Battered and bruised by the Denver Broncos defense, the Carolina Panthers suffered defeat in Super Bowl 50 because of three critical areas.
Carolina turned the ball over four times in Sunday's 24-10 loss at Levi's Stadium and quarterback Cam Newton was harassed the entire game.
Here are three reasons why the Panthers came up short in Super Bowl 50:
It is hard for any team to win a game when it loses the turnover battle.
The Panthers turned the ball over four times after leading the NFL during the regular season with a plus-20 turnover differential.
Newton fumbled twice and threw an interception while fullback Mike Tolbert lost one of two fumbles and the Panthers were never able to get on track.
Carolina led the NFL in points scored during the regular season and were dominant in a 49-15 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC championship game. However, the young Panthers wilted in the spotlight against a ferocious Broncos defense.
2. Dropped passes
Newton was off all night, completing just 18 of his 41 passes for 265 yards and was held without a touchdown pass for the first time since Thanksgiving.
The Panthers acted like they were playing with a buttered ball on Sunday. Carolina receiver Jerricho Cotchery had three critical drops and Ted Ginn Jr. had a pass go right through his hands, allowing T.J. Ward to make an interception as the Panthers were driving deep inside Denver territory.
It was not just the Panthers' receivers who had dropped passes, Carolina's defensive backs missed a couple of opportunities for turnovers by letting would-be interceptions slip through their fingers.
3. Quarterback pressure
The Broncos led the NFL in sacks this season and were dominant against a very good Panthers offensive line. Carolina had no answer for game MVP Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware while Derek Wolfe and Sylvester Williams collapsed the pocket in front of Newton.
Denver sacked Newton six times and added a seventh sack by dropping Ginn on an attempted quarterback throwback pass. Newton was never able to get the Panthers offense into any sort of rhythm. Even when they were not sacking Newton, the Broncos hit him 13 times and forced him to scramble on several other occasions.