Mike Carlson on Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane at Super Bowl and how Broncos tamed the Panthers

BBC NFL analyst chats to Off The Ball about last night's game and pageantry

BBC, Super Bowl, Mike Carlson, Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill and Mike Carlson during BBC coverage

While quarter-backs Cam Newton and Peyton Manning were two of the pre-game superstars in last night's Super Bowl extravaganza, the game itself was all about defences.

And one moment that truly defined that aspect was Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller for Denver, whose strip-sack on Newton led to the Broncos' early touchdown.

If you were following the action between winners Denver and the Carolina Panthers on the BBC, Mike Carlson was one of the analysts and during one mid-game segment, Ireland manager Martin O'Neill was among the non-NFL guests to pop in.

"That was a lot of fun. Martin's every bit as intelligent about football as he is about football," Carlson told Off The Ball tonight as he reviewed the Super Bowl action, also echoing O'Neill's joking comment that Ireland assistant Roy Keane was "too shy" to join them in studio during the game.

"I suspect that he was having a better time down in the stands and just didn't want to waste his time with us boring guys up top," he dead-panned, before getting into the minutiae of the actual Super Bowl action itself. 

Denver Broncos Peyton Manning, right, greets Carolina Panthers Cam Newton (1) after the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. The Broncos won 24-10. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

"What amazed me during this game was the way that [Broncos defensive co-ordinator] Wade Phillips, who game-planned so brilliantly to beat New England in the Conference final also game-planned this game brilliantly, and how unable Carolina were to adjust to that," said Carlson.

He also talked about how Newton's reputation as arguably the sport's No 1 quarter-back will be affected by last night's underwhelming performance, before touching on Manning's second Super Bowl win despite not shining either in what is likely to be his last game.

"What this game proves I think is that the whole idea of crediting wins and losses to quarter-backs is patently absurd. Peyton Manning did not win this game for Denver. His defence won this game completely," he said.