The battle by the bay: Super Bowl 50 preview — Broncos vs. Panthers

In what seems to be becoming a trend, for the third straight season the top seeds in both the AFC and NFC are playing in the Super Bowl, but this time neither the Patriots nor Seahawks are in the game. This time around, it’s the Denver Broncos taking on the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., in what could be the final game for future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning.

The teams took different routes in the conference championships to get to the Super Bowl. The Broncos squeaked by the Patriots by a 20-18 score, while the Panthers didn’t have trouble disposing of the Cardinals, winning by a 49-15 margin, with the defense having a stellar performance by intercepting Cardinals QB Carson Palmer four times.

Looking ahead to Super Bowl 50, it’ll have to be a low-scoring game for the Broncos to have a chance because they can’t keep up offensively with a Panthers team that has scored 38, 31 and 49 points in its last three games, respectively. A low-scoring game is a possibility, with two of the best defenses in the league battling each other. The Broncos will have to hold down Panthers QB Cam Newton like they did to Patriots QB Tom Brady two weeks ago in the AFC Championship.

On offense, the Panthers have the clear advantage at quarterback and tight end, while it’s closer at running back and wide receiver, with Panthers  RB Jonathan Stewart likely giving them the slight advantage, and the Broncos receivers a batter group than the Panthers’.

I think the defenses will win out and it’ll be a fairly low-scoring game, but I expect the Panthers to win it, 30-20, giving Newton his first Super Bowl title.

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