It's that time of year again. The time where the biggest game in the NFL rolls around. The time where the big ratings for the TV station roll around. The time where everyone consumes lots of food. It's the time where playing squares and massive amounts of betting are common. It's also the time where there won't be any football for around seven months (Unless you're interested in preseason football or arena football). However, don't let that get you down as we embrace this big day in the NFL.
The Super Bowl matchup is between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos, two teams from different conferences that surprisingly have many similarities. Both have household names at quarterback. Both have head coaches that are at their first Super Bowls as head coaches. Both teams should be recognized for more than just their quarterbacks.
This game will feature two of the NFL's best defenses on display. Carolina led the NFL this season in give/take ratio at +20 while also grabbing the most interceptions during the season (24). As for Denver, don't think that they're going to just keel over and die because Peyton Manning is on his last legs. If it wasn't for Denver's NFL-best defense allowing 4,530 yards and terrorizing opposing quarterbacks (See Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game), then Peyton and company would've been at least out of the divisional round. The Denver secondary also yields 199.6 passing yards a game, tops in the NFL.
Now this game will come down to who's able to crack through the opposing defense first. Carolina will run the ball in heavy doses, be it by NFL MVP Cam Newton or in the trenches. They also run the ball very well; they're second in the NFL in total rushing yards with 2,282 total rushing yards. If Denver can neutralize Cam Newton today, especially with DeMarcus Ware disrupting Carolina's offense, then Peyton should get another ring (Barring that Peyton has a bad game). Otherwise, this is Carolina's Super Bowl. However, I predict this game won't as unanimous of a choice for a winner as everyone is saying.
Prediction: Carolina 21, Denver 16