At first glance, it’s very easy to say that Cam Newton and his NFC Champion group Carolina Panthers, with only a single loss this year, will take the Lombardi trophy. Upon further review though, this could be anybody’s game because the Denver Broncos defense is simply incredible. It’s impossible to compare the two but their backend is exactly on par rank-wise with the Panthers offense. In other words, this game is actually very evenly matched.
It’s because of the Panthers electric offense and always-deadly ground game, that they are so heavily preferred in this one. Super Bowl odds favor Carolina by -6 naturally because of their dual threat under center – Cam Newton. The Auburn alum and likely NFL Most Valuable Player, has been nothing short of sensational this season. Newton led all quarterbacks in rushing attempts, yards, yards-per-attempt, touchdowns and rushing yards per game as well. Meanwhile, through the air, he also threw 35 touchdowns with only 10 picks. Even Peyton thinks he should be the NFL MVP.
Now while Newton has stolen most of the headlines leading up to Super Bowl 50, the Denver defense is not to be outdone. The group was hands down the best in the league all year. They held their opponents to the fewest yards per game with 283.1 and also led the league in sacks with 52.0. Behind soon to be free agent phenom Von Miller, the Broncos AFC Championship winning defense will keep this game close.
Outside of that though, it’s going to come down to Peyton Manning. The Broncos decided to give Peyton the reins to the playoffs over backup Brock Osweiler before their Divisional dance with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Manning wasn’t outstanding completing only 21 of 37 passes for 222 yards and no touchdowns. The team still found a way to get it done and advance though. The following week, Peyton connected on 17 of 32 for 176 yards. Although, veteran tight end Owen Daniels, was able to bail him out with two touchdown catches to help secure the AFC title.
The question remains, if the Broncos receivers can’t keep Peyton out of trouble, will the team have enough in their arsenal to take down Carolina? In Manning’s ten games played in the regular season, he threw nine touchdowns with 17 interceptions. For one of the best quarterbacks of all time, this has been one of his worst years ever. If he can find a way to turn the tides though on Sunday, Peyton could ride off into the Hall of Fame sunset with his second and final Lombardi ring. If not, we could be witnessing the start of something extremely special in Carolina.