No, the Packers aren’t in the big game this year, as so many predicted back in August … but that’s OK. We’ll be watching because we love professional football, the commercials, the halftime show and all the glitz.
So, with that said, we here at lombardiave.com have put together our predictions for the big game … what do you think? Who do you have? Let us know here in the comments section, on our Facebook page or on our Twitter account.
In the meantime, here is how we feel …
Raymond T. Rivard: The old adage that defense wins championships will be on full display today as two of the best in the league on that side of the ball face off is this 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl.
While Carolina has all the love and “dabs,” I feel that Denver’s defense will be ready for the challenge and will contain Cam Newton.
I don’t feel the Panthers have the passing attack that could turn this game and Denver’s smothering defense will be sure none of that happens.
I like Denver and would surely like to see Peyton Manning head off into the sunset as a winner. He deserves it.
Broncos 17 Panthers 13
This is an interesting game. Carolina is the far superior all-round team, but I’m not necessarily sure that makes them a lock to win.
Denver’s defense is one of the best I’ve seen in a good while. Will Cam Newton hold up under the pressure of the stage along with the pressure applied by Wade Phillips?
Will Peyton Manning have another poor performance and miss yet another opportunity to gain another championship in his storied career?
When the smoke clears, Carolina will just be too much.
Carolina 24 Denver 17
Darryl Krejci: The final game of the season comes down to an aging veteran versus the young hotshot. Here is what I will predict: First of all there will be some major controversy during the course of the game that will infuriate the Carolina Panthers fans. They will use this as the catalyst as to why the known universe is against their quarterback, Cam Newton. Now don’t get me wrong, the guy can play but I really could care less for his bravado and cockiness.
Peyton Manning, playing what should be the final game of his career will play just well enough to survive any pounding that the Panther’s defense can throw at him. With an aging body and his NFL clock about to strike midnight, this stage is set up for Peyton to ride out like John Elway did.
In the end, it comes down to two factors for me – the first is I do not like Cam Newton and the second is that I am still holding a grudge from Super Bowl XXXII against the Broncos.
I tried flipping a coin but it kept landing on its side, so in honor of my good friend, Renee Guiterrez, who is as big of a Broncos fan as I am a Packers fan …
Broncos 31 Panthers 28
GO! PACK! GO! On to Super Bowl LI!
Thomas Friesen: It seems crazy to bet against a Panthers team that has averaged a league-best 31.2 points per-game this season. They have put up 38 or more in five of their last seven contests. Everyone knows the old cliché, “defense wins championships.” But while this Denver Broncos defense is unlike any they have seen so far, the Panthers defense is comparable. They are also led by the best defensive player in the game in middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.
In addition, the Panthers dominate the turnover margin with +20 to the Broncos’ -4.
I would love for Peyton Manning to win what could be his final football game. I hope he can prove me wrong. But all logic points toward a Carolina Panthers Super Bowl win.
Panthers 31 Broncos 20
Kevin Dickens: Unfortunately GB underperformed as usual in recent playoff memories. That leads us to one of the biggest and brightest Super Bowls to date. Cam Newton fresh off an MVP season has taken his Panthers and dabbed all the way to the holy grail. They will take on The Sheriff and a very stingy Broncos defense.
On paper this looks like a complete mismatch. The Broncos defense is #1 in all the land in rushing yardage given up & passing yardage given up. They also have allowed a stingy 18 ppg. The Panthers are just as stingy allowing 19 ppg. The Broncos faced a Steelers offense twice this year that is more than capable of producing points and yardage.
However in the two match-ups there was no Leveon Bell in Pittsburgh and in the playoff rematch no Leveon, no DeAngelo Williams, and no Antonio Brown.
This Panthers offense, averaging about 32 ppg, will be the second best offense they have seen this year except their playmakers will all be healthy starting at the top with MVP Cam Newton. His array of talent is so immense. The Broncos will need a truly unique game plan to contain him, a rejuvenated Jonathan Stewart, the electrifying Ted Ginn, & Mr. reliable, Greg Olsen. I really don’t see that happening.
In the end I think we watch Peyton Manning walk off into the sunset with records that might not be touched for another 50 years or so but he won’t be getting SB win #2.
His two turnovers will get the Broncos steamrolled out west. I think Cam and company dab their way into history. As they say #KeepPounding.
Carolina 38 Denver 20
Zach Roethlisberger: This is definitely going to be a defensive showdown, meaning a key offensive play down the stretch will probably be your deciding factor.
Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers have been able to make those plays all year, proving people wrong time and again.
As much as I’d love to see “The Sheriff” ride off into the sunset with a championship for the story, I think they’ll just be too much to overcome here.
I’ve been one of those people picking against them all season, and I’ve finally come around for the big game.
Panthers 21 Broncos 17
Freddie Boston: The only way Denver is winning is if they can slow down Cam Newton and keep the score close. If the Panthers do what they’ve done so often this season and race away to an early lead, it’s over.
If there is one defense that can stop the Panthers’ offense, it’s the Broncos’. But to win, Peyton Manning is going to need to be OK, and lead his offense to some points, and the defense and special teams will likely need to find the end zone too.
It’s going to be an interesting battle between the league’s best defense and the league MVP. But it’s hard to imagine Cam Newton not following up last night’s honor with a Super Bowl MVP.
Carolina 30 Denver 17