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The Greyhound

The Last Rodeo

The Last Rodeo

Photo courtesy of Charlie Lyons-Pardue of

Perhaps the loudest team in recent NFL memory is now temporarily silent. Silenced in such a fashion that not only led Cam Newton to leave his post game presser, but also brought Josh Norman, the toughest and loudest cornerback in the league, to tears. Silenced by a team led by a quarterback who became an NFL legend in completely contradictory style to that of the 2015 Carolina Panthers.

Cam Newton, the newly declared MVP of the league, came into Super Bowl 50 fresh off of one of the most dominant seasons the league has ever seen. The “dab king” of the NFL did it all this season. His stats are absurd: 35 passing touchdowns.10 rushing touchdowns, nearly 4,500 total yards. Not to mention he carried the Carolina Panthers to a 15-1 record, and the franchise’s first NFC championship since 2003. He was seemingly unstoppable. However, Superman found his kryptonite on Sunday night: the Denver Broncos defense.

Denver’s game plan was simple: contain Cam Newton, apply pressure and make him throw from the pocket. Defensive Coordinator Wade Philips created a perfect, although elementary, method to stopping the a player who is the most dynamic in the game. Newton had no answer for Denver’s defense, totaling only 18 completions on 41 attempts. He turned the ball over three times, and was sacked six. The Broncos’ defense was relentless, ruining a nearly perfect season from the league’s MVP.

The star of the night was former Texas A&M standout Von Miller. The Super Bowl L (50) MVP tortured Newton, capturing two and a half of the seven total Denver sacks Sunday after he started the sack party in the first quarter. The number two overall pick in the 2011 draft fired off the edge, and demolished the only man drafted ahead of him that year. Newton coughed up the ball, leading to a Denver touchdown recovery for the first touchdown of the game.

On the other side of the ball however, Denver could not get going. The Carolina defense was extremely effective, holding Peyton Manning and the Broncos to only 231 yards. Additionally, Manning was sacked five times and intercepted once. Denver scored their lone offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter. CJ Anderson found the end zone with 56 seconds remaining, which was set up by Cam Newton’s second fumble of the game. The run put a nail in the Carolina coffin, and secured Peyton Manning’s second Super Bowl ring.

“Hey, listen, this might be my last rodeo. So, it sure has been a pleasure,” Peyton Manning told New England Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick after taking down his team in the AFC Championship game two weeks ago.

Please, Peyton, the pleasure has been ours. If this truly is the end for Manning, he has gone out in the grandest of fashions winning a Super Bowl. Sunday night, Peyton Manning potentially left his last rodeo, saddled up atop his white horse while hoisting the Lombardi trophy. The ultimate send off for one of the greatest to ever lace up the spikes in the National Football League.

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The Last Rodeo