Alright, it’s Super Bowl time. I’ve waited all week to put out my pick so I could take in all the stats and come up with an educated prediction on this game. If you listen to the JDS Podcast you’ll already know that I predicted the score to be 24-20 in favor of the Carolina Panthers. I am still sticking by that prediction after looking at all the angles. There are many people from the media and politicians to the person you work with that hasn’t watched a down of football all season that are predicting the Carolina Panthers to crush the Denver Broncos. I am not one of those people.
Denver does have a chance to win this game. As good as Carolina’s offense and defense are the Broncos have a great defense as well. Their passing game leaves a lot to be desired but that’s not all on Peyton Manning. Demaryious Thomas has disappeared and their rushing attack hasn’t been good through the playoffs but they did manage to beat the Steelers and the Patriots with great defense and just enough offense.
Manning doesn’t need to be at his best today, but something tells me he is going to have a very good game. If the Broncos defense can hold the Panthers under 25 points they have a very good chance to win. That’s going to be a lot harder said than done though. The Panthers have a surprisingly good passing game…no one thought that would be the case after Kelvin Benjamin went down before the season started. Guys like Ted Ginn and Corey Brown have stepped up and have been huge for the Panthers.
This game will come down to how a few players react to this big stage. Obviously Cam Newton, Greg Olsen, Ted Ginn, Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly. For the Broncos those players are Peyton Manning, Emmanuel Sanders, CJ Anderson, Ronnie Hillman, Demarcus Ware and Von Miller. There is also a wild card for both teams. Someone who you may or may not know that will come up huge during the game. Someone that changes the momentum with a big play. It could be someone on this list of players but more than likely it will be someone that isn’t a star on the team.
Either way, I think this game will be closer than many of you think. I’m still sticking to my Carolina 24 – Denver 20 prediction but I am more convinced today than before that Denver has a great chance to win this game. We’ll see how it plays out tonight but with Carolina giving up 5.5 points I have to take Denver.