Carolina Panthers v Denver Broncos
Monday February 8
So we are down to the final NFL match of the year, the sports’ showpiece and its last game for seven months, The Super Bowl.
We’re off to the Golden State of California for Super Bowl 50 where Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos face (sure-to-be-MVP) Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers.
We picked the Broncos to defeat the New England Patriots in this column two weeks ago due to its defense and hoped Manning would manage the game making sound decisions with the ball to score enough points and get over the line. That proved to be the case despite Rob Gronkowsk’s best efforts in the final seconds as the defense dominated Tom Brady all game and Denver ran out 20-18 winners. This teams pass rush managed to hit Brady an incredible 23 times which was more than double any amount he’d suffered this year until then.
Plenty have commented on the Patriots offensive line being the reason but that’s only partly true, DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller are playing at a very high level off the edge and they can get to any QB. Cam Newton will need to get the ball out quick with the pressure he’ll be facing and waiting there are the three Denver corners Aqil Talib, Chris Harris Jr and Bradley Roby. You will be hard pressed to find a better defensive back trio than that and those five names on the defense are the key to Denver winning this game.
Carolina’s offense though, has been free scoring all year and the 500pts they amassed in the regular season was the highest in the NFL. In the two playoff games so far they have scored 31 against the Seattle Seahawks and a whopping 49 against the Arizona Cardinals. Both those teams also have good defenses so it was very impressive and Denver hasn’t faced an offense with so many different threats like Carolina’s. Cam is a true multidimensional threat and if they get some points up early on you would have to wonder how Denver will be able to chase the game, the Broncos offense just hasn’t shown it can do that this year.
The Panthers have been the best team in the NFL all year and absolutely deserve to be here and as noted above if they do get up early this could get a little ugly for Denver. That would be tough to stomach for their fans as just two years ago they lost 43-8 to Seattle in this fixture. BUT, there is something special about this Broncos defense that Carolina won’t have seen and we don’t see them being blown out this time, we will take the +5.5 or if you’re feeling brave hit the 3.00 on offer for Denver in the Moneyline and see if Peyton signs off in style.