What did we learn from Super Bowl 50?
1. We learned once again that defense wins championships. But it has to be a true, top-notch defense. The Broncos had that and more.
2. We learned that studying a team on tape goes only so far. When it comes to things like team speed and physicality, you only find out once you’re on the field. The Panthers understood what made Denver’s defense so brilliant. But when they actually faced it, they didn’t realize how fast and relentless they really were.
3. We learned that while game plans could go either way, when they work almost to perfection, they are a joy to behold. The Broncos could not have planned it any better. Make it an ugly game, keep the score in the 20’s, don’t have the offense (Peyton Manning making mistakes) giving Carolina too many golden opportunities, and let the defense win it for you.
4. We learned that if you’re an in-your-face team that relishes show-boating with a quarterback who demands attention with his post-touchdown antics, you’re likely to not be able to handle defeat very well. Cam Newton reverted to his sulking ways, especially in the post-game press conference. The even-keel performers show they know how to deal with success and failure.
5. We learned that the great ones can comeback. Peyton Manning was benched for a rookie quarterback in the second half of the season. The Broncos needed his experience, not his arm to get to the Super Bowl, so the Broncos put him back in the lineup for the stretch run.
6. Finally, we kind of learned that Manning won’t be back with the Broncos. Will he want to return with another team? Will another club want him?
That’s the one thing we didn’t learn.
New about Dick Stockton; he recently received the Sonny Hirsch Excellence in Sports Broadcasting Award.