It’s all come down to this: the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will head to Santa Clara in sunny Southern California in a battle for Super Bowl 50. The match up between the AFC and NFC’s no. 1 seeds features the leagues most intimidating defense in the Broncos and a Panthers offense that lead the league in scoring. Something has to give. Will it be Cam Newton’s Superman status or will someone finally find a way to block DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller? The point spread is currently favoring the Carolina Panthers at -4.5 to win Super Bowl 50.
Super Bowl 50: Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers
Point Spread: Panthers -4.5 Over/under: 45.5 Date: Sunday, February 7, 6:30pm ET Location:Levi’s Stadium Santa Clara, CA
If there’s one offense that is primed to take the +4.5 underdog Broncos defense by storm, it’s the Panthers. Cam Newton is having the best year of his career, throwing two touchdown passes and running for two more in the NFC Championship game. A dual threat, Newton can simply evade Denver’s suffocating pass rush by taking off on foot. Should the Broncos decide to keep a linebacker in to spy, it’s one less defender covering a stable of young and very speedy receivers who have been finding ways to get open for big plays game after game.
The Panthers need to be in the same conversation as the Broncos when it comes to defensive productivity. Carolina forced six turnovers against what was supposed to be one of the league’s best offenses in the Arizona Cardinals. The secondary is deep enough to stifle any passing attack and a group of linebackers, including the league’s best in Luke Kuechly, make it hard to run the ball or keep a clean pocket. With Denver struggling to move the ball with Peyton Manning’s failing arm, the Panthers defense could send the future-Hall-of-Famer into retirement with another Super Bowl loss.
The defense couldn’t have played a better game than they did against New England in the AFC Championship game, but they’ll face a Panthers offense that has more depth and dimension than the Patriots. Denver will need to get pressure rushing just four, so they can dedicate resources to coverage down field. If they give Newton too much time, he’ll wreak havoc with his arm and his legs, making big plays in whatever way he can. It’s clear there will be little margin for error on defense and with the stakes so high, it’ll be up to Ware and Miller to bring Newton back down to Earth.
The Broncos need a better performance from the offense in Super Bowl 50 if they hope to win the game. With Manning’s limited ability, the rest of the offense will need to step it up by limiting dropped passes and finding away to get open against the Panthers stellar secondary. More importantly, Denver needs to find balance through the running game. Without an ability to run the ball, they’ll be relying too much on Manning’s arm to get the job done.
Super Bowl 50 Prediction
For the Broncos, this game will be won or lost on the efforts of their defense. Unfortunately, the offense has to play too and Denver is simply outmatched when compared to the -4.5 favored Panthers. Newton is playing at a level rarely seen in the NFL. Not only is he breaking records in both passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns, his play is elevating his teammates and it’s going to be too much for the Broncos to overcome.