This Super Bowl is shaking up to be a classic; the dominant Broncos defense led by Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., and Von Miller against Cammy Cam, Greg Olsen and the Electric Carolina offense. Cam Newton will get a lot of attention, but it will be up to Luke Kuechly and Josh Norman to shut down Peyton Manning in what may be the last chapter in his storied NFL Career.
Time: February 7th, 2016
Place: Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California
Halftime Show: Coldplay, Beyonce, & Bruno Mars
Line: Panthers are favored by 5.5 (1/25/15)
Network & Announcers: CBS, Jim Nantz & Phil Simms
Keys To The Game:
1) Match Denver’s Intensity on Defense
2) Create Turnovers and Opportunities on Special Teams and Defense
3) Cam has to spread the Denver Defense with his legs
1) Hit Cam Newton Early and Often
2) Force bad throws
3) Peyton has to play the game of his life
4) DON’T THROW IT NEAR LUKE KUECHLY
I’ll avoid the obvious choices of Luke Kuechly, Cam Newton, Josh Norman and go with the unsung heroes:
1) Tedd Ginn Jr needs to catch the ball, which has been a problem for him this year. No room for mistakes against this swarming defense.
2) Thomas Davis needs to come with the same intensity. He has had such a long road to recovery, he says the broken arm isn’t stopping him from playing.
3) Ryan Kalil , the center, will spearhead the run game and try to keep his boys in shape to control the deadly Denver pass rush.
Once again, I’ll avoid the obvious choices.
1) Ronnie Hillman and CJ Anderson need to establish the run, or Carolina will feast on Peyton Manning with the pass rush and his less than desirable arm strength.
2) Matt Paradis and Louis Vasquez have been pretty awful all year. They need to play the games of their careers to have a chance at a victory and a roster spot next season.
3) TJ Ward will have the task of playing center field and likely containing Greg Olsen. He gave up 144 to Gronk, so Wade Phillips needs to draw up some new schemes.
4) I said I would avoid the obvious, but we all know Peyton Manning is the key to Denver’s success. If he plays like he did against Seattle in 2013, Kuechly and company will eat him alive. If he can have a vintage moment for the century, the oldest QB to ever start a Super Bowl can become the oldest one to ever win one.
Jake– I think that Carolina’s Defense will match Denver’s. Peyton won’t have many opportunities to establish offense. Carolina will get out to a big lead, Denver will mount a small comeback, and eventually fades as Carolina wins their first Super Bowl in Franchise history. (Note, I’m a bit biased due to the $200 I bet on them)
Carolina- 31, Denver- 20
Chase- As much as this pains me to say, my brain has to pick Carolina in this one. I’m not sure how they do it as well as they do on offense, but they are terrific. Newton is hands-down the MVP this year (something I’d never thought in a million years I would be saying) and Luke Keuchly has to be the best draft pick of this decade. Denver’s defense is unreal, and that will keep them in the game. Carolina will struggle, but the dual-threat combination of Newton will give Denver enough problems on defense, and I highly doubt Manning is able to play a mistake free game against what is a very tenacious and opportunistic Carolina defense.
Carolina- 28, Denver- 17
Michael- If you told me before the year that Carolina would be representing the NFC in Super Bowl 50, I’d tell you that you were crazy. Cam Newton and a ferocious defense have led the Panthers to a miraculous season, losing only one game. Denver is led by the best defense in the league in my mind, and I think Von Miller and Demarcus Ware will be living in the backfield come February 7. Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips will have their hands full in trying to contain an explosive offense led by Newton, but they also will have to stop Jonathan Stewart. The Broncos offense will have to find holes in the Panthers defense, and look for Emmanuel Sanders and Owen Daniels to make big plays. Manning will probably have a turnover, but he is a hall of fame quarterback who has had his back against the wall before. The Panthers will get the ball down one point late in the fourth quarter, but the Denver defense will win them Super Bowl 50.
Denver- 28, Carolina- 27
Harrison- Peyton Manning chokes again come playoff time… Shocker. While the Broncos have a great defense, one of the best in recent seasons, I don’t see the future Hall of Famer getting it done. Manning is one of the best regular season QBs ever but he also holds the record for most playoff losses. With the exception of his lone Super Bowl victory, Manning has a reputation for not showing up in the playoffs. Remember last time we saw him in the Super Bowl? Yikes. If he couldn’t get it done in his prime, I have my doubts he gets it done at this point of his career when Gary Kubiak is essentially sending the guy’s corpse on the gridiron. This is Peyton’s “last rodeo” but Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers don’t send him into the sunset the way he hoped. The Broncos prevent Cam from having a huge game, but the defense does their part and Manning throws multiple costly picks against the talented Panthers’ D.
Carolina 27, Denver 14