CBS wasn't the only channel with Super Bowl programming on Sunday, with even Animal Planet ready to get in on the fun with Puppy Bowl XII, and Hallmark Channel broadcasting Kitten Bowl III.
When the puppies and kittens finished, Lady Gaga performed the national anthem, the Super Bowl features a matchup of the top seeds from each conference. While the Broncos have one of the NFL's greatest-ever quarterbacks, Peyton Manning, and the Panthers' defense finished sixth in 2015, the matchup was a Titanic clash of Carolina's offense and Denver's defense.
With Cam Newton leading the way, the Panthers finished 2015 with the most points in the NFL and kept that momentum rolling into the postseason by hanging 80 combined points in routs of the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. Newton finished the year with 35 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns, and was officially named the league's MVP on Saturday night.
The Broncos have done well to stop some of the best players in the NFL, though. After finishing the regular season No. 1 in total defense, the team kept the explosive offenses of both the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots to fewer than 20 points each. While the Manning-led offense has struggled at times, the veteran quarterback has stepped up in the postseason and eliminated the costly interceptions that hurt the team early in the year.
Carolina was in its second Super Bowl and lost its only other appearance, while the Broncos were looking for a third Lombardi Trophy in the franchise's eighth trip to the NFL's biggest stage.
The first pregame show of the day for CBS is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET, but NFL Network starts the day off with a look at the greatest Super Bowl commercials at 7 a.m. ESPN will get in on the action, too, with NFL Insiders and Postseason NFL, although it will switch to coverage of other sports at 2 p.m., leaving CBS to cover everything to do with Super Bowl 50.
Before CBS' official pregame show, The Super Bowl Today, gets started at 2 p.m., there will also be programs on CBS like Phil Simms All-Iron Team and Super Bowl 50: Before they were pros. During the official pregame, there is scheduled to be an interview with Barack and Michelle Obama as well as plenty of vignettes and features on players and coaches in the game.
Scoring and game updates
Denver took the ball first, and drove 64 yards for the game's first score, a 34-year-old field goal by Brandon McManus for an early 3-0 Broncos advantage. The key play of the drive was a 22-yard catch by Andre Caldwell on third down to keep the drive alive.
The Broncos added to their lead thanks to a Von Miller sack of Cam Newton and a fumble recovery in the end zone by Malik Jackson. Denver 10, Carolina 0, which ended up being the score at the end of the opening 15 minutes.
The Panthers answered with a 73-yard touchdown drive to open the second quarter, culminating in 1-yard touchdown by Jonathan Stewart. Broncos 10, Panthers 7.
Later in the quarter, a 61-yard punt return by Jordan Norwood, the longest punt return in Super Bowl history, set Denver up for another field goal, and a 13-7 lead. Defense was the name of the game in the first half, with six combined sacks and three combined turnovers between the two teams.
Halftime score: Denver 13, Carolina 7
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The Broncos scored first in the second half, ending a 54-yard drive with the third field goal of the night for Brandon McManus and a 16-7 lead. The third quarter ended with that same score.
The Panthers clawed back with a field goal drive of their own, pulling to within one score with 10:21 remaining, down 16-10. Newton fumbled with 4:16 remaining, leading to a short field and the touchdown for Denver that helped put the game away. A two-point conversion gave the Broncos a commanding 24-10 advantage.
That ended up the final score, with the Broncos prevailing in a defensive struggle, 24-10 over the Panthers.
The Super Bowl Halftime Show was headlined by Coldplay, with lead singer Chris Martin taking the stage in shoes designed by his son. They were joined by Bruno Mars, but it was fellow guest Beyonce who stole the show, not only dancing in heels on the brutal Levi's Stadium turf, but also honoring Michael Jackson with an outfit similar to Jacko's Super Bowl attire 23 years ago at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena during Super Bowl XXVII.
Everyone ended with a cool medley of the past 10 years or so of Super Bowl halftime performances.
You can throw out the records when these two teams play, and this year Team Ruff won a hard-fought affair over Team Fluff. The star of the game was the appropriately-named Star, who took home game MVP honors.
Given the success of Animal Planet's idea to have puppies playing on TV, it's not particularly surprising that Hallmark Channel's idea to have kittens playing has done well enough to warrant a third year. Like the Puppy Bowl, Kitten Bowl III features adoptable kittens in a "a claws-out, paws-out showdown."
The hero of this year's Kitten Bowl was Rob Gron-cat-ski who scored a fourth quarter touchdown to give the Home and Family Felines a 46-41 win over the Bobcats. There was a fight! And some cats scored a touchdown with a ping pong ball.
For the most watched sports event in the world, sportsbooks give fans the opportunity to bet on just about anything and everything from the national anthem to the color of the Gatorade tossed on the winning coach. There are even Broncos-themed bets like Manning's possible retirement and his love of the word of Omaha, as well as Panthers-themed bets like Newton's chances of dabbing.
The list of prop bets is extensive, but here are a few:
How long will it take Lady Gaga to sing the U.S. national anthem
Over 2 minutes, 20 seconds +150 (3/2)
Under 2 minutes, 20 seconds -200 (1/2) - WINNER
Prop Bet: Did Lady Gaga finish over or under for the national anthem?
How many times will "dab" or "dabbing" be said by the announcers during the broadcast?
Over 2 EVEN (1/1)
Under 2 -140 (5/7)
Will the Panthers player who scores their first TD give the football to a boy or a girl?
Boy -200 (1/2)
Girl +150 (3/2)
What color will Beyoncé's footwear be when she comes on stage for the halftime show?
Black +150 (3/2) - WINNER
Gold/brown +250 (5/2)
White +300 (3/1)
Silver/grey +500 (5/1)
Any other color +500 (5/1)
How to watch
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
Super Bowl time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Radio: Westwood One
The Panthers are 5.5-point favorites, according to OddsShark.