Super Bowl 50 was an American football game to determine the champion of NFL for the 2015 season. The AFC champion Denver Broncos defeated the NFC champion Carolina Panthers 24–10 to win their third Super Bowl championship. The game was played on February 7, 2016, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California (located in the San Francisco Bay Area). As this was the 50th Super Bowl, the league emphasized the "golden anniversary" with various gold-themed initiatives during the 2015 season, as well as suspending the tradition of naming each Super Bowl game with Roman numerals, so the logo could prominently feature the Arabic numerals 50.
The Panthers finished the regular season with a 15–1 record, racking up the league's top offense, and quarterback Cam Newton was named the NFL MVP. They defeated the Arizona Cardinals 49–15 in the NFC Championship Game and advanced to their second Super Bowl appearance since the franchise was founded in 1995. The Broncos finished the regular season with a 12–4 record, thanks to having the league's top defense, and despite the struggles of starting quarterback Peyton Manning; they defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 20–18 in the AFC Championship Game. They joined the Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers as one of four teams that have made eight appearances in the Super Bowl.
In one of the most defensive Super Bowl matchups in NFL history, the Broncos took an early lead in Super Bowl 50 and never trailed. Newton was limited by Denver's defense, which registered seven sacks and forced him into three turnovers, including a fumble which the Broncos recovered for a touchdown. Carolina's defense kept the game close by holding Denver's offense without a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter and limiting Manning by forcing him into two turnovers and registering five sacks; defensive end Kony Ealy became the first player in Super Bowl history to have an interception and three sacks. Denver linebacker Von Miller was named Super Bowl MVP; Miller recorded five solo tackles, 2½ sacks, and two forced fumbles in the game. This game was also the final game of Peyton Manning's career; he announced his retirement on March 7, 2016. Manning became the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl for two different teams.