Defenses dominate, Broncos lead Panthers 16-7

Published 02/07 2016 06:13PM

Updated 02/07 2016 06:13PM

Copyright 2016 Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Defense and mistakes dominated the first half.

Cam Newton hardly looked like the NFL MVP and Peyton Manning played like a 39-year-old quarterback at the end of his career.

Thanks to Von Miller and the Orange Rush, the Broncos led the Panthers 13-7 at halftime of Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.

Newton was 8 of 19 for 95 yards and was sacked three times. He ran for 46 yards.

Manning was 9 of 16 for 76 yards and one interception.

The offenses combined to go three-and-out seven times in 15 possessions. The Panthers also lost two fumbles on third-down plays. Manning threw a pick from the Panthers 24, costing Denver a chance at a field goal.

Miller forced a fumble that was recovered in the end zone for a score by Malik Jackson. Brandon McManus made field goals of 34 and 33 yards. Jordan Norwood's 61-yard punt return — the longest in Super Bowl history — set up McManus' second field goal.

Jonathan Stewart had a 1-yard TD dive for the Panthers.

— Rob Maaddi reporting from Santa Clara, California

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4:50 p.m.

Special teams are doing their part to help Peyton Manning.

Jordan Norwood set up Brandon McManus' 33-yard field goal with the longest punt return in Super Bowl history.

Norwood fielded a short punt that appeared to be deflected. After a Panthers player bumped into him, Norwood bounced it outside and went 61 yards down the right sideline before Mario Addison caught him from behind at Carolina's 14.

But Manning and the offense stalled again. A holding call on Louis Vazquez nullified C.J. Anderson's 2-yard run on fourth-and-1 and McManus kicked his second field goal to make it 13-7.

San Francisco's John Taylor had the previous longest punt return, 45 yards in the 1989 Super Bowl against Cincinnati.

— Rob Maaddi reporting from Santa Clara, California

___

4:32 p.m.

Superman showed up in the second quarter.

Cam Newton started scrambling and led the Carolina Panthers on a scoring drive to cut Denver's lead to 10-7.

Newton, sacked twice already, had runs of 11 and 12 yards on the drive before connecting with Corey Brown for 13 yards to the 2. Jonathan Stewart then leaped in from the 1 for the score.

Newton hit Brown for 20 yards and Greg Olsen for 19 yards on the drive.

— Rob Maaddi reporting from Santa Clara, California.

___

4:25 p.m.

All zeroes won the first quarter pool.

The Broncos led the Panthers 10-0 after a defensive touchdown. Peyton Manning was 7 of 9 for 61 yards. Cam Newton was 4 of 8 for 31 yards and was sacked twice.

The first sack by Von Miller resulted in a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by Malik Jackson for a score.

Brandon McManus kicked a 34-yard field goal on Denver's first possession.

— Rob Maaddi reporting from Santa Clara, California.

___

4:21 p.m.

Panthers Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Stewart has returned to the game after missing one series with a foot injury. Stewart hobbled off the field midway through the first quarter after it appeared his foot got twisted under the pile.

— Steve Reed reporting from Santa Clara, California

___

4:07 p.m.

The Orange Rush strikes first.

Von Miller sacked Cam Newton, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Malik Jackson in the end zone for a touchdown that gave Denver a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.

After the Panthers lost the first challenge when Jerricho Cotchery couldn't control Newton's pass over the middle, the Broncos' top-ranked defense made its presence felt quickly.

On third-and-10 from the 15, Miller blew past a blocker and stripped the ball from Newton's hand.

The Panthers had outscored opponents 55-7 in the first half this season in the playoffs entering the game.

— Rob Maaddi reporting from Santa Clara, California

___

3:45 p.m.

Peyton Manning came out firing and the Broncos scored first.

Denver took the opening kick and the first four plays were passes for 46 yards. C.J. Anderson then ran for 8 and 12 yards. After Ronnie Hillman lost 3 yards, Manning threw two incomplete passes and the Broncos settled for a 34-yard field goal by Brandon McManus to take a 3-0 lead.

Manning got away with a poor pass that Robert McClain nearly picked near the sideline.

— Rob Maaddi reporting from Santa Clara, California

___

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will get the ball first to start the Super Bowl.

The Panthers won the coin toss when Thomas Davis called tails but elected to defer so NFL MVP Cam Newton has to wait to take the field.

The team captains were joined by past Super Bowl MVPs from Bay Area teams and Hall of Famer Joe Montana flipped the special coin.

— Rob Maaddi reporting from Santa Clara, California

___

3:10 p.m.

Bettors liked the Carolina Panthers all the way to kickoff in the legal sports books in Las Vegas.

The Panthers were 5.5 point favorites to win the Super Bowl at some books, and 5 point favorites at others in a betting line that barely budged for two weeks.

"It's been Carolina from the beginning to the end," said Nick Bogdanovich, the oddsmaker at the William Hill chain. "We've been at 5.5 points forever."

Bettors also loved the so-called "props" in the game, which books put on the board by the hundreds. Bettors could bet anything from whether the first score of the game was a safety to whether Peyton Manning would take the last offensive snap of the game for the Denver Broncos.

Bogdanovich said professional gamblers liked the under in the game, prompting his book to drop it from 45 to 44 points before game day.

Bettors stood in lines 10-15 deep much of Sunday waiting to place their bets. Most bookmakers said they expect the game to have a chance to surpass the record total of $119.4 million wagered legally in Nevada books two years ago.

___

2:55 p.m.

Peyton Manning's best receiver joined him on the field before the big game.

Marvin Harrison, who was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, greeted Manning during pre-game warmups. Harrison played his entire career with the Indianapolis Colts, including 11 seasons with Manning.

Harrison was joined on the field by Tony Dungy, who also was elected into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. Dungy, Manning and Harrison led the Colts to a Super Bowl title nine years ago.

— Rob Maaddi reporting from Santa Clara.

___

5:07 p.m. (EST)

The "Let's Move" campaign is taking a short hiatus at the White House for the Super Bowl.

The campaign, led by First Lady Michelle Obama, is focused on curbing obesity, but she acknowledges that the first family takes "Let's Move" rules off the table for the big game.

President Barack Obama says the Obamas will watch the game with a regular group of friends. The president says they'll eat wings, pizza and nachos. He says there's also a vegetable tray "that nobody touches."

Michelle Obama says the football game's serious watchers go to the Treaty Room of the White House. She also says there's a champagne room "where you really don't know what's going on, but you're close to the champagne."

The president and first lady spoke before the game to CBS News' Gayle King.

— Will Lester reporting from Washington.

___

1:12 p.m.

Both teams have arrived at Levi's Stadium for the Super Bowl.

MVP quarterback Cam Newton walked in decked out in his typical flashy style. He wore black pants, a black shirt with a bow tie and a black-and-white sports coat along with sparkly black loafers — with no socks, of course.

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning arrived with a more traditional and conservative blue blazer with a white shirt, orange tie and gray pants.

— Steve Reed reporting from Santa Clara, California.

___

12:29 p.m.

There will be two reigning MVPs on hand at Levi's Stadium today for Super Bowl 50.

Golden State Warriors guard and NBA MVP Stephen Curry will bang the "Keep Pounding" drum for the Panthers, the team confirmed Sunday. Curry, who grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and played at nearby Davidson College, remains a huge Panthers fan. He even wore Panthers gear at Warriors practice the day of the NFC championship.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was named the NFL's MVP on Saturday night.

Curry also hit the drum before the team's home opener against the Houston Texans. The Panthers viewed it as a good luck since they didn't lose at home all season.

Hitting the drum before the game is a tradition honoring the late Sam Mills, a former Panthers linebacker and coach who died of intestinal cancer inspired the message of "Keep Pounding."

— Steve Reed reporting from Santa Clara, California.

___

12:20 p.m.

Team spokesman Steven Drummond said the Panthers had no problems with curfew on Saturday night and there have been no off-the-field issues leading up the Super Bowl.

"We have checked all of the boxes and we're good to go," Drummond said.

— Steve Reed reporting from Santa Clara, California.

___

12:05 p.m.

You can follow the Super Bowl on the Empire State Building.

The building will become a virtual scoreboard, tracking the game action. At kickoff, the building's tower lights will be split in the colors of the Broncos and Panthers. Each score, the building will sparkle in the scoring team's colors and remain lit for the team holding the lead. After the game, the building will sparkle in the winning team's colors for one hour. It will remain lit for the Super Bowl champion until sunrise.

___

11:40 a.m.

Security was heavy and visible Sunday around Super Bowl locations, from hotels in San Francisco to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

Drones are banned around the stadium and there are overall flight restrictions.

And San Francisco will not have large-scale public viewing spot downtown, unlike the way the city offered such opportunities for the baseball San Francisco Giants' World Series championship runs in 2010, '12 and '14.

The FBI opened a multi-agency command post last week about six miles from Levi's Stadium that will be continuously staffed.

___

11:30 a.m.

Fleets of buses carrying fans and media to Levi's Stadium left San Francisco — where many of the Super Bowl week events took place — around 9:30 a.m. Sunday, arriving in Santa Clara about an hour later.

The West Coast location means the game starts at 3:30 p.m. local, and the tailgating started around 10:30 a.m.

A little early for beer and sausage, although that probably won't stop anyone. Some of the tailgates also offered breakfast fare.
 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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