Cam Newton vs Broncos defense holds the key to the outcome of Superbowl 50.

beer and football Super Bowl 50

This Sunday, I predict Carolina will produce the goods offensively when it matters and Cam Newton will be MVP

Get your 6 packs of American beer, put the nachos in the oven, and get the popcorn ready for a long night stint. Superbowl 50 is not an event to be missed, even for the soft Brits!

This Superbowl will be fascinating, because it will almost certainly be decided by one key battle: The Panthers offense versus the Broncos defense. The Broncos booked their place on Sunday because they have the best defence in the NFL by an absolute mile. Their defense has been so good that a few pundits have resurrected the famous phrase “Orange Crush” used to describe the legendary defensive unit of 1977-79. With household names that would scare any quarterback – Miller, Ware and Wolfe, and threats against in the backfield to boot, there’s plenty to worry the Panthers, who haven’t had much to worry about until this point.

Tom Brady couldn’t quite unlock the Broncos defence, so can Cam Newton? The first thing to note: The Broncos have been excellent against pocket quarterbacks like Brady, but less good against more dynamic all-rounders. Alex Smith, one such dynamic quarterback, dismantled the Broncos in their only significant loss of the regular season. So the evidence is there that Cam’s scintillating form could continue, even against the best defense in the NFL. The Panthers will not run away in the first half like they did in their two previous playoff games, but they may just be able to find the key to unlock the Broncos defense with their dynamism.

If the Broncos do manage to keep up their excellent defensive record, they have to keep the chains moving on their own drives. After all, there is no point in keeping points off the board if you can’t put then on yourself. Peyton Manning may be an NFL legend, but he has a questionable playoff record (13 wins and 13 losses), has had an unremarkable season by his standards, and doesn’t have the same weapons around him as he did 2 years ago when the Broncos last made the Superbowl. Demaryius Thomas has also not been as successful receiving in previous years, and the team seem reliant on their solid running game and Emmanuel Sanders’ receiving yards. They face a Carolina defense with a Pro-Bowler in every part of the field, a terrifying proposition for a team already struggling with confidence with the ball in hand.

Carolina on the other hand, have no such problems moving down the field. Even if the Broncos restrict them to one and two yard gains and a few incompletions, Newton has been throwing 30-yard passes to devastating effect all season. With Greg Olsen and Corey Brown in form in the receiving positions, and Jonathan Stewart posting outrageous rushing numbers in the post-season, the Panthers undoubtedly have enough big plays in their arsenal.

If you believe in superstition, the Broncos are wearing white on Sunday, and have never won the Superbowl in their famous orange. The famous phrase “Offense sells tickets, Defence wins championships” has been knocking around a bit – which obviously favours the Broncos. Having said that, superstition and traditional phrases seem to be the only indications of a Broncos win. Carolina are 17-1 all season, Cam Newton is unstoppable and everything that has happened up to this moment makes you think it may be Carolina’s year. It will be a low scoring close affair, but Carolina will produce the goods offensively when it matters, Newton will be MVP, and Panthers fans will be talking about this season for decades to come.

 


Scott AvatarSCOTT SIMPKIN is a UK sports journalist with a growing interest in sports in the US, particularly American football and baseball. He has previously contributed to publications including Palatinate Online and FourFourTwo.

Can Manning Live up to His Hype, or Will Sunday be His Final Game?

Peyton_Manning_2014

He hasn’t been at his best all season, but Peyton Manning can still come through, in what could be his last Super Bowl, by grabbing his second ring in Santa Clara this Sunday.

The Denver QB hasn’t quite lived up to his hype since the road to San Francisco opened up in September. He has been plagued by injury this season and many speculate that he will be retiring at the end of the game on Sunday. Manning himself has refused to deny these speculations.

However, the post-season is when the true greats shine, and the Panthers could be the subject of one final demolition by Manning.

Manning and his Broncos have the experience to give Newton and the Panthers a run for their money. With the league’s No.1 defense battling the No.6, I don’t see it as a high scoring game, but it will certainly be and exciting one.

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Thane Colcy sports bloggerTHANE COLCY is a Canadian sports fan currently living in Melbourne, Australia but still following American football and basketball from down-under.

Cam Newton Confident in Carolina Victory

Does Cam Newton have the team behind him that can make his Super Bowl dream come true this Sunday?

With the big game in Santa Clara less than a week away, it’s all or nothing for the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday. But Cam Newton doesn’t seem too worried claiming that even if both teams play their best, it will still be a victory for Carolina in Super Bowl 50.

The question is, is Newton speaking with too much assurance of himself and his team? Or is there truth to his confidence? Looking at the past season, you can see why the Carolina QB feels so assured, they are just the fourth team on record in the NFL to start a season with 14 successive wins. They led the NFL in total points, point differential and takeaways. So it’s not like Newton doesn’t have a leg to stand on with his claims.

Of course, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos aren’t going to hand anything over to Newton and the Panthers. Super Bowl 50 will be a tight game no question. But you have to admire Newton’s confidence and passion to win. Newton says that he has “been dreaming of this moment since I was 7 years old.”

Could Newton just be a bit over-confident? Or is does he have the team behind him that can make his dream come true? Based on the past season combined with his passion, I’m not one to argue with him.

 

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Thane Colcy sports bloggerTHANE COLCY is a Canadian sports fan currently living in Melbourne, Australia but still following American football and basketball from down-under.