If you aren't a Panthers or Broncos fan, you were probably jealous Sunday Night.
And while the Broncos 24-10 victory over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 probably won't rank among the top 10 -- and perhaps not even in the top half of everybody's 'All-Time Super Bowl Rankings,' the game was a showcase for one of the best defensive shows in recent memory.
On both sides, there were pass rushes, opportunistic turnovers and forced punts. There was sound tackling, solid secondary play and -- thanks to Luke Kuechelyand Von Miller, some outstanding linebacking. The squads combined for 12 sacks (seven for the Broncos).
Where does this one rank? Well, somewhere above the dreary blowouts of Super Bowls past (like the 49ers and Chargers in 1994 or the Broncos and Seahawks from two seasons ago) but well below the ones we'll never forget (pretty much every Patriots victory, the Cowboys and Steelers in Super Bowl XXIIV).
There werejust two offensive touchdowns (the second comingwith three minutes to go to help the Broncos clinch the game), the teams combined for an 4-for-28third down conversion rate and for 17 total penalties.
There was so much trust in each team's respective defenses, that the Broncos, with a chance to run the clock out with five minutes to go, opted to run three times and punt instead of giving Peyton Manning a chance to throw the ball.
And it was the right move by Gary Kubaik (who, by the way, will now see his name along side Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher and the rest of the few to head coach a football teamand wear a Super Bowl ring), as Miller and the Broncos defense created a fourth Carolina turnover to lead to a C.J. Anderson touchdown run.
From an entertainment perspective, the game waslacking. Few offensive highlights populated the game, with those that were long in yardage being short on importance (like the Jordan Norwood punt return that set up a field goal).
The defenses were just as advertised, but creating three and out after three and out is not the way to forge a legacy in championship football lore.
Turnovers, sixof them to be exact, signified both sloppy offense and stellar defense.
Ironically, the game will likely be remembered as Peyton Manning's farewell (should he retire) despite the fact that it was a perilous defense that helped him leave the game on top (he was just 13-for-23for 141 yards and an interception).