Cam Newton insisted Carolina Panthers only had themselves to blame after they fell to a 24-10 defeat to Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
Quarterback Newton was sacked six times in his first Super Bowl appearance, completing only 18 of 41 passes for 265 yards as a dominant defensive display saw the Broncos beat up the Panthers.
Newton, who was named the NFL’s most valuable player this season, refused to make any excuses for the Panthers’ defeat and admitted the Broncos were worthy winners.
“I don’t know what you want me to say. They made more plays than us, and that’s what it came down to,” he said.
“We dropped balls. We turned the ball over, gave up sacks, threw errant passes. That’s it. They scored more points than we did.”
Head coach Ron Rivera called on the Panthers to bounce-back from their Super Bowl defeat and to take heart from the Broncos’ 43-8 Super Bowl loss to Seattle Seahawks in New Jersey in 2014.
“We’ve talked about getting to the mountain peak and obviously we’re at the top of the mountain but we’re not at the peak,” Rivera said.
“I told our guys … this is the same team (Denver Broncos) that a couple of years ago got beat in New York.
“So we have an opportunity to grow and learn from this experience and give ourselves an opportunity to get back here.”
Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy, who tied the Super Bowl record with three sacks and became the first player to record multiple sacks and an interception in a Super Bowl, echoed Rivera’s thoughts.
“You just have to come back and fight next year,” Ealy said.
“It sucks, but at the end of the day, I can’t dwell on it. The better team won. They showed up, they played. They didn’t make mistakes, we did make mistakes. We can’t do that.
“It’s a process. We will learn from this and get back. We will look to get at this again next year.”