The big difference the Denver Broncos defense made was the big story of the big game, an impressive win for Denver in Super Bowl 50.
What were the most impressive stats, both from a historical and analytical perspective? Here are some of our favorites:
• The Broncos became the ninth franchise in NFL history to win three Super Bowls. They’ve been to eight, matching the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most all-time.
• The Broncos' defense ranked No. 1 in the NFL in the regular season in yards allowed. No. 1 defenses from the regular season are now 10-2 all-time in the Super Bowl since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
• The Broncos scored only one offensive touchdown in their win. They joined the 1968 Jets and 2002 Patriots as the only teams to win a Super Bowl with one offensive touchdown. The Broncos won with 194 yards on offense, the fewest of any team to win a Super Bowl. The previous low was 244 by the 2000 Ravens in Super Bowl 35.
• Miller had 2.5 sacks, becoming the first Broncos player with multiple sacks in a Super Bowl (DeMarcus Ware also had two sacks). His 6.5 postseason sacks are the most in Broncos history.
• The Panthers had minus-33 yards on 16 plays during which both Miller and DeMarcus Ware rushed the passer, including four sacks and two fumbles. They gained positive yardage on one of those 16 plays.
• Peyton Manning became the 12th starting quarterback to win two Super Bowls. He’s the first to win the Super Bowl with two different teams. Manning also became the first quarterback to reach the 200-win plateau, combining regular season and postseason wins. His 14 postseason wins are tied with John Elway and Terry Bradshaw.
• Cam Newton had 11 off-target passes Sunday (overthrown or underthrown), tied for his most this season (he had 11 in Week 8 versus the Colts). Newton had 10 overthrown passes Sunday, the second most of his career (11 in Week 14 of 2011 versus the Falcons). Newton was blitzed 25 times in Super Bowl 50, the seconnd-most blitzes faced in Super Bowl history (Jim Kelly faced 30 in Super Bowl XXVI).
• This was the only game all season in which the Carolina Panthers never led. Their 10 points was the fewest they’ve scored in a game all season. The Panthers are the fifth team to win at least 15 regular-season games in the current playoff format (since 1990). None won the Super Bowl.