Not much offense but plenty of defense to enjoy as Super Bowl 50 reached its halfway point Sunday with the Broncos leading 13-7.
The Panthers opened the second quarter (trailing 10-0 after some Denver defensive heroics) with a big third and short conversion and first trip of the game into the red zone.
They only needed two red zone plays, as Jonathan Stewart leaped across the goal line to cut the early deficit to 10-7 with 11:25 to play in the half.
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The Broncos, a few possessions later had a very short field after a lengthy Jordan Norwood punt return -- the longest in Super Bowl history at 61 yards. Unable to convert a third and one at the 5-yardline, the Broncos lined up on fourth and one. Though C.J. Anderson did cross the first-down marker a holding penalty forced them to settle for a Brandon McManus field goal and a 13-7 advantage.
Again Denver's defense struck, Darien Stewart causing a Mike Tolbert fumble that was recovered by the Broncos. But Peyton Manning made his first mistake on the ensuing Broncos possession asKony EeAlleymade an impressive interception near the line of scrimmage.
The Panthers nearly drove into field goal range as the first half waned, but DeMarcus Ware sacked Newton to maintain the Broncos six-point edge.