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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Super Bowl 50 preview


Prediction: Panthers to trample Broncos

Watch the Super Bowl this Sunday for the 30-second, $5 million commercials, because the game itself is going to be over before it starts. The Broncos are under-qualified and overmatched in Sunday’s title game, which will most likely eerily reflect Super Bowl XLVIII in which the Seattle Seahawks steamrolled the Broncos 43-8.

Final Score Prediction: Carolina Panthers 36 Denver Broncos 7

You don’t have to take my word for it, but my credentials are sound. One muggy July afternoon in Reno, which is possibly the worst place to be in July, I placed a $20 bet on the 2010 Green Bay Packers to win Super Bowl XLV that season. Although I later lost the ticket stub which I needed to collect my eventual winnings and had no way of returning to Reno when the Packers ultimately won, I learned two important lessons that season. The first was that the house always wins, even when you do. And the second was that I am incredibly good at predicting Super Bowl champions.

This year’s Super Bowl features two former number one overall draft picks under the gun. First, the legendary Peyton Manning, a rapidly-aging 39-year-old who spent six games of the season sidelined with a foot injury. When Manning was active, he had a career- worst season, throwing nearly twice as many interceptions as touchdowns, averaging a 28.6 percent worse quarterback rating than his career average and was even out performed by his less-athletic, better-looking younger brother, Eli. It doesn’t take a statistician to tell you that Manning is old, and, although once great, his ball lacks zip and his days in the NFL are numbered (perhaps down to one).

The quarterback on the other sideline is the likely MVP of the 2015 season and the spark plug of the highest scoring offense in the NFL. Cam Newton, or, as Panther’s spanish news reporters Jamie and Luis Moreno call him “El Dinosaurio,” carried the Panthers on his back (and with his arm) to the Super Bowl, accounting for 76.2 percent of the Panther’s total offensive yards.

Newton will effortlessly dismantle the league’s best defense with the help of a wide range of offensive weapons. Accompanying Newton in the backfield is running back Jonathan Stewart, a proven pro who has combined for 189 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Panther’s first two playoff games. Newton’s main targets downfield are Greg Olsen, debatably the best tight end in the league who is not in a Patriot’s uniform, and Ted Ginn Jr., the speedy receiver out of THE Ohio State University.

On the other side of the ball, the Panther’s number two ranked defense will easily handle the Bronco’s medicare-qualifying Manning offense. The Panthers’ defense maintained a league-low opponent passer rating, which is bad news for Manning, who has the unenviable distinction of being the owner of the league’s worst regular season passer rating.

Yes, Manning has done it before. And yes, he is one of the great all time quarterbacks in the storied history of the NFL. But Manning hasn’t won the Big One since 2006. A lifetime ago. That was the same year Al Gore alerted the world of climate change with his release of An Inconvenient Truth, Kanye West was still recording the Graduation album and was happily single, and young Cam Newton was entering his senior year at Westlake High School in Atlanta. A decade later, Newton is a vastly improved quarterback, not to mention a much better dancer.

The Panthers will win Super Bowl 50 in a landslide.

Written by George McConnell – sports@theaggie.org


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