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Superman vs. The Sheriff: Panthers and Broncos to face off in Super Bowl 50

Written by: Stefan Muro

 

The stage has been set for Super Bowl 50, on February 7, between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. For the first time in NFL history, two #1 drafted quarterbacks will square off. Both teams have some of the toughest defenses the league has ever seen.

 

Although the game is in Santa Clara, California, the Carolina Panthers are the home team and favored by 5.5 points to win the Lombardi Trophy. The (17-1) NFC Champions are lead by the projected league MVP in Cam Newton. Although his 3,837 passing yards ranks 16th (the middle of the pack) in the NFL, his 35 passing touchdowns tie for 2nd highest, with an additional 636 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing.  The Man of Steel powers the 2nd best rushing offense with an elite defense to compliment them.

 

The Panthers defense was nothing less than superb all season long. The speed, power and leadership of Luke Kuechly propelled what was a good defense, into a great defense. He led the team with 118 tackles while other Carolina defenders scored high in the stat sheets. While Josh Norman received credit as the new best cornerback in the league, Kurt Coleman racked up a team high of 7 interceptions for the 11th best passing defense in the league. Defensive tackle, Kwann Short leads the Panthers with 11 sacks for the 4th best rushing defense. Overall, Carolina has the 6th best defense going into the big game possibly without Thomas Davis Sr. Their star linebacker broke his arm against the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game and Davis says, “I wouldn’t miss the Super Bowl for the world.”

 

Although the (14-4) Denver Broncos have the NFL’s best overall defense, they are entering Super Bowl 50 as underdogs due to their recent 43-8 Super Bowl XLVIII blow out against the Seattle Seahawks. Fans suspect the 5.5-point margin is much larger than it appears and the number will continue to grow. After a sensational win against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, many of the Broncos players felt disrespected that all of the media outlets favor Carolina to win the Super Bowl. Star safety T.J. Ward said, “…Keep us as the underdogs… Tell us how bad we are, how we can’t stop or cover ‘this person,’ and I bet we win the Super Bowl.” Unlike the last Super Bowl, Von Miller is healthy and with team high 11 sacks, he leads a ruthless pass rush quarterbacks have feared all season long. With the help of other defensive stars like Demarcus Ware, Chris Harris, Jr. and Aqib Talib, Miller’s squad ranks a league high in total pass defense and 3rd in rushing defense. Miller looks to avenge his team’s postseason reputation and solidify the career of New Orleans’ greatest athletes.

 

 

 

The Panthers to face-off-against the Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

The Panthers to face-off-against the Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

Despite having a 9- touchdown and 17-interception campaign, 39-year-old Peyton Manning overcame injuries and low productivity all season long for an opportunity that could possibly make or break his legacy. After he got the last laugh in the famous “Manning vs. Brady” rivalry with the AFC Title, he became the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl in NFL history. Manning is also the first player to appear in 4 Super Bowls with 4 different head coaches. If the Broncos can overcome the Cinderella team of Carolina, Peyton will be the first starting quarterback in league history to win Super Bowls with multiple teams. He will also tie his younger brother, Eli with 2 Vince Lombardi trophies. It is only fitting to see The Sheriff ride off into the western sunset, back on top as a champion, with a 17-20 Super Bowl victory for the Denver Broncos.

 

Super Bowl 50 will be broadcasted live on February 7, on CBS, complete with the year’s best commercials. Halftime entertainment for this year is none other than Beyoncé who will preform with Coldplay.

 

 

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