(AP)—Today’s NFL is all about the quarterbacks, so perhaps it’s fitting that the 50th Super Bowl features a matchup between Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos and Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers.
At 39, Manning—the only five-time MVP in history and one of the faces of the league—is the oldest starting QB to lead a team to the big game. Most folks figure his fourth Super Sunday will be the last time he dons a helmet.
“Oh, wow,” Newton said. “Playing ‘The Sheriff.’”
Newton, meanwhile, is part of the new guard. He is expected to be honored as the MVP for the first time—fans chanted those three letters during the NFC championship postgame ceremony—and he’ll be playing in his first Super Bowl.
Carolina (17-1) ran away with a 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC title Sunday night, after Denver (14-4) edged the New England Patriots 20-18 in the AFC.