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"He's just had this incredible year. There's no doubt in my mind he's going to be the MVP on Saturday night," Manning said on Opening Night of Super Bowl 50 festivities. "What he's done in the short time being an NFL quarterback, he's been awesome. He's been awesome. That's the best word I can think of.
"He's been a great passer, he's been a great runner, he's been a great leader. You don't go 17-1 as a starting quarterback without being awesome. And that's what he's been this year without a doubt."
For his part, Newton responded favorably to Manning's opinions. "Anything The Sheriff says you can probably ink it in gold," Newton said.
It was not only a classy tribute from one of the most respected athletes of the 21st century, but perhaps also a passing of the torch from one generation of quarterbacks to the next.
"I've never seen one like him," Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips raved. "And neither has anyone else."