Super Bowl 50 was a display of defensive dominance, as the Denver Broncos shut down the Carolina Panthers in a 24-10 victory. Three players in particular stood out upon review of the box score. Two relentless pass-rushers and a running back who carried the load are featured below.
Von Miller, outside linebacker, Broncos
Miller provided the Broncos with their two most explosive plays of the game. In the first quarter, he stripped Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and his teammate, defensive end Malik Jackson, landed on the loose ball in the end zone. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound pass-rusher did the same thing in the fourth quarter, leading to a two-yard touchdown by running back C.J. Anderson. Miller finished the game with six tackles (five solo) and 2.5 of the team’s seven sacks.
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Kony Ealy, defensive end, Panthers
The Panthers featured a stifling defense, too, thanks in large part to Ealy’s pass-rushing efforts. The second-year end had four tackles (three solo, two for losses) and three of Carolina’s five sacks. When he forced one of Peyton Manning’s two fumbles, the Broncos were able to retain possession. However, when fellow defensive end Charles Johnson forced Manning’s other fumble, Ealy was there for the recovery.
C.J. Anderson, running back, Broncos
The Broncos leaned heavily on their ground game en route to a Super Bowl victory, as Anderson carried the ball 23 times for 90 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and a touchdown. He also caught all four of his pass targets from Manning for 10 receiving yards. Although his longest rush of the game was a 34-yard sprint in the first half, Anderson’s biggest run of the game was a two-yard touchdown plunge that gave the Broncos a 14-point lead late in the fourth quarter.