Super Bowl 50 is this Sunday and the number one seeds of both the AFC and the NFC will square off in San Francisco on February 7th. The NFC team is the 17-1 Carolina Panthers and the AFC team is the 14-4 Denver Broncos. The Carolina Panthers have breezed through their two playoffs games, winning by large margins in both. That was not the case for the Denver Broncos, but the Denver defense came through when it was important and helped Denver make yet another Super Bowl appearance. The Panthers are highly favored to win this Super Bowl match up, but the Denver Broncos are overlooked in many ways, with them being the number one seed in their conference and division leader as well. We will see if the Denver Broncos high powered defense can stop the Carolina Panthers fast-paced offense in the 50th Super Bowl.
The Carolina Panthers have not appeared in a Super Bowl since 2003. In that Super Bowl, Tom Brady and the Patriots took the game on a last minute drive and made a clutch field goal by Adam Vinatieri. The Panthers then went into a slump until they drafted quarterback Cam Newton. Newton has brought the Panthers to a whole new level especially this year. The Panthers went 15-1 in the regular season and have controlled their playoff games so far. Their only loss came to the Atlanta Falcons, who did not make the playoffs themselves. The Panthers were able to bounce back and win the rest of their regular season games. This gave them a bye week making them the number one seed in the NFC. The Seattle Seahawks met the Panthers in the Divisional Round, but the Panthers would come out on top 31-24. Then they would trump the Cardinals 49-15, breezing their way into San Francisco to Super Bowl 50.
The Denver Broncos are a rather underestimated team. Coming from the weak AFC as it is, they still do not receive the respect they deserve. They have the #1 defense of this year, and have multiple Super Bowl titles under their belt. Their “No Fly Zone” defense has stepped up big this year, especially Aqib Talib and Darian Stewart. Their offense, led by Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, and CJ Anderson, has played decent throughout the season, but the Broncos have won and lost many games by small margins. Lastly, head coach Gary Kubiak has led the team to their first Super Bowl in his first season as head coach. Last coach, John Fox, led them to the playoffs with a 12-4 record, but lost in the divisional round to the Colts, 24-13.
Peyton Manning, appearing in his fourth Super Bowl, and second in the last three years, will most likely be playing his last game in the NFL on Sunday. Drafted by the Indianapolis Colts first overall in 1998, Peyton had a stellar career. Two Super Bowls with the Colts, and then a major roadblock hit. Peyton had to get neck surgery in the last year of his current contract with the Colts. Then, a rather surprising move was made, sending Peyton to Denver to be the starting quarterback for the Broncos. There, he would play in Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks, and would get pummeled by a score of 43-8. Now, he faces off against the Panthers in his last potential appearance on an NFL field. Can he go out with a win, or end his career with a loss in Super Bowl 50?
Tune in to watch the Super Bowl 50 this Sunday, February 7th. This could either be a major blowout or the game of the century!