The Denver Broncos defence have claimed that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton threw in the towel during Super Bowl 50.
The Broncos lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night after a 24-10 victory over the Panthers inspired by their rugged and remorseless defensive unit.
Newton, the league’s MVP, wasn’t able to throw a single touchdown and was sacked seven times before attracting criticism in the closing stages for failing to react quickly after he fumbled the ball.
“If he would have touched that ball, I was going to hit him right in his face, and I wasn’t the only one,” said Broncos safety TJ Ward on NFL.com.
“We were hungry for that one. We saw that ball and it was like hyenas on an antelope. And I don’t know – maybe he needed to stay healthy for next year.”
Newton wasn’t able to perform any of the trademark theatrics that have followed his touchdowns all year as he spent the duration of the game fighting off the Broncos’ relentless defence.
Aqib Talib, the cornerback who helped keep Panthers tight end Greg Olsen quiet during the Super Bowl, claims that Newton’s attention-seeking personality motivated the Broncos to stop him.
“No dancing, he had danced enough,” Talib said. “No way he was going to tear us up. We’re too smart for him.
“They really have a simple offence. They come out in a bunch of different formations that they shift around, and they run one or two plays out of them. If you can figure out the formations, what they do is really simple. We knew he wasn’t going to come out and tear us up. We knew all their looks.”
“He tapped out,” Talib said of Newton. “Yeah, he didn’t want it.”
Cornerback Chris Harris added: “They thought they were going to come in and run the football and throw it all over the place – what?
“They hadn’t watched us live. And it’s a shock to the system. Cam was scared to throw it. He looked blind. He couldn’t figure out where to throw. That’s what pressure does, man.”