Peyton Manning wins Super Bowl 50 (2016)
Peyton Manning was well past his prime when the Broncos made it to Super Bowl 50 in 2016. He had had an injury interrupted season and was closing in on 40-years of age. The retirement rumors were swirling and most people anticipated The Sheriff to ride off into the sunset no matter what happened in SB50.
Long gone was the Broncos’ historic 2013 offense. Manning and his team had struggled to find any rhythm all season and were being carried by an all time great defense.
Manning finished the game having completed 13 of his 23 passes for 141 yards and one interception. Let’s not sugar coat it, he didn’t play well. However, he didn’t necessarily play bad, either.
It was a weird way for Peyton to go out, considering just how transcendent he had been as a quarterback over almost two decades.
Although, it can certainly be argued that the Broncos don’t make Super Bowl 50 without Manning. What he did for the Broncos every single day, with his wisdom and leadership in the locker room was immeasurable. Denver recruited key players thanks to Manning. People wanted to play with the legendary Sheriff, even if he was on his last legs as a pro.
He held the entire franchise to a high standard. One that helped the Broncos become what they were.
Watching Peyton raise the Lombardi trophy in his final game in the NFL was beautiful. A true fairytale ending to one of the greatest careers of all time.