We knew that Super Bowl 50 would feature two of the best defenses in the NFL, and a defensive showdown it was. At the end of the day, the Denver Broncos just outplayed and outlasted the Carolina Panthers, winning the game 24-10. Linebacker Von Miller was named Super Bowl MVP with 2.5 sacks and two huge forced fumbles.
And so, just like that, the career of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning ends in the most fitting way possible—walking off into the sunset with the Lombardi Trophy tucked under his arm.
Of course, Manning was too humble to announce his retirement after the game, as he didn’t want to take away from the team victory.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” said Manning when asked if he had thrown his final pass in the NFL. “Tony Dungy—I communicated last night when he got in the Hall of Fame…I talked to him last week, and he called me, said ‘I need to talk to you.’”
Dungy was Manning’s coach with the Indianapolis Colts during their Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears.
“He got some good advice about not making an emotional decision, one way or the other. I thought that was good advice.”
Manning had more important things to attend to, nonetheless.
“I want to go kiss my wife, kiss my kids, I want to go celebrate with my family and teammates, and I’m going to drink a lot of beer. Von Miller is buying. Those are my priorities at this point. I’ll take some time to reflect. And I’m going to say a prayer and a thank you to the man upstairs for this opportunity as well.”
No one deserved it more than Manning. After everything he’s gone through this season—being a backup, missing time with the foot injury, playing in a new offense — to watch him go out on top is truly exceptional.
Manning will, presumably, join John Elway and Ray Lewis as the only other two Hall of Famers or future Hall of Famers to retire after a Super Bowl victory.
Thank you, Sheriff.