Mike Florio breaks down trending topics around the NFL. Alfonzo Dennard will almost certainly miss some of the 2013 season after being convicted of assault, more evidence surfaces that Mike Wallace could be headed to Miami, and Lauren Silberman is set to be the first female ever to compete at the scouting combine.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Patriots’ gamble ultimately doesn’t pay off
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wasn’t smiling much on Sunday night. After the game, he wasn’t smiling at all.
Newton, sullen and subdued, sat at his press conference for a limited time, saying hardly anything before getting up and leaving. (The tweet from Cam Inman suggests it was less than a minute; others have said he was there for three minutes.)
At some point, Newton will face questions about his curious decision not to aggressively pursue a loose ball that he had fumbled late in the fourth quarter. It was a move that some called a “business decision” on Twitter, with Newton choosing not to risk injury over trying to save the game.
In his defense, he hadn’t been banged around and harassed the way he was in Super Bowl 50. After taking so much physical abuse, it would be hard for anyone to muster the will to take another big hit late in a game that likely felt like a lost cause regardless of whether Newton recovered the fumble.
The challenge now will be to accept the reset to 0-0 and start climbing again.
As it turned out, Peyton Manning didn’t take a pay cut this season.
Although the Broncos got Manning to agree to reduce his base salary for the 2015 season from $19 million to $15 million, Manning got the Broncos to include two significant bonuses: $2 million for reaching the Super Bowl, and $2 million for winning the Super Bowl.
Manning earned the first bonus two weeks ago and the second bonus tonight, and as a result he still gets paid $19 million for the 2015 season.
The 2016 season is the final year on the five-year contract Manning signed with the Broncos as a free agent in 2012. Manning is due $19 million for 2016, although it’s unlikely that he will see any of that money, as Manning is expected to retire.
The 2015 season is over. Which means that it’s time to start thinking about the 2016 season.
The 2016 season will begin on Thursday, September 8 in Denver. And the Broncos will be hosting one of eight potential opponents: the Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs, Colts, Texans, Falcons, Panthers, or Patriots.
While many will be clamoring for a Super Bowl rematch, another edition of Patriots-Broncos would be the best way to start the season, with or without (without) Peyton Manning playing quarterback for the Broncos.
But here’s the main reason why the Patriots possibly won’t be picked for the game. If the NFL wins the pending appeal of Tom Brady’s suspension, he won’t be available to play in the game.
Which means both Manning and Brady could be gone for Week One, which could make the decision not a simple one. We’ll most likely learn the answer in April — and then we can start counting the days for September.
Peyton Manning could go out on top, and just about everybody thinks he will retire.
But Manning isn’t ready to say anything about his future.
The Broncos won the Super Bowl Sunday night, but in two televised on-field interviews after the game Manning wouldn’t say if he’ll play again.
“I got some good advice from Tony Dungy, and that’s not to make an emotional decision,” Manning told CBS on the celebration podium. “I want to go kiss my wife, kiss my kids, and celebrate with my teammates. I’m going to take a lot of beer tonight.”
He’d dropped a Budweiser reference — probably one he got paid for — in a previous interview. Manning isn’t saying much and doesn’t need to.
Beer and hugs come first. His future can wait.
The story of the Broncos season was the play of their defense so it is not surprise that the story of their Super Bowl 50 victory over the Panthers was their defense as well.
Of equally little surprise is that linebacker Von Miller has been named the Most Valuable Player of the game.
Miller set up the first touchdown of the game for the Broncos when he wrestled the ball out of Cam Newton hands during a first quarter sack. The ball skittered into the end zone and Malik Jackson fell on the ball for six points.
Miller then set up their second and final touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter with another strip sack of Newton in the fourth quarter. The Panthers were trailing 16-10 at that point in the game and trying to rally for a win, but T.J. Ward recovered the fumble and C.J. Anderson plunged into the end zone to put the finishing touches on a 24-10 win.
Miller added another half-sack during the game, which is the last he’ll play for the Broncos under his current contract. A franchise tag is all but certain if the Broncos can’t work out a long-term deal with Miller before the deadline, something that might be tough because Miller’s going to want mountains of money before putting his name on the dotted line.
Peyton Manning — assuming he’s going out — is going out in style.
He’s also going out without having to do all that much.
The Broncos quarterback got his perfect finish, leading his team to a 24-10 win over the Panthers in Super Bowl 50, though it was a dominant defense that did the hard work.
The Broncos harassed Panthers quarterback Cam Newton throughout the night, sacking him six times, forcing three turnovers and limiting him to something far less than the kind of MVP performances he’s turned in all year.
That meant all Manning had to do was not mess it up and enjoy the moment. Even a pair of turnovers weren’t enough to spoil things, as the five-time Most Valuable Player won his second Super Bowl title.
The Broncos didn’t score an offensive touchdown until the game was well-decided, a late touchdown run by C.J. Anderson, Manning did throw a two-point conversion, a coda for a wonderful career which wasn’t reflected in anything else he did the rest of the night.
Manning finished the game a meager 13-of-23 passing for 141 yards, allowing others to carry him to a title. But while it was similar in theme to John Elway’s get-out-of-the-way-and-hand-it-to-Terrell-Davis strategy to win a pair of Super Bowl titles to end his career, many quarterbacks could have won this game.
For the Panthers, the loss unravels a storybook season, which included a 14-0 start, a single loss and plowing through the NFC playoffs with relative ease.
But their lack of dependable pass-catching targets came back to haunt them, as Jerricho Cotchery and Ted Ginn were plagued by drops, which is unusual for Cotchery. The Panthers were able to cover up the loss of Kelvin Benjamin to a training camp ACL for the entire season, but struggled to get anyone open throughout the night.
The Panthers also made numerous special teams miscues, from a missed field goal to allowing a 64-yard punt return when it appeared they thought Jordan Norwood had called for a fair catch.
Those mistakes were too much to overcome, regardless of who was quarterbacking the other team.
Von Miller appears to be closing in on the Super Bowl 50 MVP award.
Miller hit Cam Newton to force a fumble with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, and when the Broncos recovered they had the ball in goal-to-go territory. With help from a defensive holding penalty on Josh Norman, the Broncos’ offense scored its first touchdown to take a 22-10 lead. A Peyton Manning two-point conversion pass to Bennie Fowler made the Broncos’ lead 24-10.
It’s been a sensational game for Miller, who set up the game’s first touchdown with another strip-sack of Newton. Miller has two and a half sacks and two forced fumbles.
And it’s been a rough game for Newton, the regular-season MVP who has not played well today in the Super Bowl. He was the best player in the NFL this season, but Miller has been the best player on the field today.
If you’re into reading way too much into tweets from athletes, then Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch may have just given a pretty substantial indication about his plans for 2016.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider is under the impression Lynch is considering retirement. Former teammate Michael Robinson said this week it’s “fair to assume” Lynch has played his final game in Seattle and Lynch himself is reportedly telling people he intends to retire as well.
So Lynch’s tweet Sunday showing a picture of a pair of shoes hanging from telephone line with a “peace” emoji could be as much of an official announcement as we’d ever expect to see from him.
Lynch played in just seven regular season games and rushed for only 417 yards and one three touchdowns this season for Seattle. He’s scheduled to make $9 million next season, which seems to be an untenable amount for the Seahawks to bring him back next season.
So Lynch may very well be retiring. Or he could be announcing a new shoe he plans to release at his apparel store. With Lynch, you never truly know.
The Carolina Panthers managed to turn a Peyton Manning fumble into points to make Super Bowl 50 a one-score game with 10:21 remaining.
Graham Gano’s 39-yard field goal closed the Denver Broncos lead to 16-10 in the fourth quarter.
Manning was sacked and stripped by Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy to give Carolina the ball at midfield. A 16-yard pass to Devin Funchess and 12-yard run by Jonathan Stewart moves the Panthers into the Denver red zone, but a third down pass from Cam Newton to Ted Ginn fell incomplete and Carolina had to settle for the field goal.
If the Panthers are able to rally, they’ll have to do it without receiver Corey Brown, who is out for the remainder of the game with a concussion. Broncos linebacker Shaquil Barrett is also out with a concussion.
A Peyton Manning fourth-quarter fumble has given the Panthers a glimmer of hope.
With Denver leading 16-7 and driving into Panthers territory, Manning dropped back to pass on third-and-long and was hit by Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy, knocking the ball loose. Carolina’s Charles Johnson recovered.
Ealy now has three sacks, tying Reggie White Darnell Dockett for the most in Super Bowl history. If the Panthers can come back and win, Ealy will be a strong MVP candidate.
And Manning now has two turnovers. The Broncos can’t afford a third.
The Panthers have driven into Broncos territory twice in the third quarter of Super Bowl 50, but they have no points to show for the efforts.
Cam Newton was intercepted by T.J. Ward at the Denver 10-yard-line on a pass that went off Ted Ginn’s hands. Ward fumbled on the return — no surprise in this sloppy affair — but Danny Trevathan fell on the ball to ensure the Broncos would retain possession.
The Panthers got the ball downfield thanks to a 42-yard completion to Philly Brown, who jumped between Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward to snag a Newton pass inside Denver territory. Brown banged his head on the grass when coming down with the ball and is now being evaluated for a concussion.
It’s the third turnover of the day for the Panthers and the second credited to Newton, who also fumbled on a Von Miller sack in the first quarter. Malik Jackson fell on that ball for the only Denver touchdown of the game and the Panthers have been playing from behind all day.
They haven’t been able to gain any ground thanks to their constant miscues, however, and the Broncos added to their lead with a Brandon McManus field goal earlier in the third. They couldn’t add any more points after the interception, but still lead 16-7 with 3:12 to play in the third quarter.
Peyton Manning hit Emmanuel Sanders for 25 yards and 22 yards as the Broncos moved into the Carolina red zone. But Denver wouldn’t get any closer and had to settle for a 30-yard field from Brandon McManus that gave the Broncos a 16-7 lead with 8:18 left to play.
The three points could prove critical as it’s made it a two-score game with Carolina having to mount a rally against the league’s top-ranked defense.
The Panthers had a hard time generating big plays on offense during the first half of Super Bowl 50, but they finally hit one on the second play of the third quarter.
Cam Newton found Ted Ginn across the middle of the field and Ginn turned the catch into a 45-yard gain that stands as the longest play of the game for either team. That moved the Panthers into Broncos territory and another Ginn catch gave them a first down after an ill-advised Trai Turner personal foul, but the drive ended without points when Graham Gano clanged a 44-yard field goal try off the right upright.
Gano’s field goal came after officials picked up a flag that appeared to be against Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby for holding on the opposite side of the field from where Newton threw an incomplete pass to Greg Olsen. If the flag stood, it would have been a first down that kept the drive alive. It also looked like Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib may have been offside on the field goal attempt.
Neither penalty was called, though, and the Panthers still trail by six with 10:48 to play in the third.
When we envisioned the league’s best defense playing the league’s highest-scoring offense, we didn’t expect this.
Super Bowl 50 has taken a number of strange turns, with the turnovers preventing it from having any kind of organic flow.
The Panthers and Broncos combined for three turnovers, with Carolina’s 2-1 edge in that category translating to a 13-7 Broncos lead at halftime.
It’s one thing for the Panthers to be nervous in this setting, but the Broncos’ offering was a young player’s mistake by quarterback Peyton Manning, when he was picked off by Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy.
But it wasn’t enough to overcome the sack-fumble-touchdown by the Broncos early, and Mike Tolbert’s attempt to make a statement play but losing the ball.
The Broncos can’t afford to make many more mistakes, as they’re playing clutch-and-grab and hoping defense and special teams is enough to get them by. They have just four first downs in the first half, and Manning’s averaging 4.8 yards per pass attempt.
And that will be fine, as long as the Panthers continue to make mistakes, and waste chances like they did with their end-of-half clock management.
Late in a sloppy second quarter of Super Bowl 50, the Panthers and Broncos traded turnovers.
Panthers running back Mike Tolbert fumbled to set up the Broncos’ offense, and a C.J. Anderson run brought Denver into field goal range. But Peyton Manning threw an ugly interception right into the hands of Kony Ealy to waste a good opportunity.
Neither offense has played particularly well so far in the game, and that trade of turnovers epitomized what a defensive struggle this has been.
The Broncos’ offense hasn’t found the end zone yet, but Denver still has a 13-7 lead.