And Then There Were Two: It’s Super Bowl Prediction Time!


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Pete Peterson, Staff Writer

And then there were two. We are less than two weeks away from the 50th Super Bowl and what a Super Bowl it will be. This is a game nearly everyone watches, even if some just watch it for the commericals. This year’s Super Bowl will have the reigning AFC Champions, the Denver Broncos, taking on the reigning NFC Champions the Carolina Panthers. Future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning will lead the Broncos as he looks to win his second Super Bowl (he has won once and lost twice). MVP candidate Cam Newton will look to win Carolina their first Super Bowl. A fun fact about both quarterbacks–both are former number one overall picks who spent their collegiate career in the SEC.

The Denver Broncos have had an up-and-down season. One might just automatically assume a Peyton Manning-led team would have a top notch offense, but it was just the opposite this year. The offense was average at best and Peyton really wasn’t Peyton for much of the season (he did miss significant time due to injury). Peyton ended the season with more interceptions than touchdowns, something he hasn’t done since the 90s. But even with mediocre play from the offense, the Broncos still finished with double digit wins and secured the number one seed in the AFC. This was mainly thanks to a GREAT defense led by pass rushers Von Miller and Demarcus Ware.

When the playoffs started no one was quite sure if Peyton would actually show up (he had spent previous weeks injured and not playing). He looked pretty solid in his first playoff game against the Steelers, solid enough to raise the eyebrows of fans and sports commentators. After the narrow victory, the Broncos welcomed in the New England Patriots, led by Peyton’s biggest foe, Tom Brady. In this game, Peyton took his performance from the previous week and elevated it. However, this still didn’t win Denver the game. The defense played lights out and secured the Broncos a victory and a trip to the Super Bowl.

The Carolina Panthers have had their best season in twenty years as an NFL team. Actually, one of the best seasons any team has ever had. A season-ending injury to deep threat Kelvin Benjamin  in summer workouts made some wonder quite how good this team could be. Well they shocked everyone as they were nearly perfect, racking up a 15-1 record and the number one seed in the NFC. This record was thanks to an MVP caliber season by Cam Newton and an outstanding defense led by Luke Kuechly and Josh Norman.

Going into the playoffs everyone wondered if Carolina could keep it up because they really never beat any great team during the regular season. Well they proved that they were there for a reason with a victory against Seattle in the divisional round (Seattle had been to two straight super bowls). Granted, most of the points came in the first half and they collapsed in the second half, but they were able to keep their composure and secure a victory. Following the victory over Seattle, they took on the Arizona Cardinals and their terrific defense. The Panthers essentially dominated the entire game, putting up over 40 points and causing multiple interceptions. The game was essentially like the rest of the season, Cam Newton making spectacular plays and the defense playing lights out. Going into the Super Bowl, the Panthers are red hot.

Normally I don’t like to make predictions out of fear that I’ll jinx the team I want to win, but this year I feel safe to make my prediction. I think the Panthers will secure a 37-28 victory over the Denver Broncos (#keeppounding).