After all the parity talk throughout the season, it turns out the two best teams from the AFC and NFC are playing for all the NFL rubles in the City by the Bay.
The Carolina Panthers opened as a 3.5 point favorite as soon as they finished off the Cardinals in the NFC Championship game. Soon there after the early money came in fast and hard on the Panthers and the line presently sits at 6.
And why wouldn’t 67% of the money be on the team that has lost only one game this year and have gone 22-4 in their last 26 overall? They have the soon to be announced MVP in Cam Newton and one of the most opportunistic defense’s led by LB Luke Kuechly — who has back to back pick 6’s in the playoffs this year alone.
But with all that being said, I don’t think for one minute that the Broncos can’t win this “one off” type game.
Meaning if they played this one ten times, I do think the Panthers would probably win at least seven of them. But with two weeks to prepare and get healthy, I think Peyton Manning and the Broncos fantastic defense can find a way to win a low scoring affair and let the “best” Manning ride off into an awaiting TV booth as a SB Champ for the second time.
I’m not going to bore you with the “inside football” stuff about this one. If you are reading this, you’ve watched both of these team plenty to have a hot sports take of your own on how either team can get it done.
Instead, I would like to take the intangible angle of the SB week in general here.
The Panthers and their leader, Cam, are basically virgin’s when it comes to an event like the Super Bowl week. Ticket request’s, family obligation’s, etc can really distract a young team-which the Panthers are before they even take the field on Sunday at 6:30 EST.
On the other hand, the Broncos have NFL lifer’s on their side led by the usually unflappable Manning along with playoff experienced guys like DB Aqib Talib and DE DeMarcus Ware. Add in the fact their head coach Gary Kubiak has been a part of 6 Super Bowl’s as a player and coach and you can see where I might be leaning in this one.
And before you scroll down in the message board here and rip me for disrespecting Cam and the Panthers, back away from the keyboard.
Would I be surprised if the Panthers rolled the Broncos and Manning came up short again in a big game? The answer is no, I wouldn’t. The Panthers have been hammering teams all year and roster for roster they are the better side by a wide margin.
But let me ask you a question.
Would it surprise you that the game is close in the 4th quarter and Denver’s defense or Special Teams-not Peyton Manning- came up with a big play/s vs. the in-experienced Panther’s side to secure a Broncos victory?
Either way, I think this is Manning’s last ride and Cam’s first of many SB appearance’s and could be a great game.
Hell, anything but the annoying Patriots and Seahawks is fine with this NFL fan.
Von Miller MVP