Column: the golden game

Sports editor Aaron Carter gives his two cents over Superbowl 50.

Column: the golden game

Aaron Carter, Sports Editor

The 50th Super Bowl in NFL history is tonight as the Denver Broncos face the Carolina Panthers. This game will not be below expectations; It will be as historic as it looks to be, and to make history there must be firsts and lasts. There will be many dabs, not a lot of touchdowns and the possibility of this being the last game of one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. 

This game offers up many interesting match ups. The new, hip vibe of the Carolina Panthers, who were not even thought to be contenders coming into this season will contrast with the veteran-team of the Denver Broncos.

The difference between the offense is pretty overt. The Panthers are a relaxed group of guys led by a flashy, jazzy and sometimes cocky Cam Newton. The Broncos are led by one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL’s history, the sheriff of Manning. Manning is not flashy or cocky, and certainly doesn’t possess the dab ability that Newton possesses, but one thing Manning does possess is experience.

One of the main reasons that Manning found his way back into the lineup when Broncos Coach Kubiak took out now backup QB Brock Osweiler was because of Manning’s experience and leadership ability. This experience, and the historic Broncos defense (#1 in the NFL), has gotten them to the Super Bowl. It says a lot about the Broncos defense that they were able to beat postseason-great Tom Brady and the New England Patriots without an outstanding offense which was led by a legendary quarterback who is an obvious decline. Manning can be often seen doing his best fainting goat impression when trying to avoid a sack; he will simply flop onto the ground to try to protect his aging body, which is comical but also reasonable.

The lack of mobility of Manning could pose a huge problem for Denver considering the Panthers have one of the best inside pass-rushing attacks in the NFL. Look for Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei to be big stars of the night (no pun intended).

On the other side of the ball, the Panthers possess what looks to be one of the best pure athletes the quarterback position has ever seen.

Newton has the height of a tight end, the weight of a linebacker, the speed of a wide receiver and the agility of a running back. These all make him one of the most impressive specimen in NFL history. He has not, however, yet faced the defense that he will be facing this upcoming Sunday.

The Broncos defense held Tom Brady and the prolific Patriots offense in check for most of the game (until the lapse late in the fourth quarter). That Patriots offense consisted of weapons such as Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edleman, and Danny Amendola. The Panthers possess no player on offense, outside of Cam Newton, close to the level of athleticism and skill those three have.

This gives me reason to believe that Broncos defense will hold the mighty Cam to less than two total touchdowns on the night, something teams have only done against him three times all season (JAC-wk 1, DAL-wk 12, ATL-wk 16).

Despite the great defense of the Broncos, the Panthers also possess a top defense. These two factors will therefore cancel out and it will be left to the offenses of both teams to decide this game.

Despite the Broncos pretty much locking up Newton, the Panthers will still find other ways to score. Newton will provide significant yards gained on the ground and through the air, but will have trouble finding the end zone. This is where his excellent running backs help him out. Manning, despite his greatness, will be unable to compete with the Panthers running game and will not be able to keep possession of the football for as long as he would like, giving his great defense less time to rest.

This unfortunately–I say unfortunate because I am a Broncos fan–will be enough for the Panthers to come out victorious on Sunday night.

Cam will only account for one touchdown, but the running game will help immensely as Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker will have good games against a great Broncos defense that is more concerned with stopping Cam.

The Panthers defense will also hold strong against a Broncos offense that has just scraped by the past two weeks against Pittsburgh and New England. Peyton Manning will yell ‘Omaha’ more times than ever, but it won’t make up for his lack of mobility and arm strength as the Panthers defense will get to Manning.

It will all end with a game winning field goal from Graham Gano to break the tie game, and the Panthers will win Super Bowl 50 with a score of 23-20.

Peyton Manning will exit the field, in what all likelihood will be his final game as a pro, to the selfie-taking, dabbing and most importantly, winning squad who done the black uniforms, which signal the end of a great career and a fantastic game.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.