If anybody says that they called a Denver-Carolina Super Bowl, they are a liar. Peyton Manning battled hand issues heading into the season and the Carolina Panthers lost their starting wide out Kelvin Benjamin in training camp. So yes, if anybody said they predicted this outcome, they’re full of it.
At the moment, the Panthers are favored over Denver to take Lombardi’s Silver. The updated Super Bowl 50 betting line at TopBet gives Carolina -220 odds to win it all. Reason being, their outstanding overall record this season and the fact that very few still have faith in Peyton Manning. As mentioned, he’s battled hand issues, where he had numbness in the fingers of his throwing hand. He’s also had lower body issues, with torn planter fascia in his foot. Now the only thing he has left to battle, is age.
When Cam Newton turned five-years-old, Peyton Manning was enrolling at the University of Tennessee. When Manning was drafted in 1998 by the Indianapolis Colts, Newton was getting his crusts cut and entering the fourth grade. Alright, I think you’ve now gotten a pretty good idea of the age differential. This is mostly why Manning and the Broncos began the week as +5 underdogs.
This game has the makings of one of the best Super Bowl’s in ages though. It’s the red hot Carolina offense against the electrifying Denver defense. Then everything else on top, is just icing on the cake.
The Panthers offense is led by likely-MVP Cam Newton, who leads all playoff quarterbacks in QB Rating (113.4), Yards per Attempt (9.92), and Completion Percentage (70%). They will also feature the best running back in the postseason Jonathan Stewart, who has just nine less yards than both CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman combined (189 vs 198) thus far.
The Broncos offense should be able to put points on the board, based on the amount of opportunities their defense gives them. The Broncos scoring percentage this season (scores divided by drives) ranked them 26th in the league at 31.7%. The Panthers, meanwhile, finished first in the league scoring on 43.4% of their drives. So in other words, don’t expect wonders from the Broncos offense. They’ll need all of the opportunities they can get from their defense – a unit that completely shut down Tom Brady and the usually-consistent Patriots.
Brady’s offensive line was cut apart in the AFC Championship, surrendering four sacks and allowing their team only 44 rushing yards. Brady was hurried so much he also threw two interceptions.
If the Bronco defense can show up again on Super Bowl Sunday in San Francisco, they could win it all and send the soon-to-be 40-year-old Peyton Manning off into the sunset in style.
If they don’t, watch for a repeat performance of the NFC Championship game.
In other words, watch for an absolutely dominant Carolina victory.
Submitted by Charyl Wisner