Going into the Super Bowl, the vast majority of analysts predicted that Carolina's juggernaut offense would be too much for the Denver Broncos No. 1 defense. And that made Denver's victory all the more striking.
The Broncos defense completely dominated the Panthers, shutting down their running game and battering MVP Cam Newton — to the point where he was literally unwilling to dive into the pile for one of his own lost fumbles.
Nevertheless, Olsen doesn't see it that way, as he told Black and Blue Review.
"I watched it, and you feel worse after you watch it because this notion that they suffocated us and we couldn’t do anything," tight end Greg Olsen said, "Go back and watch the tape, see the plays that were there to be made. See the guys we had that came up just a little short on a couple plays, but go back and watch it.
"This notion that we couldn't do anything offensively is not the case, and I think that's even more the tough part to swallow. They made a couple big splash plays that really turned out to be the difference in the game."
The Carolina offense made some plays. Philly Brown made a terrific catch, as did Devin Funchess. But the Broncos executed what they set out to do — keep Newton in the pocket and restrict big plays made with his legs.
Wade Phillips' unit held Newton to just 45 yards rushing and limited all other Panthers rushers to just 73 yards on the ground. Denver's biggest success was in getting to Newton.
The reigning league MVP was sacked seven times and pressured relentlessly. Three of Carolina's four turnovers were on Newton. The Broncos executed what they set out to do.
As for Newton's favorite target, Greg Olsen. He was targeted nine times, but finished Super Bowl 50 with just four catches for 41 yards.
Just because most people never saw it coming, doesn't make it any less impressive. Greg Olsen and the Panthers now have a few months to regroup and lick their wounds.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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