Nearly six months since the start of the 2015 NFL Season, the moment we have all been waiting for is here. A season filled with drama, heartbreak, and surprises is about to end with two of the biggest story-lines of the 2015 season facing off: MVP quarterback Cam Newton and the shockingly dominant Carolina Panthers, who went 15-1 after finishing sub .500 just a year ago, will face veteran quarterback Peyton Manning and the 12-4 Denver Broncos. The game offers an intriguing matchup at the very least and has the potential to be an all-time game. The Panthers are clearly the favorite to hoist the Lombardi trophy at the end of the night, but the Broncos have the potential to steal the game from Carolina. Here are predictions from many writers here at OutLoud! Culture:
Prediction: Panthers 31, Broncos 17
Carolina’s defense will dominate Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense. The Broncos defense will not be able to attack Cam the way they did Brady, and they will give up some big plays. The Panther’s offense will struggle at first, but Cam’s athleticism will take over. Carolina’s run game will help them a lot. Denver’s offense will struggle to run the ball, become one dimensional, and get shut down. Cam finishes with 245 yds 2 TDs and 1INT, he also rushes for 70 yds and 1 TD. Manning throws for 215 yds, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs. Cam Newton wins Super Bowl MVP.
Prediction: Panthers 30, Broncos 17
The Panthers enter the Super Bowl with a strong, near perfect record of 17-1. That adds a tremendous amount of pressure to the team, as does the superb defensive lineup of the Broncos, but with big talent players such as Cam Newton and Josh Norman, Carolina is more than capable of handling the high expectations. The Panthers are undoubtedly the better-rounded team from top to bottom and their variety of explosive rush attacks should be enough to throw off the possibly superior defense of the Broncos. It is tempting to go for the Broncos due to Peyton Manning based sentimentality, but to do so ignores the superior talent and ability possessed by the opposition. You should fully expect to see Carolina raise the Lombardi trophy this Sunday.
Prediction: Panthers 24, Broncos 14
Newton will struggle early against the stout Denver defense, but will turn things around after being down 10-7 at halftime. Manning will have a disappointing game, throwing for under 200 yards, 1 TD, and 3 INTs against a fiery Panthers defense.
Prediction: Panther 31, Broncos 10
While this may be Peyton’s last rodeo, I don’t think the Panthers care. In a matchup of two great defenses, I think Carolina’s physical offense led by MVP and Cam Newton and Carolina’s pro-bowl filled offensive line will be too much for the Broncos defense to overcome. Manning has pulled out close wins against both Pittsburgh and New England, but both were at home and neither game showed me that Manning was still elite. The drum keeps on pounding as Carolina coasts by Manning and the Broncos.
Prediction: Broncos 27, Panthers 26.
Two weeks ago, the Broncos hosted Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Most people, including me, expected the Patriots to dominate in every aspect. Well, just the opposite happened, as the Broncos beat the Patriots 20-18. This is not to take away from anything the Panthers have done this season because Cam Newton and co. have been phenomenal. They have a very talented team, and could very well end the night holding the Lombardi Trophy in the air. But, after getting destroyed in the Super Bowl just two years ago by the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos are hungry. And just like two weeks ago, they will defy expectations and defeat the Panthers, and Manning will ride into the sunset with a Super Bowl victory.
Obviously, the Panthers have the edge here at OLC. It should be a good one and will be fun to see how it turns out. From us here at OutLoud!Culture, enjoy the game!