WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama honored the Denver Broncos at the White House Monday for winning Super Bowl 50 with one of the best defenses of all time and one of the best quarterbacks of all time in Peyton Manning.

The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24-10. Obama said the victories over the course of the season weren’t always pretty. The Broncos, he noted, won a record 11 games by a touchdown or less.

“You don’t do that without one of the greatest defenses of all time,” Obama said.

Obama reminded the audience in the Rose Garden that he’s a huge Chicago Bears fan. He felt obliged to mention that franchise’s defense from the 1985 Super Bowl champions.

“Nobody remembers,” he said. “But I’ve got to admit this one was pretty good, too,” Obama said.

Obama singled Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware for particular praise.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 06: U.S. President Barack Obama holds up a Denver Broncos jersey presented to him as a gift by Annabel Bowlen (R), wife of Broncos majority owner Pat Bowlen, while welcoming the National Football League Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos to the White House Rose Garden on June 6, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama holds up a Denver Broncos jersey presented to him as a gift by Annabel Bowlen, wife of Broncos majority owner Pat Bowlen, while welcoming the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos to the White House Rose Garden on June 6, 2016. (credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In describing Denver’s offense, Obama said it “always seemed to come up big when it needed to.”

Manning, who decided to retire after an incredible 18-year career, stood directly behind Obama during the ceremony. Obama mentioned several stars of the offensive unit before jokingly stating, “And we can’t forget to mention the heart and soul of this team’s offensive firepower — kicker Brandon McManus.”

Everyone laughed at the omission of Manning from the list of stars, including Manning. But Obama quickly made up for it. He said anybody who has been a football fan has watched one of the greatest Hall of Fame careers ever.

“We were all obviously a little bit disappointed to see him hang it up this spring, but as somebody who is just a little bit older than he is, I was sympathetic to the idea that running around with these guys, you know, it takes its toll,” Obama said. “But it is great to see somebody with a career like that, who always conducted himself on the field and off the field the way he did, be able to go out on top.”

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

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