The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will face off in Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7th thanks to their wins Sunday. The Broncos advanced with a narrow 20-18 win over the New England Patriots. The Panthers cruised to a 49-15 victory against the Arizona Cardinals, thanks to seven Cardinals turnovers. It's a matchup of two of the best defenses in the NFL, proving the old adage that defense wins championships. Here's our quick preview of the Super Bowl 50
Spread: Panthers By 4
This line opened at 5.5 in favor of the Panthers, but was betted down in less than an hour. Denver will likely remain the underdog, but it's a just a matter of how much. A 5.5 point spread would be the largest since the Pittsburgh Steelers were seven point favorites against the Arizona Cardinals in 2007. For more betting info for Super Bowl 50, check out the Chat Sports Android and iPhone app.
Panthers Offense vs. Broncos Defense:
The Panthers' offense has leaned heavily on QB Cam Newton all season long, and for good reason. He's the likely MVP choice, in part because he's led the Panthers to the Super Bowl with Ted Ginn as a top wide receiver. Carolina has the top ranked scoring offense, but Denver has the top ranked defense. The Broncos have allowed just 3.3 yards per rush this season and racked up 55 sacks. Both led the NFL. The Panthers interior offensive line has played well this season, but the tackles aren't as solid. Von Miller could be in for a big day, if he can find a way to hold onto the elusive Newton. Download the Chat Sports Android and iPhone app for more on Super Bowl 50.
Broncos Offense vs. Panthers Defense:
The Panthers' defense is nearly as good as Denver's this year. Carolina forced a league-best 39 turnovers this season, and added nine more (thanks, Arizona) in the playoffs. However, key defensive contributors Thomas Davis and Roman Harper were injured against Arizona. While they'll do everything they can to play, their status is unknown. But LB Luke Kuechly and CB Josh Norman could be in for big games against Peyton Manning. They're two of the better pass defenders in the NFL. The Broncos' offense has been better this postseason with Manning under center, but they haven't run the ball consistently. The Broncos' success on offense is going to be determined by which Manning shows up. For more on the Panthers' defense, download the Chat Sports Android and iPhone app.
X-Factor: Peyton Manning
Manning isn't the player he was in his prime. But Denver is also hoping he isn't the QB he was earlier this season. In the regular season, Manning completed just 59.8 percent of his passes for 2,249 yards, 9 TDs and 17 picks. He had one of the worst seasons of his career, but played better in the postseason. He's completed 38 of 69 passes for 396 yards and two TDs. Those aren't eye-popping stats, but Manning has managed to avoid the turnovers that have plagued him season. He's leaned on the Denver defense and taken on a game-manager role in the playoffs. That's worked so far, but Manning will need to make a few game-changing plays to beat the Panthers. Looking for more on Manning? The Chat Sports Android and iPhone app has what you need.