FORD: Defense still wins championships |

FORD: Defense still wins championships

Denver Broncos’ DeMarcus Ware (94) celebrates after sacking Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The 50th installment of the biggest sports spectacle in the world came into the Bay Area and dominated the region for two weeks. Now that the Denver Broncos have toppled the favored Carolina Panthers in front of an estimated audience of more than 110 million, the circus that is the NFL is packing up for the rest of the winter.

With all the hype and bluster that came with Super Bowl 50, a game in which fringe “fans” called boring, there are five things that stood out to this sports writer.

Defense wins championships: Defense still wins championships, at least in the NFL it does. The Broncos forced four turnovers and held the league’s top-scoring offense to just 10 points while frustrating the newly crowned NFL MVP Cam Newton. The Broncos’ defense scored as many touchdowns as their offense did. And, as a nod to the defense and it’s impact, the Super Bowl MVP went to a defensive player in Von Miller (6 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles).

Take this in to account, three times a quarterback has been named the NFL MVP and then faced the No. 1 ranked defense in the Super Bowl and all three times the No. 1 defense has prevailed.

Cam still has much to learn: Oh Cam, don’t you know that a man is judged upon his character in the tough times not the good ones. It’s easy to talk to the media when you win, and not so much when you lose, but you still have to do it. Russell Wilson faced the music last year when he threw the interception that cost his team the championship, and Peyton answered every question after he got throttled by the Seattle Seahawks two years ago. It just comes with the job and giant paycheck.

Cam is the face of the Panthers franchise, their leader on and off the field, and he showed the world that when the Panthers lose they act like 8 year olds who don’t want to eat their greens at dinner. Cam needs to stop pouting and start acting like a professional.

Miller time: Von Miller is bigger, stronger and/or faster than you as well as most offensive linemen in the NFL. Miller took over the game Sunday and was the difference. He opened and closed the game with sacks and forced fumbles that were critical to the game’s outcome.

Watching Miller knock the ball away from a Panthers receiver 30-yards down the field in coverage on one play and then shred an offensive tackle on his way to the quarterback the next was awe inspiring.

Be smart Brock: With sheriff Manning likely riding into the sunset with the Lombardi trophy in tow, Brock Osweiler is set to inherit a pretty good squad that doesn’t ask much of their quarterback. Manning threw for just 141 yards to go with interception and a 9.9 quarterback rating in the Super Bowl — and won. Osweiler is a free agent now that the season has ended, but if he can handle the pressure of stepping in for one of the best of all-time, as he has already, he should stay in Denver and game-manage them to another Super Bowl run.

Levi’s turf troubles: “The footing on the field was terrible,” Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib said to the Associated Press. “San Fran has to play eight games on that field, so they better do something to get it fixed. It was terrible.”

I agree Aqib. The 49ers have enough issues without having to worry about the ground slipping out from underneath them. With all the money that was spent on Levi Stadium, maybe some of it should have gone into the surface they actually play on.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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