One could have made a very good case for Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward as the MVP of Super Bowl 50.
Denver’s defense stifled Carolina QB Cam Newton, the NFL’s regular-season MVP, in a 24-10 victory. Even more impressive was that the Broncos’ defense also overshadowed their own quarterback, future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, whose impending retirement was the dominant story line of the buildup to the big game.
Ward had seven tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery against the Panthers. His third-quarter INT ended a drive in which Carolina could’ve pulled to within one point of Denver, and his fourth-quarter fumble recovery set up the Broncos’ final touchdown.
Ward lost out to linebacker Von Miller for MVP, but he was rewarded with the 68th spot on this year’s NFL Top 100 players list, as voted by his fellow NFL players.
Ward, a seventh-year pro out of Oregon who was ranked 82nd by the players in 2014 but did not crack the top 100 last year, had 61 tackles this past season and two forced fumbles. He didn’t have one interception or fumble recovery during the regular season or in the postseason leading up to the Super Bowl, but he made two of his biggest plays in the biggest game of the season.
You can watch the NFL Network segment on Ward HERE, and check out a highlight reel below: