Panthers, Broncos to Meet in Super Bowl 50
The two number one seeds in the NFL are set to square off for the championship as the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos advanced on Sunday. First, in Denver, Colorado, Peyton Manning and the Broncos outlasted Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 20-18.
Led by the league’s number one defense, the Broncos pressured the Patriots’ star quarterback all game, forcing Brady and his offense out of sync from the very start. While many thought Brady would wind up with better numbers between the two QBs, it was Manning who out dueled Brady. Manning finished the day 17 of 32 for 276 yards and two touchdowns and, maybe most importantly, no interceptions. The 39-year-old is set to play in his third Super Bowl, and should the Broncos come out victorious, many believe it could be the final game for the future Hall of Famer. But the Broncos will face some stiff competition to becoming world champions, as they will have to beat the number one ranked Carolina Panthers, who finished the regular season 15-1 and cruised in the NFC Championship game to a resounding victory. The Panthers, led by the league’s likely MVP candidate, Cam Newton, routed the Arizona Cardinals Sunday night 49-15. Much like the divisional round last week against the Seattle Seahawks, the Panthers jumped out to an early first quarter lead 17-0. But unlike last week, the Panthers never let their foot off the gas. Newton finished 19 of 28 for 335 yards and two touchdowns, while adding two more scores with his legs, but many of those scores can be attributed the Panthers’ stifling defense that shut down the Cardinals’ high-flying offense and forced an NFC Championship game record seven turnovers. The Panthers defense stuffed Arizona’s running game and forced quarterback Carson Palmer to throw four interceptions and had no answers for the home teams. The Panthers and Broncos will clash in two weeks in Santa Clara, California, for Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium.