns 40 in March, made his NFL debut in 1998 after being drafted as the first overall pick by Indianapolis
"In all honesty, we came into the game wanting to play our defense," Miller said. "We knew if we were to be consistent and play [our] style of defense that we'd be able to come out on top."

Even though, Miller finished with six tackles -- his 2.5 sacks were for a combined 27 yards -- two quarterback hits, a pass defensed and the two forced fumbles, he credited his teammates.

"If I could cut this award," he said, "I would give it to DeMarcus [Ware] and [Derek] Wolfe and all the other guys. That's what I would do. This is all great and stuff, but for me, I want to be with my guys.

"I would take the ring. The MVP is great, but I'll take the ring. I want to go in there with my teammates."

Miller's strip-sack of Newton in the first quarter gave the Broncos their first touchdown and the Panthers their first of four turnovers. Defensive lineman Malik Jackson recovered the football in the end zone to give Denver a 10-0 lead.

It was Miller's strip-sack of Newton in the fourth quarter that set the Broncos up for their final score, with safety T.J. Ward jumping on the ball at the 9-yard line with just over four minutes to play. Four plays later, C.J. Wilson pounded in for a 2-yard touchdown.

Sure, Miller's humility is appreciated in the locker room, but his teammates know what kind of player he is.

"He's tremendous, but we expect nothing less," defensive lineman Antonio Smith said. "He's one of the most dynamic pass-rushers in the league. When he turns it on and he's healthy, nobody's going to stop him."

Truly, the most recent time Miller and Newton were this close -- both symbolically and physically -- was on draft night in 2011, when Newton went No. 1 overall to the Panthers and Miller No. 2 to the Broncos.

Since then, Miller has dealt with a six-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy and has come back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, both in 2013.

"He's a helluva player, but he has become a great pro, a great man and a big leader on this football team," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. "[I'm] very proud of everybody but especially proud of him."

Miller is the 10th defensive Super Bowl MVP and the second in three years, with linebacker Malcolm Smith winning the award two years ago with the Seattle Seahawks.

Only two other linebackers have been Super Bowl MVP: the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Lewis in Super Bowl XXXV and the Dallas Cowboys' Chuck Howley in Super Bowl V.

"I'm going for the ball every time. That's just the type of football player I am," Miller said. "If it was basketball, I'd definitely be a 3-point shooter. I'm definitely going for the ball ... we need turnovers to win the game, and we were able to get that today.

"[Newton's] cadence is definitely one of the hardest to get down in the National Football League. We just keyed in. That's the type of defense we've been playing all year long."

See? Nothing different about that at all.

ESPN Sport Science: Von Miller plays MVP defense

ESPN Sport Science breaks down Von Miller's two key plays en route to being named Super Bowl MVP.

Von Miller, Broncos stay true to their style

Broncos LB Von Miller reacts to winning the Super Bowl MVP award, saying he'd like to split it with other members of Denver's defense.

Broncos defense dominated for Super Bowl title

Trent Dilfer is in awe of the Broncos' defensive effort against the Panthers, with Denver controlling the game in one of the best championship performances of all time.

Coldplay were the first British act to perform at the Super Bowl half-time show since The Who in 2010

The Denver Broncos produced a defensive masterclass to upset the Carolina Panthers 24-10 and win Super Bowl 50.

Carolina were heavy favourites, having lost only once all season and with the league's Most Valuable Player of the season Cam Newton at quarterback.

But Newton was smothered by the Broncos defence and gave up three turnovers - including one that led to a touchdown.

That helped Denver, quarterbacked by veteran Peyton Manning, open a 10-0 lead early on and they never lost it.

It had been rumoured the game would be 39-year-old Manning's last, but he said afterwards he would "take time to reflect".

"It's been an emotional week and it's an emotional night," he added.

Newton did not have a good game, but he was not helped by an awful display by Carolina's receivers, with Jerricho Cotchery guilty of two crucial drops.

It's a third Super Bowl title for the Broncos, while the Panthers are still waiting for their first.

  • Broncos win first Super Bowl since 1999
  • Second Super Bowl victory for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning
  • Malik Jackson scores early defensive touchdown for Denver
  • CJ Anderson touchdown clinches victory for Broncos in fourth quarter
CJ Anderson as #22 
  • Jonathan Stewart scores second-quarter touchdown for Carolina
  • Carolina quarterback Cam Newton gives up three turnovers
  • The Broncos' 194 total yards were the fewest ever for a Super Bowl winner
  • Denver's defence forced a Super Bowl record-tying seven sacks

Broncos reaction

"It's very special," said Manning. "This game was much like this season has been. It tested our toughness, resilience our unselfishness."
Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware gave a lot of credit to Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
"He came in and figured out how to utilise the guys, utilise the talents," he said. "He changed everything up to where we could be more aggressive and get to the passer, but also create a lot of havoc."

Panthers reaction

"They just played better than us," said Newton. "I don't know what you want me to say.

"They made more plays than us and that's what it came down to. We turned the ball over, gave up sacks, threw errant passes. That's it."
Defensive end Keony Ealy said the team would learn from the defeat.
Keony Ealy
"It sucks, but at the end of the day, I can't dwell on it," said Ealy, who tied the Super Bowl record with three sacks and became the first player to record multiple sacks and an interception in a Super Bowl.
"The better team won. They showed up, they played. They didn't make mistakes, we did make mistakes. We can't do that."
For Manning - the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes - this win will strengthen his case to be seen as the greatest quarterback of all time.
He has now won two and lost two of his four Super Bowl appearances - his first win coming with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006 - and improved his post-season record to 14-13.
It was not a vintage performance from the quarterback, who was sacked five times and did not throw for a touchdown.
But simply playing on the winning team represented a remarkable turnaround after a difficult season during which Manning was ignominiously benched for deputy Brock Osweiler after throwing four interceptions in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in November.

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