Super Bowl 50 is this Sunday. What a historic event in sports, and the two teams competing fit the bill. The two top seeds in their respective conferences, the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, face-off in what should be the most exciting game of the season.
Not only is this game great because it is the Super Bowl but both teams have everything that lead to exciting football. They both have defenses that can bring pressure on the QB and cause turnovers, they have some of the most exciting offensive weapons in football and they have veteran players who have been longing for this opportunity their entire careers.
Then there is the biggest Super Bowl story line: the quarterbacks.
You have Cam Newton who has been the best player in the league on the hottest team in the league this season. Newton is possibly the most dynamic QB to ever play in a Super Bowl.
Then there is Peyton Manning, the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yards and touchdowns. This all-time great is at the end of his career however so his play has certainly taken a hit. But with this potentially being Manning’s last game, ‘the sheriff’ may have one last great moment in him.
With this said, let’s get to the predictions for the game. For this we have a committee of 15 people, 11 writers for After Overtime and four guests from various media outlets. Let’s see how the game is expected to go.
Denver Radio’s Benjamin Allbright: The keys to the game for me are how the Broncos offensive line holds up and if the Broncos defense is able to stop the rushing attack of Carolina.
Denver Broncos 23 Carolina Panthers 21
Brian Byrnes: The stout defense of Carolina will force Peyton Manning to carry the load offensively, which he just can’t do anymore. On the other side, Cam Newton has never backed down from the big stage and I don’t expect him to do so now. Carolina simply looks too tough to beat.
Denver Broncos 17 Carolina Panthers 31
ESPN’s Freddie Coleman: I believe the Panthers defense will make the Broncos one dimensional and put too much stress on the Denver defense.
Denver Broncos 16 Carolina Panthers 27
Kevin Coughlin: The Panthers are the better overall team heading into the Super Bowl. Aided by an uncharacteristic melt down by Arizona, they absolutely dismantled the Cardinals (the team I picked to win the whole thing) in the NFC Championship game. Manning’s Broncos have more big game experience and, while Carolina boasts a phenomenal defense of their own, the Broncos have the league’s best defense. It’s up to Manning to do enough to win the game, similar to the AFC Championship against New England.
Denver Broncos 23 Carolina Panthers 20
Jeremy Dawson: The Carolina Panthers are the best team in football with the best individual player in Cam Newton. The Denver Broncos have the top defense in the league and Peyton Manning, who is playing what is likely the last game of his historic career. The Broncos aren’t supposed to win this game, but how can Manning make it to this point of his career, and lose?
Denver Broncos 24 Carolina Panthers 17
Jonathan Dawson: This season, Cam Newton should almost win the Super Bowl on merit alone. But with Manning out there, and the defense playing the way it is, I have the Broncos edging it out.
Denver Broncos 27 Carolina Panthers 20
Martin Gallogly: Both teams look like real contenders, though the Bronco’s defensive line got some real help from an awful performance from the Patriots offensive line in the AFC Championship. All the same, Manning will be looking to go out with a bang and Denver will get a nice boost from the game being played on the west coast. On the whole though, Cam Newton will not be denied.
Denver Broncos 16 Carolina Panthers 28
Djavan Gomes: Although John Elway built an elite defense after being embarrassed by the Seahawks two years ago, I don’t think they can contain Cam Newton and a Panthers offense firing on all cylinders. Should be a competitive game but Peyton’s last hurrah will fall short and Carolina will walk away with a double digit win.
Denver Broncos 24 Carolina Panthers 37
Ryan Gregorio: SuperBowl 50 will be a better game than most expect. The Broncos defense is the best in the NFL for a reason, and Von Miller and crew will not make it easy for this years league MVP, Cameron Newton. The Steelers and Patriots highflying offenses haven’t been doing that well against the Broncos this post season but I believe that Cam will take a late 10-point lead and Peyton Manning will not be able to make a comeback.
Denver Broncos 17 Carolina Panthers 27
Fox Sports 1’s Mike Hill: Heart is with Peyton but Carolina is just too good.
Denver Broncos 23 Carolina Panthers 27
Bleacher Report’s Ian Kenyon: With the public heavily favoring the Panthers, we have to remember that the Broncos are actually a very good team, boasting the league’s top defense. Chris Harris and Aqib Talib should be able to shut down the Panthers’ weak receiving cast, which leaves the rest of the defense to focus on the run. I expect a hard-fought battle in the trenches that will keep the score low.
Denver Broncos 17 Carolina Panthers 13
Jacob Marrocco: I think the Panthers are simply too much for the Broncos. Obviously there have been upsets before, but I don’t see Peyton Manning riding off into the sunset with ring No. 2.
Denver Broncos 14 Carolina Panthers 30
Miles Montgomery: The Panthers have a very well balanced offensive attack on the ground and through the air. If the Broncos pass rush gets to Newton or the secondary dominates the Panthers receivers, expect Newton to carry the team on his back, as Superman would, and try to save the day.
Denver Broncos 24 Carolina Panthers 13
Troy Sawyer: The Denver Broncos will be able to stop Cam Newton and his lack of wide receivers. But one of the Panthers’ strength is their running game, which the Patriots didn’t have. This might keep Von Miller and Demarcus Ware inside to stop the run instead of rushing outside straight for the quarterback. They will also have to keep a guy back just in case Cam Newton rushes. Even If Denver is able to contain Cam, the Panthers defense will make Manning’s life a nightmare.
Denver Broncos 17 Carolina Panthers 27
Ryan Spooner: Cam Newton continues to up his game each week. Denver struggled to run the ball against New England, and Carolina is 3rd in the league against the run. I’ll take the more balanced offense and single toughest matchup (Newton) in the game. Dabbing is not going away anytime soon.
Denver Broncos 24 Carolina Panthers 28
Final Results (Average of all scores): Denver Broncos 20 Carolina Panthers 24
Your 2016 After Overtime Super Bowl 50 Champion are the Carolina Panthers.