The NFL has reached its 50th full season in the Super Bowl era and will attempt to make this landmark Super Bowl the biggest ever. The Super Bowl has always been huge, but this year might just top previous years in scale. The NFL has released a gold theme throughout the entire year that has become a signature part of the season. To go along with the theme, the super bowl winner will be awarded a large number 50 made of 18 karat gold to go along with the conventional Lombardi trophy.

Background

The Panthers have arrived in San Francisco as the heavy favorite against the Denver Broncos. After a near flawless season, the Panthers are the heavy favorite due to a strong run game, a top defense, and someone else you may have heard of. Cam Newton is the likely MVP after a regular season in which he totaled 35 touchdowns against only 10 interceptions. Whether you like his touchdown dances and flashy persona or not,  he has had an undeniably incredible year. Newton will be facing the best defense in the NFL. The Broncos defensive line is very good at getting after the quarterback and showed that when they sacked Tom Brady four times two weeks ago in the AFC Championship. The Broncos also intercepted Brady twice and managed to dominate a strong New England offensive line. The real battle will be Newton’s mobility vs. the Broncos getting after him. If the Broncos can keep Newton in the pocket there is a good chance Carolina does not score more than 20. The Panthers defense leads the league in takeaways and match up favorably against a Peyton Manning that cannot throw down field where the Panthers defense is weakest. Manning can still easily find the holes in a zone defense, so look for the Panthers defense to struggle early and then adjust to Manning and his reads. Panthers’ DT Kawann Short could have a big game, mainly due to Manning’s lack of mobility and an average offensive line.

Prediction: Panthers win 21-17

I do not think the game will be a blow out as some are expecting. The Panthers offense is comparable to the Broncos defense, and the Panthers defense has a favorable matchup against the Broncos Offense. I think that the game will be relatively low scoring due to strong defenses on both sides. Overall the Panthers run game will tire out the Broncos front allowing them a couple second half scores and the eventual win.