From the ashes of this past season, we’ve arrived to our destination.
Two teams will vie to hoist that Lombardi Trophy in the 50th installment of the Super Bowl. It’s only fitting that the two best teams in each conference do battle in Santa Clara this year.
The AFC will feature the Denver Broncos representing them. Their season experienced turmoil of a different kind.
Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler split time as the starting quarterback, amid rumors of Manning’s imminent retirement. They have top receivers and a running game that is to be feared. But their defense wins games! Their defense, led by linebackers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, is the same defense that shut down Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to advance. If they have any hope of winning, it’s the defense that needs to step up more than ever.
The Carolina Panthers will represent the NFC. Their season left football fans divisive, but those fans cannot ignore the Panthers’ talent.
Cam Newton led this team to a near-perfect season and is a strong shoe-in for the NFL MVP. His cast around him grows alongside him as a feared force. Their defense isn’t to joke around with either. Led by linebacker Luke Kuechly and cornerback Josh Norman, their defense took advantage of the Arizona Cardinals to advance. Cam can carry the team, but it’s their defense that must be lights out.
The two best teams in the NFL may be similar but are slightly different in their tales. Whereas Denver could be in a transition, Carolina might be primed for a dynasty. The Panthers ooze charisma from their play, while the Broncos race down the field with their play calls.
This matchup will depend on whether Peyton Manning can avoid father-time and go blow-for-blow with Cam Newton. This also depends on whether each defense will answer the call to become elite.
It’s a toss-up for sure. You can make a case for either team, and each football fan will understand.
If Carolina wins, Newton solidifies his legacy as a player. He hasn’t even reached his prime yet.
If Denver wins, Manning becomes 2-2 in the record books for Super Bowls. It would be bittersweet to win one last time.
In the end, nothing is guaranteed. It’s tempting to witness a glimpse of greatness personified through the actions of one man. However, it’s more enticing for that once great man to walk into the sunset with the mission successful.
Prediction: Broncos 27, Panthers 24
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