|Trying to provide some context to Cam Newton’s abrupt podium walkout after Sunday’s Super Bowl||02.08.16 at 11:51 am ET|
The scene in the interview area after a Super Bowl can be a little crazy.
There are literally hundreds of people coming and going — players, family, support staff and reporters — in a tight, confined space. Players are all delivered to postgame podiums, and many of their comments are broadcast over a public address system loudly so that everyone can hear. Winners are losers are in sometimes uncomfortably close proximity. There’s media on deadline trying to drum up quotes, players still caught up in the throes of victory or trying to process a crushing defeat, and league officials and security trying to keep everything in some semblance of order. The noise adds to the frenzy.
I mention all of this in the context of the scene involving Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, who appeared to prematurely leave his postgame Q&A session Sunday because of perceived frustration or anger regarding the defeat against Denver. It appeared that at one point, Newton could hear Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. talking happily about the win and what they were able to do to Newton.
THIS is why Cam walked out (listen to what’s being said in the background). pic.twitter.com/6LdLFwv8tj
‘ Brian (@bmweezy13) February 8, 2016
That, combined with the rawness of the difficult loss, was likely what made Newton cut his time at the podium short. But unfortunately for him, the narrative of the bitter young quarterback had been entrenched in the minds of many, regardless of the situation.
None of this is to excuse Newton’s actions — part of his postgame obligations include a session with the media, and as I said, it can be extremely difficult process for any member of the losing team to try and endure. (I can still recall a sad-eyed Wes Welker talking with us after New England’s loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI while New York players gleefully celebrated on the other side of a curtain, no less than 15 feet away.) It’s only to provide a little more context to what happened, and serve as a small reminder that the narrative doesn’t always fit with the facts.
Newton struggled in the Panthers’ 24-10 loss to the Broncos where he went just 18-for-41 with 265 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. He also fumbled twice, including late in the fourth quarter, which all but sealed the win for Carolina.
On the play Newton had a chance to jump on the loose ball, but he instead stood there and watched.
“That’s the way he is. Playing for himself,” Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan said to MMQB.com.
Cornerback Aqib Talib added: “He didn’t want it.”
Talib also took another shot later at Newton in another interview saying, “There ain’t no Easter Bunny, there ain’t no Santa Claus, there ain’t no Superman.”
The former Patriots cornerback didn’t stop there.
“Cam’s probably crying right now,” Talib said, via TSN.com.
Newton was sacked six times in the loss as the Broncos defense was the story of the game, including Von Miller being named the game’s MVP.
|Von Miller leads Peyton Manning, Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 win||02.07.16 at 10:22 pm ET|
Showing the same ferocity they brought against Tom Brady in the AFC championship, the Broncos sacked NFL MVP Cam Newton six times and forced four turnovers to record their third Super Bowl victory in franchise history with a 24-10 win in Super Bowl 50 Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. It was their first since John Elway won consecutive Lombardi trophies in 1997 and ’98.
Miller strip-sacked Newton twice, leading to one defensive touchdown and one offensive touchdown. In total, the Broncos sacked passers seven times to tie a Super Bowl record. Newton finished 18-of-41 for 265 yards.
But Manning, playing perhaps his final NFL game, wasn’t much better. He lost a fumble and was just 13-of-23 for 141 yards, one interception, four sacks and one lost fumble.
The Broncos not only held Newton to 8-of-19 passing for 95 yards in the first half, they sacked him three times for 33 yards, including a strip sack by Miller which was recovered by Malik Jackson for a touchdown.
That touchdown put the Broncos up, 10-0.
Manning couldn’t get much going in the first half either. After leading the Broncos down the field on a 64-yard drive to open the game, Manning and the Broncos had to settle for the first of two Brandon McManus first-half field goals. Manning was just 9-of-16 for 76 yards and a bad interception to defensive end Kony Ealy after Manning locked in on Emmanuel Sanders.
Jonathan Stewart capped a nine-play, 73-yard drive with a 1-yard leap over the middle into the end zone to make it 10-7, Broncos. McManus added a 33-yard field goal for Denver, which took a 13-7 lead to the half.
The Panthers took the opening drive of the third quarter and had a lot of momentum following a 45-yard crossing route completion to Ted Ginn down to the Denver 35. The Panthers appeared ready to get in position to score a go-ahead TD but Jerricho Cotchery dropped a pass at the Broncos 5-yard line on the right sideline. Then Graham Gano missed a 44-yard field goal when the ball caromed high off the right upright.
The Broncos responded by coming right down the field after a pair of Manning passed to Emmanuel Sanders. But again, the Broncos couldn’t finish in the red zone, settling for a 30-yard field goal from McManus that put the Broncos up, 16-7, with 8:18 left in the third.
Philly Brown hauled in a 42-yard heave from Newton over the middle of the field, setting up the Panthers at the Broncos 38. But four plays later, Newton was intercepted by T.J. Ward. Ward fumbled the ball on his return and the Panthers nearly recovered at the Broncos 5. But linebacker Danny Trevathan was there to save the day.
After Manning drove the Broncos down to Carolina’s 42, he was strip-sacked at midfield with 13:17 left in the fourth. The Panthers recovered at midfield and drove down to the Broncos’ 21. But the drive stalled and the Panthers had to settle for a Gano 39-yard field goal, cutting Denver’s lead to 16-10 with 10:21 left in the fourth.
The Broncos followed the exact same script as the AFC championship, playing field position and giving the Panthers several chances to come from behind and win.
Miller’s second strip sack of Newton came with 4:04 left in the game and set the Broncos up at the Panthers’ 4. After a defensive holding call, C.J. Anderson ran it in from two yards for Denver’s first offensive touchdown of the game with 3:08 left. Manning found Bennie Fowler for the 2-point conversion.
The forecast is calling for a game-time temperature of 73 degrees and bright sunshine for the 3:30 PT kickoff off. There is no chance of precipitation during the game in the open-air stadium and heat could be a factor early on as Levi’s Stadium is much like Miami’s SunLife Stadium and the Panthers’ home of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. There is no canopy covering any part of the stadium.
Both teams are relatively healthy coming in, with the biggest injury concern being the broken right forearm of Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. He had surgery to fix the forearm in the bye week before the Super Bowl and assured reporters during the week that he’ll be ready to go and start in the game.
The Panthers are appearing in their second Super Bowl in franchise history, losing 32-29 to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston. The Broncos have matched the Patriots, Steelers and Cowboys with their eighth Super Bowl appearance. But they have the worst record of the four coming in. The Broncos, fresh from their 43-8 rout at the hands of the Seahawks two years ago at MetLife Stadium in Super Bowl XLVIII, are just 2-5 in their previous seven appearances.
They have been beaten by double digits in all five of their losses, falling 27-10 to the Cowboys in Super Bowl XII, 39-20 to the Giants in Super Bowl XXI, 42-10 to the Redskins in Super Bowl XXII, 55-10 to the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV and 43-8 two years ago.
The highlight of the game for Patriots fans figures to be the appearance of Tom Brady, who will be on the field for the NFL ceremony to honor all 43 Super Bowl MVPs. Brady and childhood hero Joe Montana are the only ones with three MVP awards in the game. Terry Bradshaw and Eli Manning have two apiece.
|Carolina QB Cam Newton wins MVP, Tom Brady gets one vote||02.06.16 at 10:25 pm ET|
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was named the NFL MVP, it was announced Saturday.
Newton, who has the Panthers to the NFC title and a 15-1 record in the regular season, got 48 of a possible 50 votes. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer each got one vote.
Brady can tell you that winning the NFL MVP is no guarantee of a Super Bowl title. Brady has won the award twice ‘ 2007 and 2010. In fact, the last NFL MVP to win the Super Bowl in the same season was Kurt Warner in 1999.
|Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis rips Rodney Harrison for saying he’d take Cam Newton out||02.05.16 at 3:53 pm ET|
A Carolina Panther has a bone to pick with Rodney Harrison, and it’s not loud-mouthed cornerback Josh Norman, but NFL Man of the Year Thomas Davis.
The Panthers linebacker fired back at the former Patriots safety on Friday in response to Harrison’s contention that if he were to face superstar quarterback Cam Newton in the Super Bowl, he’d “try to take him out.”
“How can you sit there and say you would intentionally try to hurt another player?” Davis tweeted, per the Charlotte Observer. “#NoRespectForTheGame get this clown off the air!!”
Davis didn’t stop there, also ripping Harrison for his 2007 suspension over the use of human growth hormone.
“It’s crazy to think that I actually (used) to look up to a guy like @rodney_harrison even after he got caught cheating!” Davis tweeted.
Davis was responding to comments Harrison made on Wednesday to radio host Dan Patrick, noting that he’d try to injure Newton as a means of winning Super Bowl 50.
“If I was playing against Cam Newton, I would try to take him out,” Harrison said. “I would try to take him out. I would try to hurt him. I would go right at his knees. That’s the goal. That’s the goal: you want to knock him out. That might be the difference between winning and losing the Super Bowl.”
|Panthers hold off Seahawks, will host Cardinals in NFC championship||01.17.16 at 4:22 pm ET|
Jonathan Stewart ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns while Cam Newton threw for another as the Carolina Panthers held off a furious second-half rally by the Seattle Seahawks to claim a 31-24 win in an NFC divisional game Sunday in Charlotte.
Steven Hauschka converted a 36-yard field goal with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter to draw the Seahawks within a touchdown. But Thomas Davis Sr. caught the onside kick to seal the win for the Panthers, who led at the half, 31-0.
The win sets up a matchup between the No. 1 seeded Panthers (16-1) and the No. 2 Cardinals (14-3) in the NFC championship next Sunday in Charlotte.
The Panthers broke out on top early in the first quarter, taking their opening drive down the field for a score. That drive was highlighted by a 59-yard run up the middle by Stewart, who became the first player to run for over 100 yards against the Seahawks since Jamaal Charles on Nov. 16, 2014.
Russell Wilson had a nightmarish first half, which included a pick-6 by Luke Kuechly moments after the Stewart touchdown run to open scoring. Wilson finished 31-for-48 for 366 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns went to Jermaine Kearse, who finished with 11 catches for 110 yards.
The Seahawks had a chance to get on the board late in the second quarter but Pete Carroll turned down a short field goal try to go for it on 4th-and-5. The Seahawks missed that chance and a 55-yard field goal attempt right before half.
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