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Added February 2nd, 2016 by Ian
NFL

Super Bowl 50 – Preview of Panthers vs Broncos

The NFL season comes to its thrilling climax this weekend when the Carolina Panthers square off against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The AFC champion Broncos will be aiming for their third Super Bowl title on February 7th while the AFC winners Carolina will be looking for their first ever crown. The Panthers were the league’s best team this season with a 15-1 record and captured the NFC South Division quite easily. The Broncos finished their campaign at 12-4 and took the AFC West Division.

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Although Denver has won the Super Bowl twice before, in 1998 and again in 1999, they were defeated in their first four appearances in the championship game in 1978, 1987, 1988 and 1990. They were also losers in 2014. In fact, they were beaten by a record 45 points in 1990 when the San Francisco 49ers smoked them by a score of 55-10 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. They also lost by 35 points to Seattle in 2014 and by 32 points in 1998 at the hands of Washington. Their other two losses were by 17 and 19 points.

There’s no hiding the fact that the Broncos have suffered some of the most lopsided defeats in the history of the Super Bowl and will be hoping to redeem themselves on Sunday. The Panthers’ lone Super Bowl appearance came back in 2004 when they were edged 32-29 by the New England Patriots at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Panthers had a bye in the first round of this year’s playoffs and then took down the Seattle Seahawks 31-24 at home in the Divisional Game.

Carolina followed that up with a 49-15 thumping of the Arizona Cardinals at home in the Conference Final to reach Super Bowl 50. The Broncos also earned a bye before beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-16 at home in the Divisional Game and then edging the Patriots 20-18 at home in the AFC Final. The Super Bowl will once again be one of the world’s most popular sporting events this year and will attract fans and bettors from all over the world. It’s important to check out the up-to-date odds and injury lists before making a wager as well as the recent form of the players.

Denver’s strength is its defence and it was at its best against quarterback Tom Brady when the team downed New England in the AFC Final. Brady was basically thrown off his game and even though the Patriots came close to tying the contest on the last play of the game, Denver held their opponents to just 18 points. They also did a fine job against the Steelers offence by conceding just 16 points. The Denver defence is adept at protecting against deep passes and don’t give up many yards per play.



But even if the Denver defence is at its best, they’re still going to need to put some points up on the scoreboard and will be relying on 39-year-old veteran quarterback Peyton Manning. When compared to Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton, who could very well be named the league’s MVP this year, the Broncos come out second best. Newton has been one of the best at his position in 2015 and has more attacking options than Manning. He’s also not afraid to carry the ball himself when needed.

The Panthers have the second-best defence in the league next to Denver and conceded a maximum of 17 points in half of their games this season. However, they have a more powerful offence. Denver will need to make sure they don’t turn the ball over as Carolina will make them pay for it and that won’t be easy since the Panthers led the league in forcing turnovers in 2015. Newton produced the most touchdowns in the red zone this season, but Denver allowed the fewest drives inside the 20, so that will be an interesting battle and a key component of the game.

The Panthers appear to have the edge here and there are numerous wagering opportunities to take advantage of such as the spread and straight up winner. The Broncos definitely have more Super Bowl experience, but they’ve been beaten in five of their seven championship games with Manning himself going 1-3. With Newton at the helm, it’s understandable why the Panthers enter Super Bowl 50 as the betting favourites.

 
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