In analyzing Super Bowl 50 there are several angles I have considered in attempting to make my pick. There are the Panthers who posted 80 points in their two playoff games. Then there is Peyton Manning, who has gutted out two playoff wins to make his fourth trip to the big game. I decided a deeper diver is necessary for a prediction in the contest that former Redskins radio play-by-play announcer Frank Herzog once dubbed as the “biggest game in the history of Western civilization.” It comes down to the biggest star on each team. The play of the quarterbacks will determine the winner.
Peyton Manning vs. Carolina Defense
Manning has not been spectacular in the postseason. Efficient is a more accurate description of his games against Pittsburgh and New England. Manning will face a Panther defense that was the sixth best during the NFL regular season. In the playoffs, Carolina’s D has at times appeared to be of the “bend but don’t break” style. Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Arizona’s Carson Palmer combined to average 276 passing yards against the Panthers. Yet, Carolina is allowing less than 20 points a game.
Cam Newton vs. Denver Defense
In his two playoff games, Newton‘s quarterback rating of 113.4 is higher than that of his 99.4 achieved during the regular season. Denver had the top0ranked defense in the regular season. Of all the teams in the playoffs, the Broncos have the number one defense against the pass. That was evident in the AFC Championship Game when they snagged two interceptions from Tom Brady.
My Pick: Broncos
I see the Denver defense doing enough to keep Newton from having a monster game. On the offensive side, Manning will find enough cracks in the Panthers and lead the Broncos to the win.