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Super Bowl 50: Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos Live Blog

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Welcome to NBC Sports’ live blog of Super Bowl 50! Settle in with us for the next few hours and enjoy the biggest event in professional sports.

Relevant links for your pleasure: Scoreboard ProFootballTalk | Super Bowl 50 Video

And that’s a wrap! Congrats to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Hope you enjoyed following Super Bowl 50 along with me. And remember #PuppyMonkeyBaby

 

10:43 P.M. EST: Keep pounding Steph

 

10:39 P.M. EST: Von Miller awarded Super Bowl MVP trophy

But according to Peyton, Miller is going to be footing the bill at the bar tonight. That’s going to be a lot of Budweisers.

 

10:37 P.M. EST: “This one’s for Pat” (Bowlen)

John Elway dedicates the Super Bowl 50 victory to Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.

 

10:34 P.M. EST: Interesting stat on Manning

 

10:30 P.M. EST: Time to celebrate and drink some Budweisers

 

10:23 P.M. EST: Broncos defeat Panthers to WIN SUPER BOWL 50 

Even though Peyton Manning accounted for just 141 yards of offense, the Broncos defense made Cam Newton look mortal for the first time this season. Manning now gets the chance to go out on top, even if Eli isn’t happy about it:

 

10:17 P.M. EST: If you’re a Panthers fan right now:

 

10:12 P.M. EST: Panthers punt from their own end zone on 4th and 26…

Where is Riverboat Ron?????

 

10:04 P.M. EST: C.J. Anderson scores a one-yard TOUCHDOWN to give the Broncos a 22-10 lead. Two point conversion is GOOD

Get the orange and blue confetti ready.

 

10:01 P.M. EST: Miller strips Newton for a second time

That’s two and a half sacks for Miller with two forced fumbles. Can you say #SB50 #MVP?

 

9:58 P.M. EST: Panthers get the ball back with less than five minutes left

Alright Mr. MVP. It’s time to see what you’re made of.

 

9:52 P.M. EST: Marshawn Lynch‘s cryptic tweet

Is this the end of #BeastMode?

 

9:49 P.M. EST: T-Mobile is stealing the show

First it was Steve Harvey spot and then came the Drake ad. Well done.

 

9:47 P.M. EST: We’re just 20 minutes away from witnessing history 

 

9:44 P.M. EST: Christopher Walken is 72-years old. 

 

9:43 P.M. EST: Gano’s 39-yard field goal is GOOD. Panthers down 16-10 with 10:21 left.

 

9:37 P.M. EST: Manning stripped by Ealy, ball recovered by Panthers

Ealy is having an monster game. Interception, three sacks, a forced fumble. He should win the MVP if Carolina makes a comeback.

 

9:35 P.M. EST: Bernie vs. Peyton

Imagine these two in a 40-yard dash competition at the combine.

 

9:32 P.M. EST: What is he doing folks?

 

9:29 P.M EST: Just one quarter to go

 

9:16 P.M. EST: Newton INTERCEPTED by T.J. Ward, who fumbles the ball 

Congrats if you took the “Will Ted Ginn Jr. drop a pass” prop bet.

 

9:13 P.M. EST: Corey Brown makes an amazing catch 

Yet another example of Cam’s receivers stepping up.

 

9:07 P.M. EST: McManus’ 30-yard field goal is GOOD. Broncos up 16-7 with 8:18 left in the third quarter. 

 

9:00 P.M. EST: Graham Gano’s 49-yard kick is NO GOOD.

The ball drifted and smacked the right upright.

 

8:59 P.M. EST: Beyonce pays tribute to Michael Jackson

But why didn’t she wear a white glove?

 

8:53 P.M. EST: Ted Ginn makes an appearance

The ninth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft (yes, this really happened) turns on the jets for a 45-yard catch to quickly move the Panthers into Broncos territory.

 

8:52 P.M. EST: Now the real fun begins

Carolina gets the ball to open up the second half. Cam Newton was 8-19 for 95 yards in the first half. Safe to say he needs to be much better in the air during the final 30 if the Panthers are going to make a comeback.

 

8:47 P.M EST: Queen Bey saves herself from disaster

 

8:41 P.M. EST: The halftime show is over… 

And it was awesome! Here’s some photos and a tweet from PST’s Joe-Prince Wright. Hi JPW!

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Coldplay performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Coldplay performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

8:35 P.M EST: Bruno Mars and Beyonce join Coldplay

But don’t tell Peyton that Bruno is performing.

 

8:25 P.M EST: #NeverForget

 

8:23 P.M EST: It’s halftime! Broncos lead 13-7

Let’s see what ya got Chris Martin.

 

8:20 P.M EST: DeMarcus Ware closes out first half with sack on Cam

Broncos’ sack count is up to four with an entire half of football left.

 

8:17 P.M. EST: Neil deGrasse Tyson is here to blow your mind

 

8:15 P.M. EST: Devin Funchess makes incredible catch to extend Panthers drive

This. Is. Ridiculous.

 

8:03 P.M. EST: Manning is intercepted by Kony Ealy

Peyton’s first INT in 164 postseason passes comes at an inopportune time as the Broncos were cruising down the field.

 

8:01 P.M. EST: C.J. Anderson is a baddddd man

 

7:59 P.M EST: Darian Stewart strips Mike Tolbert 

The Panthers second turnover shockingly came with under seven minutes to go in the second quarter as Stewart ripped the ball away from Tolbert. The Broncos safety absorbed quite a hit on the play.

It would have knocked me out until Super Bowl 51.

 

7:54 P.M. EST: Best commercial so far?

Steve Harvey’s T-Mobile ad IMO is the leader in the clubhouse with a few hours left to go.

 

7:51 P.M. EST: Brandon McManus‘ 33-yard field goal is GOOD. Broncos up 13-7 with 6:58 left in second quarter 

 

7:49 P.M EST: Jordan Norwood sets a Super Bowl record with his 61-yard punt return

 

7:47 P.M. EST: Football in space?

https://twitter.com/StationCDRKelly/status/696491770884915201/photo/1

 

7:45 P.M. EST: Demaryius Thomas was shaken up after this hit by Luke Kuechly

Another reason why Kuechly needs to become the next office linebacker.

 

7:40 P.M. EST: Kevin Durant’s photography game is on point

 

7:32 P.M. EST: Jonathan Stewart dives in for a TOUCHDOWN. 10-7 Broncos early in second quarter.

C’mon Jonathan, you score a touchdown in the Super Bowl and this is how you celebrate!?

 

7:30 P.M. EST: Talib would be tossed if Goodell’s new rule was instituted

Roger Goodell openly talked about a new rule in which a player would be ejected if he received two personal foul penalties. Well Aqib Talib has already racked up two and it’s not even halftime yet.

 

7:28 P.M. EST: Coldplay is ready for halftime

They’re not the only ones who are ready for a break from football:

 

7:23 P.M. EST: Broncos lead 10-0 at the end of the first quarter

 

7:16 P.M. EST: Curry ain’t scared

 

7:10 P.M. EST: Rich Eisen is a smart guy

 

7:07 P.M. EST: Von Miller strip sacks Cam Newton, Malik Jackson recovers ball in end zone for a TOUCHDOWN to give Broncos 10-0 lead

 

7:04 P.M. EST: The challenge flag makes an appearance

Panthers’ WR Jerricho Cotchery make a juggling catch on the field that was initially ruled incomplete. After a lengthy review, referee Clete Blakeman announced that the call on the field stands.

 

6:57 P.M. EST: The dabs continue

 

6:54 P.M. EST: In a rare sight, the Panthers go three-and-out on their first drive

 

6:50 P.M. EST: Broncos take a 3-0 lead thanks to a 34-yard field goal 

 

6:48 P.M. EST: Let the dabs begin

 

6:42 P.M. EST: John Elway squeezes in another jab at John Fox

 

6:35 P.M. EST: Panthers win the toss

Carolina correctly selected tails, but deferred to the second half, which means Peyton will get the ball first.

 

6:30 P.M. EST: Gaga crushes the national athem

Lady Gaga’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” was incredible:

But it caused a bit of controversy.

 

6:27 P.M. EST: Everyone is ready for the game to start.

 

6:20 P.M. EST: Curry gets the Panthers faithful ready for kickoff

 

5:50 P.M. EST: KD in the house

Steph Curry isn’t the only NBA superstar who is taking in the sights and sounds of Super Bowl 50.

 

5:29 P.M. EST: Newton’s cleats are early star of #SB50

Looks like Cam might be receiving a FedEx envelope with a letter from the NFL regarding his new gear.

 

5:07 P.M. EST: Party at the White House

The Obamas will sit back and watch Super Bowl 50 with pizza and wings. Obama says there will also be a vegetable tray “that nobody touches.”

Well done Mr. President.

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.”

 

5:00 P.M. EST: Blue skies and sunshine in Bay Area

The weather is perfect at the Field of Jeans as the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers prepare for the “Big Game.”

Newton to Oher: ‘I need you’ to play in Carolina

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — When Cam Newton discovered the Carolina Panthers planned to make a run at signing Michael Oher last offseason, he texted the free agent offensive tackle: “I need you. I don’t want you. I NEED you.”

Newton had sent text messages before to potential free agent prospects – but this time he was desperate.

The Panthers weren’t planning to re-sign struggling left tackle Byron Bell, and Newton needed someone to protect his blindside. He thought Oher, the main character in the popular movie by that name, would be a perfect fit.

The fifth-year quarterback turned out to be right.

Oher is having his best statistical season, and the Panthers (17-1) are the highest-scoring offense in the league and will play the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“Yeah, it meant a lot,” Oher said emphatically Monday night. “I mean, it’s Cam Newton. You get a text from Cam Newton telling you that he needs you, well, you appreciate that. It’s definitely something that resonated with me.”

Turns out Newton had inside knowledge on Oher.

Newton’s younger brother Cecil, an offensive lineman, had been teammates with Oher with the Baltimore Ravens and raved to his brother about Oher’s work ethic and professionalism.

Newton bought in – and so did the Panthers.

Oher signed a two-year, $7 million contract with Carolina, a move that wasn’t particularly popular with Panthers fans considering he’d struggled in 2014 with the Tennessee Titans and been released one year into a three-year contract.

“I got killed on that one,” Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said.

But Oher has been solid.

In fact, he’s been more than solid, helping the Panthers finish second in the NFL in rushing and helping Newton achieve an MVP-type season with 45 combined touchdowns.

Oher played in 98.4 percent of the team’s snaps this season and allowed a career-low four sacks – tied for eighth-fewest in the league – and was penalized only three times for 25 yards, according to STATS.

Those numbers were a major improvement over his final two seasons in Baltimore, when he allowed a combined 21 1/2 sacks, and last season when he allowed six sacks in 11 starts with the Titans.

“He’s been a key asset to say the least,” Newton said.

Panthers center Ryan Kalil said Oher had the perfect personality to fit in on Carolina’s comedic offensive line.

He and his teammates regularly tease Oher about “The Blind Side” – a movie Oher doesn’t particularly like because he felt it portrayed him as a kid who doesn’t like football.

Panthers right tackle Mike Remmers is the first to text Oher to tell him when the movie is on TV – and it seems to be on all of the time.

Remmers also regularly recites lines from the movie, drawing a roll of the eyes from Oher.

“Michael Oher has a great personality and an incredible work ethic,” Kalil said. “You talk about trying to add talent to your football team, but you also want good character guys who will rub off on the younger guys and show guys what it means to be a pro – and Michael Oher is the epitome of that.”

Kalil’s said Oher’s work ethic is contagious.

“It’s the kind of guy you want on your team because it will motivate you to do the same,” Kalil said.

Oher will have his hands full in the Super Bowl though.

He’ll be matched up against All-Pro Von Miller and Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware at different points during the game.

Ware has faced Oher before, when he played for the Ravens, calling him a “great player who is very quick and athletic.”

For Oher, it’s another challenge on the road to rejuvenating his seven-year career.

Oher felt like he was “left for dead” last season when the Titans cut him. He couldn’t have imagined that a year later he would be playing for his second Super Bowl ring.

Newton reminded Oher of his text recently.

“He said `I told you I didn’t want you, I need you,'” Oher recalls with a laugh. “Stuff like that made me feel at home. Made me know they wanted me. Good feeling.”

Elway rebuilt the Broncos following Seattle shellacking

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Two years ago, the Denver Broncos touted the highest-scoring offense the league had ever seen, a record-breaking bunch that piled up 606 points in steamrolling to the Super Bowl.

It all imploded during a stunning 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks and their “Legion of Boom” secondary.

As he slogged through the rubble of yet another Super Bowl landslide, general manager John Elway, who lost three of them by a combined 96 points before capping his Hall of Fame career with back-to-back rings, embarked on an extreme makeover.

He transformed his offensive juggernaut into a defensive powerhouse like Seattle’s, maybe better.

The defense that will line up for Denver on Feb. 7 against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers includes just three starters from the Broncos’ last Super Bowl appearance: linebacker Danny Trevathan and linemen Malik Jackson and Sylvester Williams.

Two months after that 35-point whooping, Elway signed thumpers DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib to free agent contracts worth $109.5 million combined.

Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. each visited Dr. James Andrews for ACL surgeries, then rehabbed together, pushing each other back into All-Pro form. And Derek Wolfe recovered from a seizure disorder that also rendered him a helpless sideline spectator during that nightmare in New Jersey.

Then, Elway got lucky. Twice.

All Big-Ten cornerback Bradley Roby of Ohio State was expected to go to a rebuilder as a consensus top-15 talent in the 2014 draft. But he found himself in Denver at No. 31 after a couple of run-ins with the law that hurt his draft stock but didn’t scare away Elway.

Roby, suspended for the Buckeyes’ first game his senior season after being accused of getting in a bar fight, resolved a citation for operating a vehicle while under the influence just before draft weekend by pleading guilty to a reduced charge.

Roby began his NFL career by declaring “I’m not a bad guy.”

He said the bouncer was the aggressor in the bar brouhaha, and that he was asleep behind the wheel, not driving drunk. “I can honestly say in those situations I have never committed a crime. I’m going to rest my case on that,” he said. “I’m not a bad guy, not a guy you have to worry about off the field.”

He’s a guy opponents have had to worry about aplenty on the field.

Teaming with Talib and Harris, Roby gives the Broncos the best cornerback combo in the league.

Last year, lightning struck again.

When a state trooper found weed in his car after stopping him for speeding just four days before the NFL draft, Shane Ray knew he hadn’t helped himself.

His misdemeanor citation certainly wound up costing him financially after he fell from a projected top-10 pick all the way to No. 23. The Broncos traded up to grab the SEC defensive player of the year.

And like Roby a year earlier, Ray suddenly found himself in an ideal situation.

“If you’re going to fall,” said his mother, Sabrina Johnson, “who better to catch you than John Elway?”

And who better to learn from than Miller and Ware?

Instead of serving as a cornerstone for a rebuilding franchise, Ray is playing for a Super Bowl-bound team alongside a pair of top pass rushers he’s long admired.

Recreational pot shops are almost as common as 7-Elevens in Denver. While that might have seemed like a problem waiting to happen, Elway dismissed any such notion, stressing that while cannabis is cool in Colorado, “it’s still illegal in the NFL.”

Ray, subjected to random drug testing from the get-go, insisted he was no pothead and vowed to put his marijuana mistake behind him. Like Roby, Ray has been a model citizen and teammate. He teamed with Shaq Barrett, an undrafted free agent who transformed himself from a practice squad player last year into a pass-rushing menace. The two combined for 9 1-2 sacks.

When the Broncos inquired about Browns left tackle Joe Thomas at the trade deadline, any chance of bolstering Denver’s O-line was scuttled when Cleveland asked for Barrett.

Together, Ray and Barrett provided a second wave of pass-rushing pressure that kept Miller and Ware fresh for the kinds of performances Denver’s defense provided Sunday, when the Broncos hit Tom Brady 23 times.

Roby made the game-saving interception of Brady’s 2-point conversion attempt to tie it with 12 seconds left, sending Denver back to the Super Bowl – this time with the defense Elway so desperately desired.

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton