Despite what happened on Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos are back for the biggest game of the season. This will be the eighth time that Denver has played for the Lombardi Trophy (The Team holds a 2-5 in their previous 7 Super Bowl appearances), but according to the existing online sportsbook odds, the team led by Peyton Manning isn’t expected to make it 3-5 against the Carolina Panthers. At +6 point underdog, the Broncos should concentrate on neutralizing a Carolina’s offense that came just one game away from being undefeated.
There are definitely reasons to make the Panthers a big favorite over my beloved Denver Broncos. The soon to be reigning MVP, QB Cam Newton is having such a good season that he has garnered the moniker Superman to describe his on field talents. It was Newton who gave the halftime speech to the Panthers in their 49 to 15 NFC Championship game rout of the Arizona Cardinals.
The Panthers are the best football team this season, but Denver might be just as great Carolina’s defense is a pretty good unit as well, but that does not mean that you should write off the Broncos. Denver’s offense only averages 107 yards per game, but the team rushed the ball 33 times for 109 yards against Pittsburgh in their 23 to 16 Divisional Round win. They rushed the ball 30 times for 99 yards against the Patriots in their 20 to 18 win over New England in the AFC Championship Game.
Denver has to commit to the run because by doing so it should open up passing lanes for Peyton Manning, however, the Panthers allowed the better quarterbacks in the NFL to throw for a ton of yards against it this season. Matt Ryan at Atlanta threw for 306 in Carolina’s only loss. Aaron Rodgers threw for 369 yards against Carolina’s defense. Even Russell Wilson passed for 366 yards even though he was terrible in the first half of that game. If Denver commits to rushing the football, even when Peyton gets hot, they should be in position to upset Carolina in the fourth quarter. Denver might have the lead going into the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 50 if they commit to rushing the football.
Don’t give up on the Broncos just yet. Underdogs have won many times before Super Bowl, and Denver has the talent commit to the run to open up the passing lanes for Peyton and if Miller and Ware can contain Carolina’s rushers. So I really think the Denver Broncos might just win their third Lombardi Trophy on February 7.