Only three times in Super Bowl history has a team went undefeated or only received one loss during the regular season and taken home the Lombardi trophy in the same year. The 2015-16, 15-1 Carolina Panthers take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 hosted in Santa Clara, California at Levi’s Stadium.
Michael Frangomichalos – Sports Editor
Super Bowl 50’s match-up between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will feature the two best defenses in the NFL. Denver’s defense leads the league in total yards allowed and total points allowed while Carolina’s defense finishes a only couple spots behind Denver in both categories.
In Carolina’s divisional round game against Seattle, the Seahawks came up just short after scoring 24 unanswered points in a second half rally after trailing by 31. Even though Seattle came within a possession of forcing overtime, they showed that Carolina’s defense is vulnerable. However, the Panthers’ offense has built up early leads all season long which causes teams to turn one-dimensional and play catch up. Denver, on the other hand, has relied on their defense to keep them in games when their offense can’t seem to get the job done. But as of late, Denver has looked like more of a complete team each week. The match up that most determines the outcome of Sunday’s Super Bowl will be how Carolina’s offensive line holds up against Denver’s pass rush of Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. Their O-line has been the backbone to the best rushing attack in the league but Miller and Ware have proven how disruptive they can be.
If they can create pressure on Cam Newton and take away his mobility, forcing him to use his arm more than he’d like, Denver has a great chance to win this game. If their pass rush isn’t creating pressure and Carolina builds an early lead, it will be extremely difficult for Denver to make a comeback.
One turnover could decide the winner of this game. We have seen Carolina almost blow substantial leads, so anything is possible. In the back of my head, I have a feeling I could watch Super Bowl XLVIII all over again. But in the last game of Peyton Manning’s career, I think he retires a two-time Super Bowl Champion.
Denver 26, Carolina 24.
Michael Kelley – Staff Writer
The Carolina Panthers, lead by Cam Newton, are looking to become the fourth team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl while only receiving one loss during the regular season. Cam Newton had a magnificent season finishing with 3,837 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns, 636 rushing yards, and an additional 10 rushing touchdowns. Newton also ended with a career low of 10 interceptions, another reason to support his elite stature this season. Over Newton’s short five year career, the Panthers have created and built a great organization with tremendous coaches and players. Even with the high powered offense, the Panthers also had one of the best defenses in the NFL. The team is all around stacked with talent, teamwork and an amazing coaching staff. With all of this and the 15-1 regular season record, Carolina will be a tough team to get past in Super Bowl 50.
On the other side of the ball, the Denver Broncos offense is lead by one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks ever to play the game, Peyton Manning. Manning has a weak 1-2 record in the Super Bowl but still is considered to be one of the best. This is more than likely Manning’s last year as he plans to retire after this season. Going out with yet another ring is definitely something on Manning’s agenda. Despite the all time great quarterback, the Broncos are lead by their incredible defense, ranking first in the league. Their defense hopes to stop the unstoppable by limiting Newton’s big play ability as he has had no problem accomplishing this year. The Broncos defense has limited some of the best quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and some of the best NFL teams this year, but Carolina will easily be their toughest match up.
With Cam Newton the favorite to win the MVP title, the match up with the MVP and the best defense in football will be pretty interesting. Newton has found a way to make miraculous plays all season to get a win in the end and doing this, even in the Super Bowl, would not be surprising. He has only played with near perfection all season long which is why Carolina is the favorite to win Super Bowl 50. With the way Newton has played all season, it would be very difficult to bet against him. However, the greatest football teams to ever play the game have been built around their defense which is where the saying, “defense wins championships” originated from. History shows defense usually finds the way in the end to pick up the win, trophy, or ring.
All in all, the best quarterback this season and one of the greatest quarterbacks in history which is also lead by the best defense will go head to head to cap off the fifth decade of the Super Bowl era. It’s going to be a fantastic match up with amazing talent on both sides of the ball.
Defense might win champions, relating back to history, but not when that defense is going up against SuperCam.
Carolina 27, Denver 23.