The game is finally here. You know the drill. Below are our detailed picks along with a few thoughts on various prop bets for the game.
If you missed anything during the week, here’s a peak at what you won’t hear during the telecast on Sunday, thoughts on whether the Super Bowl model needs to be changed by the league, and our 10-point primer on everything you need to know for the game.
Hit us up on Twitter @3DownConversion all weekend. Enjoy.
SUPER BOWL 50 – Broncos (14-4) vs. Panthers (17-1)
Pick: This game feels eerily like the AFC Championship Game where everybody loved the Patriots. I haven’t seen a single person pick Denver and most believe that Carolina will win by double digits. The thing that puzzles me the most is how everybody is overlooking Denver’s defense. They have enough speed to get to Cam Newton, the question is whether they can be physical enough to stop all of Carolina’s big bodies on offense. Meanwhile, I think the Broncos can have some success running the ball. This game will look much like the AFC title game — low scoring and ugly. Manning won’t look awful, but he won’t help the cause much either. In the end, I think Carolina wins a very physical game to capture their first championship in franchise history. Panthers 19, Broncos 16
First Team To Score Will Be: Denver.
First Score Will Be: Field goal.
More Passing Yards – Manning or Newton? Manning, but not by much. I could see Denver breaking a few tackles or taking advantage of the aggressiveness of Carolina through screens.
Last Team To Score Wins The Game? Yes. This one will be close.
MVP: Newton. If Carolina wins the game, this is all but a lock.
Pick: Believe me, I want to pick the Broncos and Manning, but I’m just not that courageous. While I don’t think we’re talking a repeat of Seattle and Denver two years ago, I can’t help but see the Panthers winning this one. I hope I’m wrong though and Manning leaves on top like his boss did almost two decades ago. Panthers 23, Broncos 16
First Team To Score Will Be: Panthers
First Score Will Be: With these two defenses, it’s the better bet to go field goal like my partner says.
More Passing Yards – Manning or Newton? Manning. If the Panthers roll, they’ll be successful on both through the air and on the ground. On the other hand, if the Broncos win, I think they need some big passing plays. Likewise, if they are down big, they’ll rack up garbage yards.
Last Team To Score Wins The Game? No. I think the winner is ahead at the end already.
MVP: My partner took the obvious choice. Likewise, if the Broncos win, Manning is the obvious sentimental choice. So for the hell of it, I’ll throw out a wild card. Josh Norman. He’s been arguably the best defender in the NFL this year, and a floating Manning pass could easily be taken to the house. We’ve seen corners win MVPs before in such a method, and if he were to post a stat line where he only allowed one catch or so and scored, then maybe he gets rewarded. Maybe.