Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl 50. (Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Super Bowl 50 is in the books with the Denver Broncos defeating the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24-10. It marks the third Super Bowl title for the Broncos in franchise history. It was hardly a masterpiece with the team’s combining for 15 punts and six turnovers. They converted only four out of 29 third downs and it was only the fourth Super Bowl ever not to feature a touchdown pass. Denver’s defense led the way scoring one touchdown and setting up another. It is potentially a storybook ending for Peyton Manning. He was mum on his future after the game, but Manning has a chance to end his legendary career as a champion just like his boss John Elway, who is the Broncos general manager and won Super Bowls in his final two seasons as quarterback of the Broncos.
We know who won and lost the game, but here are some of the other winners and losers from Sunday night.
Manning was far from brilliant Sunday night completing 13 of 23 passes for 141 yards with an interception and a fumble, but who cares. The ring is the thing, and Manning added to his legacy as one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks by securing a second Super Bowl title. His first was for the 2006 season with the Indianapolis Colts. Manning is the first starting quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams. The game marked his 200th victory of his career, including the postseason.
Another perk: Manning gets a $2 million bonus for winning the Super Bowl in addition to a similar $2 million bonus for winning the AFC Championship. His total comp from the Broncos for this season ended up at $19 million, which was his original 2015 salary before the team asked him to take a $4 million pay cut with the chance to earn it back through incentives.
Miller dominated the AFC Championship game with 2 ½ sacks and a huge interception of Tom Brady. He was just as dominant in the Super Bowl with another 2 ½ sacks, including two forced fumbles that set up the Broncos’ two touchdowns. Miller was the clear choice as the Super Bowl MVP. He was just the fourth linebacker to win the award.
Miller has racked up 60 sacks in five seasons and is in line to make a fortune. He’s a free agent and the starting point for a contract is Justin Houston’s six-year, $101 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs from last year. If the Broncos can’t reach a long-term deal with Miller, they will certainly slap the Franchise Tag on him for a huge one-year salary.
There was no middle ground on social media on the halftime show. People either loved it or hated it (put me in the camp of the former). Beyonce andBruno Mars upstaged the main act to some degree, but all three are likely to get a bump for their music after not getting paid for the halftime show. Katy Perry’s album sales and streams jumped 211% last year the week after playing the halftime show. Other past halftime acts including Bruno Mars got a 352% boost in 2014 with Madonna’s music up 591% in 2012, according to Nielsen. Coldplay released its seventh album in December and announced a North American stadium tour last month. Beyonce announced her own 40-date stadium tour immediately after the halftime performance.
Kubiak was run out of Houston after losing 11 of his first 13 games in 2013 for the Texans, who were expected to be a playoff contender. He landed in Denver this season and led the Broncos to their first title in 17 years. He is the fourth head coach to win a Super Bowl in his first year as a team’s head coach.
Kubiak’s defensive coordinator Wade Phillips deserves equal praise. Phillips was out of football for the 2014 season, but took over the defense this year that led the NFL and was relentless Sunday night in shutting down the NFL’s top-scoring offense. Phillips was named the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year on Saturday.
Las Vegas has lost money on only two Super Bowls over the past 25 years. They won’t lose money on this one as almost all of the early money was on the favored Panthers. A lot of late money was put on the Broncos, but still not likely enough to put Vegas in the red.
Just like the house in Las Vegas, the NFL always seems to win. The NFL got a storybook matchup in Manning vs. Newton and a close game that will likely break another record for viewing audience as five of the last six Super Bowls have. Concussion worries and bad off-field behavior by players doesn’t stop the teflon league from setting financial and TV viewing records. The league generated $12.4 billion in revenue this season.
Newton was the regular season MVP and the NFL’s breakout star this year on and off the field. Newton is poised to be the face of the NFL and a Super Bowl title would have sped up the process. But Newton finished just 18 for 41 for 265 yards and three turnovers. Newton’s receivers didn’t do him any favors, but he overthrew a bunch of passes and curiously pulled away from trying to recover his own key fourth quarter fumble. Newton also sulked through his postgame press conference and walked out in the middle of it.
Super Bowl Ads
Ads cost as much as $5 million for 30 seconds and maybe companies thought paying the hefty fee was enough. The ads were mostly unmemorable and the memorable ones were for all the wrong reasons. Puppymonkeybaby? This ad for Mountain Dew’s Kickstart beverage was a hot mess. Online sentiment was overwhelmingly negative. Quicken Loans’ quickie mortgages ad was particularly tone deaf after the financial crisis of 2007-08 fueled by easy subprime mortgages.
The Tiffany network generated more than $350 million in ad revenue from the Super Bowl, but the telecast was brutal to watch. They missed replays and the final kneel down. There were audio issues throughout. Phil Simms did not have his best game. One of the more curious pieces of analysis was on a sack by Luke Kuechly where he was unblocked and Simms said: “Kuechly timed it perfectly.” Simms’ biggest flub was a Newton interception where he said Newton threw it “too hard” for Ted Ginn Jr. to make the catch. Of course, the Broncos T.J. Ward made the catch and Simms failed to mention Ginn’s problems with dropped passes over the the years.