Denver defense kryptonite to Panthers Superman Newton

Mon Feb 8, 2016 6:10am EST
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By Steve Keating

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Reuters) - The Denver Broncos shocked the Carolina Panthers 24-10 as the Super Bowl closed out its first half-century on Sunday with an upset and a cliffhanger as Peyton Manning left everyone guessing about his future.

As a glittering shower of golden confetti fell on Levi's Stadium, Manning appeared to have penned the fairytale ending to a Hall of Fame career ready to ride off into the sunset holding the Vince Lombardi trophy, the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl and the first to win championships for two franchises.

But a coy Manning refused to reveal his hand leaving open the possibility that the 39-year-old could remain part of the NFL next season even as the Super Bowl turns the corner and steams toward its centennial and a new era that includes a team back in Los Angeles.

"It's certainly been an emotional week for everybody," said Manning, amid the post-game celebrations. "I got some good advice from (former Indianapolis Colts coach) Tony Dungy. He said don't make an emotional decision.

"I think that was good advice to kind of let this sink in.

"This has been a very emotional week, an emotional night and it is just beginning, I look forward to celebrating with my friends and family and I think I will take some time after that."

The golden Super Bowl was much hyped as a passing of the baton with Manning the aging super star giving way to Panthers' flashy quarterback Cam Newton, who did not live up to his Superman nickname against a top ranked Denver defense that proved to be his kryptonite.

Having claimed NFL most valuable player honors on Saturday and his 17-1 Panthers favored by nearly a touchdown, Newton's coronation seemed almost certain.   Continued...

Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the game against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium. The Broncos won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports