First off, I want to say hats off to the Denver Broncos for pulling out an impressive win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, stifling the best offense in football and holding them to just 10 points in a game where MVP Cam Newton gave up on the first drive.
But you can't say you didn't have a feeling this was coming.
Peyton Manning struggled all year, and before word came out about his torn plantar fascia, many started to think Manning would be benched and Brock Osweiler would take over as permanent starter in Denver.
However, while Manning was out, Brock held his own and played pretty well, putting Denver in a position to clinch the 1-seed in the AFC on the last day of the season. But in the last game of the year, Osweiler struggled, paving the way for Peyton to look like the hero he used to be. The team responded around him while he went 5-9 for 69 yards in the season finale.
There was also the HGH Story that broke out. Peyton denied it, the story lost traction because he isn't TB12, and Peyton looked like a God again.
Fast forward to the playoffs. Peyton didn't play well at all, but he managed to beat the banged up Steelers in the Divisional Round. Then against New England in Manning v. Brady 17 (5th Championship Game against each other), Peyton backs a strong defensive performance as Brady throws under 50% and looked rattled all game. Denying him the perfect ending to his Revenge Tour.
Then in the Super Bowl, Peyton didn't play well at all and, once again, was backed by a stout defensive performance that made the League MVP give up and won his second ring in what is presumably his last season.
What a perfect way to end your career, you finish your last season with 2,249 yards, 9 TDs, 17 INTs, and a 67.9 Passer Rating, you get hurt, the backup plays well until a situation in which you could bail him out. You get a little publicity away from the young QB with a story on HGH, which you deny and probably settled to make you look like a great guy. You underachieve throughout the Playoffs and the defense backs you up and you get a Super Bowl victory in your last game. Such a Fairytale ending to a Cinderella season.
Congrats to Peyton, you deserved this ending. But it's safe to say this wasn't an unlikely ending despite the season you put together.