Defense ruled Super Bowl 50, and the Denver Broncos claimed the crown. Cornerback Aqib Talib has a simple explanation for why that happened.
In an interview posted on NFL.com, Talib said the Carolina Panthers offense wasn’t complicated to defend, partially because the Broncos felt it lacked a dominant receiver.
“Their offense was, it was pretty simple, you know? We didn’t feel like they had just one receiver who can take over the game and dominate us, so we were pretty confident as a secondary.”
Talib added that Denver was able to pressure Cam Newton thanks to its game plan and personnel, which no other team had successfully done this season.
Related: No other team has Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.
The duo racked up 4.5 sacks during the 24-10 victory, and Miller earned MVP honors after forcing two fumbles — one of which Malik Jackson recovered for a touchdown and the other helped seal the win. As a team, the Broncos recorded 13 hits, seven more than Newton had endured in any previous game.
Pressuring any quarterback that often is a winning method, let alone a team without a superstar receiver. Newton made due with his no-name group of wideouts as well as tight end Greg Olsen, but Carolina’s success was a product of protection, too.
Since Miller, Ware and the rest of the Denver defensive line constantly pressured Newton, the quarterback had to distribute the ball quickly. Creating rapid separation against Talib, Chris Harris Jr. or Bradley Roby is not easily done, and the Panthers struggled. A handful of drops didn’t help, either.
Kelvin Benjamin will provide a useful reinforcement to the Carolina offense in 2016, but the Broncos dominated the Panthers’ attack during Super Bowl 50. It’s as simple as that.