The Broncos gave up 296 points during the regular season and 44 points during their three postseason games. That's an average of 17.9 points per game, which is pretty good until you compare it the two teams during the 16-game era that are generally left standing during any debate about the best defensive units — the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 2000 Ravens.
Bottom line, CBS Sports did a good job Sunday night. Super Bowls are such crazed spectacles, and social media is so snark-infested these days, that any broadcast team which gets through one without becoming the story in a bad way should consider itself a winner.
There will be no storyline unturned during the week-long buildup to the enticing Super Bowl 50 matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, but there will be one that dominates all others. It is, of course, the matchup between 39-year-old quarterback Peyton Manning and soon-to-be-named NFL Most Valuable Player Cam Newton — the once and future kings of the NFL.
If Cam Newton wins the NFL MVP award on Feb. 6, the style-conscious quarterback will debut gold cleats at the Super Bowl, according to Under Armour, which will design them and sell 50 pairs for $500 apiece.
Cam Newton's talent on the field and easy embrace of showmanship has long made him an invaluable ambassador for Under Armour, the Baltimore-based athletic apparel and footwear brand. And his value to the company is about to skyrocket as the Panthers, who defeated the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, prepare for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7.
Cam Newton brings an added dimension to the quarterback position. There have been signal-callers — like Steve Young, Fran Tarkenton and Steve McNair — who ran out of necessity, and others, like Seattle's Russell Wilson, who took it further with some designed runs. But Newton is a threat as both a passer and runner, and unlike the others, he just doesn't give a damn who he has to fly over to win the championship.
Under Armour wants to accompany its products with stories about the histories and traits of the athletes or teams they were created for. So it is that Bryce Harper's black Camaro, Stephen Curry's beloved sour candy and Cam Newton's favorite college football rivalry.
Every team has injuries, but in Cincinnati's case, the team's top playmakers have been involved. The team's No. 1 receiver, A.J. Green, has missed the last two games with a toe injury. The team's top linebacker, Vontaze Burfict, has missed two entire games with a concussion, and parts of two others with a neck injury.
Should the Browns commit to Brian Hoyer as their long-term starter with a lucrative contract? Should they explore trade scenarios for rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel if they don't foresee him as the face of their franchise?
Pernell McPhee has never operated in the spotlight on the Ravens defense, but the fourth-year outside linebacker has carved out an effective place in the rotation by both feeding on those who hog the attention, and at times, taking it away from them.
A week after he was critical of the Ravens¿ coverage breakdowns, defensive coordinator Dean Pees defended the play of starting safeties Matt Elam and Darian Stewart, saying he thought the team¿s secondary played well in the victory over the Carolina Panthers.
All eyes will be on wide receiver Steve Smith, who faces the organization he played with for 13 seasons. While Joe Flacco will undoubtedly look to get Smith the ball early, he needs receivers Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown to be more involved in the passing game.
Four days before the Ravens play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium, Steve Smith was reflective. In a couple of months with his new team, he's established himself as quarterback Joe Flacco's go-to target with more than double the receiving yards than the next closest Raven. Smith has quieted some of the talk that he is in steady decline.