Cam Newton didn't play like the MVP of the NFL during the Super Bowl. In fact, he played like, well ... like any quarterback in the league would have played while enduring the immense pressure applied by the Denver Broncos.
Newton was sacked 6 times, hit 15 times and blitzed 25 times, according to FiveThirtyEight. For the game, he felt pressure on 42.9 percent of Carolina's passing plays, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
That would be an easier day for Teddy Bridgewater.
Pro Football Focus says Bridgewater felt Bronco-like pressure – and then some – all season, being pressured a league high 46.7 percent of his dropbacks – more than 21 percent higher than the league average. (A hat-tip to Reddit for this comparison.)
Bridgewater played the Broncos' defense almost as well as any quarterback in the league this season. He was 27-41 for 267 yards, 1 touchdown and zero interceptions, despite being sacked 7 times.
Here's how the Broncos fared against opposing quarterbacks during the regular season:
- Joe Flacco: 18-32, 117 yards, 2 INT
- Alex Smith: 16-25, 191 yards, 2 INT
- Matthew Stafford: 31-45, 282 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
- Derek Carr: 26-39, 249 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Josh McCown: 20-39, 213 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
- Aaron Rodgers: 14-22, 77 yards
- Andrew Luck: 21-36, 252 yards, 2 TD
- Alex Smith: 17-31, 204 yards, 1 TD
- Jay Cutler: 18-32, 265 yards, 1 INT
- Tom Brady: 23-42, 280 yards, 3 TD
- Philip Rivers: 18-35, 202 yards, 1 INT
- Derek Carr: 12-29, 135 yards, 2 TD
- Ben Roethlisberger: 40-55, 380 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
- A.J. McCarron: 22-35, 200 yards, 1 TD
- Philip Rivers: 21-35, 228 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
The only guys to do it better against Denver than Bridgewater were Luck, Brady and Roethlisberger, all of whom are part of passing attacks that were worlds ahead of the Vikings this season.