The Carolina Panthers are 17-1, with a late-season loss to the Atlanta Falcons as the only blemish on what has otherwise has been a dominant season. After a dominant 30 minutes against the Seattle Seahawks and a dominant 60 minutes against the Arizona Cardinals, they are on the verge of the first title in franchise history. In their way stand the Denver Broncos, who have overcome obstacle after obstacle on the backs of their ferocious defense. Let’s take a look at why you should bet on the Panthers to take home the Lombardi Trophy. Don’t forget to check out the latest odds for Super Bowl 50 by clicking here.
Panthers vs Broncos Super Bowl 50 Game Info and NFL Lines
When: Sunday, February 7, 2015
Kickoff: 6:30 PM ET
Where: Santa Clara, CA
Stadium: Levi’s Stadium
Spread: Panthers -6
Moneyline: Carolina -245 vs Denver +205
Game Total: 45.5
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Carolina vs Denver
Superman’s in Town.
You might roll your eyes every time you see Cam Newton pretend to rip his jersey open so you can see that Superman outfit on underneath when he scores a touchdown, but the truth is that he is the NFL’s most dangerous quarterback right now, thanks to his ability to throw and run. Each time he launches into a read-option play, he’s giving the defense two unpleasant alternatives when it comes to bringing down the ball carrier. The Broncos took care of Newton back in 2012 when he was run-heavy, but now he has a legitimate passing game as well, and the choices he has could drive the Bronco defense nuts. The Broncos didn’t have to worry about the run against New England, but they will in the Super Bowl.
Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly
Thomas Davis did injure his arm in the NFC Championship, but the Panthers announced over the weekend that he will appear in the Super Bowl. This is the best pair of linebackers in the league right now, ranking 1 and 2 on the team in tackles. They are also superior at covering slot receivers and tight ends. They each picked off four passes during the regular season, and Kuechly already has two pick-sixes in this postseason. They also limit yards after catch, meaning that short plays don’t turn into SportsCenter highlights.
The Panther Secondary
It’s true that the Panthers have a terrific duo at linebackers. However, the secondary have also been a huge factor in the team’s 39 takeaways during the season. No defense had more interceptions during the regular season than the Panthers, and the team also has picked up nine turnovers in their two playoff games. Safety Kurt Coleman led the unit with seven picks during the season, adding two more in the NFC Championship, but his tough attitude has galvanized this unit too. Peyton Manning threw more interceptions than touchdowns this season, so you can bet the Panthers are ready to face him.
Don’t Forget the Offensive Line
Cam Newton wouldn’t be the weapon he is if his line weren’t opening holes for him and Jonathan Stewart to run, and holding off opposing pass rushers so that Newton can look down the field. The Panthers were #6 in the NFL in pass blocking efficiency, as measured by Pro Football Focus’ metrics. This gives Newton time to rhew, even when the opponents are blitzing.