Super Bowl 50's somewhat unlikely spotlight

Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers is tackled by Derek Wolfe and Von Miller of the Denver Broncos in the third quarter during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

Al Bello/Getty Images

The Broncos' defense stifled the Panthers, propelling Denver to a Super Bowl 50 victory over Carolina Sunday night. But the most anticipated story line of the game -- the quarterback battle between a future Hall of Famer in the twilight of his career and the league's Most Valuable Player - never fully materialized, reports CBS News special correspondent and Super Bowl pregame host James Brown.

It was supposed to be the match-up of the Super Bowl -- instead, it was an afterthought. Broncos quarterback, 39-year-old Peyton Manning, versus Carolina quarterback Cam Newton - 13 years his junior - took a back-seat to hard-nose defensive football, throwing both men off their rhythm. Neither quarterback threw for a touchdown all game. The high-powered passing attacks -- normally on display during a Super Bowl -- were replaced by a slugfest on the ground.

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Even after a score put the Broncos up by 12 points late in the fourth quarter -- Peyton's younger brother, Eli, still looked concerned. But the Broncos defense silenced Carolina's offense, the best in football, winning and the Broncos took their third Super Bowl title in franchise history.

The game wasn't the only big show in town. The halftime event dazzled, featuring Beyoncé, Cold Play and Bruno Mars, who lit up the crowd of nearly 70,000 inside Levi's stadium and around 100 million viewers across the globe.

For Peyton Manning, who likely played in his final game, Hollywood couldn't have scripted a better ending. The future Hall of Famer lifted his second Lombardi trophy and notched his 200th career victory. With his 40th birthday next month, he's the oldest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

"This had been a very emotional week, an emotional night, and I got a couple of priorities in order," Manning said. "I want to go kiss my wife, kiss my kids. I want to go celebrate with my family and teammates, and I'm going to drink a lot of beer tonight... Von Miller is buying."

The man buying the beer is also the guy bringing home the extra hardware. Broncos linebacker Von Miller claimed Super Bowl MVP honors.

"I'm so proud of my guys. It's been every last one of the guys in the locker room that got me to this moment right here, going to be celebrating this one all summer," Miller said.

For Carolina Panther fans and players, the sting of a loss on Super Bowl Sunday is hard to stomach.

For Cam Newton, his disappointment was difficult to put into words. "They just played better than us," Newton said. "I don't know what you want me to say."