Storyline: After two weeks of talk and hype, the big game is finally here. Super Bowl 50 is upon us. There are plenty of story lines heading into this one. The Broncos come into this one as the underdogs but they sport a dominate defense and a quarterback in Peyton Manning who wants to win the Super Bowl in what might be his final game. The upstart Panthers are prohibited favorites in this game. Cam Newton and company will be looking to deliver the first Super Bowl in franchise history and cap off an improbable 18-1 season. Contrary to popular belief, I think this will be a great game. Here are my three keys for both teams.
Three Keys for the Broncos
1. Get the Ground Game Going Earlier: The best way to slow down Carolina’s pass rush is to run the football. The Broncos have to establish their ground game early, get into short yardage situations and take pressure off of Manning.
2. Go at Robert McLain: The Broncos need to isolate McLain in coverage. Carolina will match up Josh Norman on Demaryius Thimas. Manning has to look to Emmanuel Sanders early because that’s who McLain will be covering. Tight end Owen Daniels could also have a big day.
3. Stop Newton on Designed Runs: Carolina runs Cam Newton on a lot of designed runs. Denver’s front seven needs to control the line of scrimmage and limit Newton’s effectiveness as a runner. The Broncos will get pressure on him but they need to stop him as a runner.
Three Keys for the Panthers
1. Control the Line of Scrimmage Defensively: The Panthers need to keep Denver’s ground game in check. If Denver establishes their running game, they’ll hang around in this game and the longer they hang around, the more interesting this game could get.
2. Get Consistent Pressure On Manning: Look, Peyton is not what he used to be but if he gets time, he can still beat a defense throwing the football. The Panthers need to get consistent pressure and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. Carolina does that better than any other team in the league with their down four.
3. Stick With What Got You Here: The Panthers run the football better than any team in the league. Run the football. Don’t get cute. The best way to slow down two edge rushers like Ware and Miller is to run at them. It’ll cool their asses off!
Prediction: Carolina 38 Denver 24: I think this will be a high scoring game despite the fact that both teams play good defense. Carolina has been the highest scoring team in the league this season. Tonight, they’ll prove that they are more than just a sound running game and a good defense. The Panthers will prove that they are a team by beating Denver and winning Super Bowl 50.