May 27, 2024

Super Bowl 50 Preview

In the 50th annual Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers will battle to determine who will take home the Lombardi Trophy.

Photo by Kathy Drasky, courtesy of creativecommons.org. No changes made.

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The 2015 NFL season will come to an end Sunday as the Denver Broncos face the Carolina Panthers in the 50th edition of the Super Bowl.

Once the game kicks off at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, California, the Broncos will be an emotional team. The team is playing for Peyton Manning, as it might be his final NFL game, and they want him to go out on top.

Denver is led by its stellar defense. The front seven is extremely effective at putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and at stopping the run. The corners and safeties are able to keep solid coverage for just long enough to allow the pressure to reach the opposing backfield.

The Broncos’ offense, though not as potent as it once was, is still a threat to put up big numbers. The running game is a major key for the offense in head coach Gary Kubiak’s system, which then sets up for the passing game. Denver also possesses one of the best overall wide receiver units in the league, led by Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Manning has shown that despite the doubters, he still has some left in the tank.

However, as good as Denver has been this season, Carolina is better. The Panthers’ defense is considered by some to be historically great, the best defense the NFL has seen since the 2013 Seattle Seahawks. The defensive line has turned it up from great to unreal in the postseason, racking up eight sacks and maintaining excellent run defense. This is a major problem for Denver, whose offensive line has struggled mightily this season. Carolina’s linebackers are also arguably the best in the league, with both Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis being all-Pro caliber players. The secondary is just as impressive as well. Led by all-Pro Josh Norman, the Panthers have been able to shut down even the most elite receiving corps this season, including the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship.

The Panthers’ offense is formidable as well, led by likely MVP winner Cam Newton. He has shown immense improvement since his rookie season, and has developed into one of the top quarterbacks and leaders for his team. The running game is the strength of the offense. Through Jonathan Stewart, Newton’s scrambling, and others, the Panthers have rushed almost at will at times throughout the season. They will have their work cut out for them, though, against Denver’s stout run defense. In the passing game, there are two keys for Carolina. The offensive line needs to give Newton some protection, which is easier said than done against the Broncos terrifying rush. And Ted Ginn will need to stretch the field against the Denver defensive backs. If the Panthers can accomplish both of those, they will have success through the air.

Although every Tennessee Vols fan would love to see Manning get one more ring and go out on top, it does not seem likely. The Sheriff ran into the worst match-up for his possible last rodeo.

Kick-off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

Prediction: Carolina 31, Denver 13

Featured image by Kathy Drasky

Edited by Cody McClure

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Adam is the Assistant Sports Editor for the Tennessee Journalist and a Junior at UT. Most of his free time is spent watching sports, listening to good music, and enjoying life. If you wish to contact him, you can email him at amillike@vols.utk.edu, follow him on Twitter, @AdamMilliken14, or find him at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/adam-milliken/109/a89/a32.