It’s all come down to this. The No. 1 seeds from both the NFC and AFC will clash on the NFL’s biggest stage during its biggest year as the Super Bowl celebrates 50 years with the clash between the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers and AFC Champion Denver Broncos.
Super Bowl Sunday has always been a national holiday for football fans across the world, a day to celebrate the game at its biggest moment regardless of if your team is playing in the big game. It’s just a day to celebrate football and everything that we love about it, as well as hope for a damn good game to close out the 2015 season.
We’re previewing Super Bowl 50 and sharing our picks for today’s big game:
Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos
Sunday, 6:30pm, CBS
With the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos poised to meet on the NFL’s biggest stage their quarterbacks couldn’t be more polar opposites of each other. Here you have a veteran Broncos team led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning versus an up-and-coming young talent in Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. But both quarterbacks have something in common: they’ve both worked their butts off to get to this moment.
This is a match-up that has the potential to be great with two of the league’s best defenses taking on two of the league’s top offenses. They’ve both battled their way to the top of their conference en route to the game’s biggest stage.
This will be Denver’s eighth Super Bowl appearance — they won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998 — and the Panthers’ second Super Bowl appearance, their last coming in 2003 in a 32-29 loss to the New England Patriots.
As the NFL’s biggest game celebrates its 50th birthday, fans around the world will be watching and hoping for an enthralling match-up worthy of Super Bowl 50.
Why Carolina Will Win
While the Broncos defense has been a dominant force all season, they’ll face arguably their toughest challenge on the game’s biggest stage when they face Cam Netwon and the Carolina offense. They’ve been dominant on all facets of offense from the passing game to the running game and at times they’ve seen virtually unstoppable. The Panthers have an incredibly well-rounded team with an equally dominant offense and defense that has carried them as the league’s best team this season. While the Panthers’ offense has gotten most of the attention it’s easy to forget that they have an equally potent defense that has whopped offensive powerhouses Arizona and Seattle in the playoffs. With this team firing on all cylinders they’ll be a difficult force to stop, and they’re the favorites for a reason.
Why Denver Will Win
For the Broncos it all comes down to defense. While Peyton Manning is certainly the talk of the week — with this presumably being his last game before he rides into retirement — it’s his defense that will ultimately be the defining factor in the outcome of this game. While Carolina’s Cam Newton has been sensational all season long leading an effective passing and running attack, the Broncos defense has been playing at a whole other level all season. Not to mention with the Manning hype, since his improbable return in week 17, this has felt like a team of destiny. And we all know that with teams of destiny that this stuff is already fated.
Alyssa’s Pick: Carolina 31, Denver 27
When it comes down to it these are two of the NFL’s best defenses, which means that this game is going to come down to who is more dominant on offense. While I’d love for Peyton to win another Super Bowl on his way out, Carolina’s offense is just too damn dominant not to win this one.
Lizzie’s Pick: Denver 24, Carolina 23
Denver’s played close games all year. They have the best defense in football. They have the legendary quarterback who’s most likely playing his last game in the NFL. It’s all there. Carolina is a pretty good team, but one can’t play against another good team and destiny. It’s just not possible.
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