Super Bowl 50 Preview
February 1st, 2016 by Brendan Pierce
The 50th edition of the world’s most popular sporting event will take place in Santa Clara, California at Levi’s Stadium on February 7th. The game will feature two teams with completely different identities.
The Carolina Panthers had the best record in the NFL this season going 17-1, earning the #1 seed in the NFC. They led the NFL in total points thanks to former Heisman Trophy winner, Cam Newton. Many people counted the Panthers out of playoff contention when Newton’s number one target, Kelvin Benjamin, went down with a knee injury before the season started. However, that injury did not deter the Panthers at all. Newton responded with an MVP caliber season and Carolina’s second appearance in the Super Bowl in team history.
Carolina is far from a one-man show. Not only do they have a prolific offense, but they have one of the best defenses in the league as well. Linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis anchor the defense. They also have stand out cornerback, Josh Norman, who is also enjoying a break out season. Carolina has been the NFL’s best team all season long, but can they cap off their terrific season with a Super Bowl victory?
While the Panthers are trying to cap off a tremendous season, one of the best to ever play the quarterback position is trying to ride off in the sunset with a Super Bowl victory ending his glorious career. Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning, is trying to become the oldest quarterback to win the big game since his boss, John Elway. However, this Broncos team does not play the same style of football as a typical Peyton Manning football team.
Denver relies heavily on their defense, which was by far the best in the NFL this season. They led the NFL in total defense, passing (YPG), as well as scoring defense. Pro bowlers Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, and Chris Harris Jr lead the defense.
These two teams play two completely different styles of football. If Denver wins, the game has to be low scoring and they have to trust that their defense can contain Cam Newton from having a monster game. If Carolina wins, they need to make sure they do not get slowed down by Denver’s pass rush. I think that battle in the game will determine the winner of the Lombardi Trophy.
The age difference between Cam Newton and Peyton Manning is 13 years. It is the biggest difference between starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history. Manning and Newton will be the first pair of quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall to square off in the big game. This Super Bowl matchup features one of the best to ever play the sport against one of the up and coming stars of the league. Only one of them can have the storybook ending. Will it be the icon ending his historic career? Or is it the young, emerging face of the NFL? We will find out Sunday.