The Denver Broncos pulled off the upset and beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday in Santa Clara.
Here are three big takeaways from the Broncos' third-ever Super Bowl championship.
1. Defense wins championships
The main reason I picked the Broncos to win (and it's the first time in three years I've picked the Super Bowl correctly): When No. 1 offenses meet No. 1 defenses, the latter typically comes out on top.
That was the case once again on Sunday, as the Broncos, led by linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, harassed regular-season MVP Cam Newton all day (seven sacks, four turnovers forced). Talk about a polar opposite situation from what Denver faced in its blowout Super Bowl defeat against Seattle two years ago.
Interesting side note: Newton was selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Miller was selected No. 2.
Cam Newton and Von Miller drafted 1st and 2nd in 2011. Regular season MVP and Super Bowl MVP five years later. pic.twitter.com/0TVJ0vDKza
Going into the Super Bowl, most people believed struggling Broncos QB Peyton Manning would retire after this season, especially if the Broncos were to win. We'll have to wait and see on that; for now, Manning will be able to bask in the afterglow of his second world championship.
Like he was for most of the season, Manning was unimpressive Sunday (13 of 23, 141 yards, no touchdowns, two turnovers), but Denver's defense, along with running back C.J. Anderson (82 rushing yards, TD), carried the 39-year-old over the finish line.
If Manning does decide to call it a career, he'll go out the same way former Broncos QB John Elway did: as a Super Bowl winner. Either way, it's been a heck of an 18-year NFL career for the future Hall of Famer.
3. Cam's moment will come
Newton carried Auburn on his back to a collegiate national championship, and it appeared he was on his way to leading Carolina to a world title this season. Those plans were put on hold thanks to the Broncos' suffocating defense.
But make no mistake: Newton will come back bigger and better next season, which is a frightening thought for the rest of the NFL -- and if the Panthers bring in a top-tier receiver to help Cam out, the Panthers may be unstoppable in 2016.