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Super Bowl preview: Carolina’s offense versus Denver’s defense

Peyton Manning hopes to win Super Bowl 50 in what might be his last game as an NFL quarterback. (Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Michaela Hyde and Alexa Hyde
Connector Staff

The Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers go head to head in Arizona on February seventh for Super Bowl 50. AFC Champion Broncos are coming to the Super Bowl headed by veteran quarterback Peyton Manning and riding the high from defeating the favored New England Patriots while NFC Champion Panthers conceded one game in the regular season and have dominated the postseason. So what should we be looking out for when these two teams match up?

After overcoming a regular season rife with quarterback injuries and Manning tallying 17 interceptions and just nine touchdowns in the regular season, the Broncos ended with a 12-4 record heading into the postseason. A strong defense held a usually dynamic New England Patriots offense to just 18 points in the final game of the postseason and with offensive determination from Manning, Denver’s 20-point game gave them the AFC Champion title and a chance to compete in Super Bowl 50.

Quarterback Cam Newton has lead the Panthers to a 15-1 regular season record, an impressive feat, only the sixth ever team to do so. On their playoff journey, the Panthers dominated against the NFC West Champions, the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals seemed to be a promising opponent to end the Panthers’ season, after ending the regular season 13-3 and at the top of the NFC West. Quarterback Carson Palmer had thrown for 4,671 passing yards in the regular season, and Arizona ranked second overall in points per game, with an average of 30.6. However, Carolina dominated the NFC championship game, earning a 49-15 win.

Both teams have defeated impressive opponents to earn their tickets to Arizona. Denver’s best strength comes from a powerful defense, which held Tom Brady the New England Patriots to only 18 points in their last matchup. Denver also rides on the leadership and determination of quarterback Peyton Manning. In what could be his last NFL season, Manning is looking to add another Super Bowl ring to end his career. Carolina, however, has an impressive record as well after a dominant victory over the Arizona Cardinals and an almost undefeated season. Newton’s running game has kept defenses on their toes, and could be the one force that the Denver defense can’t contain. Can Manning lead the Broncos to their first victory since 1998 or will Newton and the Panthers prove to be too big a challenge? The Super Bowl victors will be determined on Feb. 7, at 6:30 pm.

And for those non-football fans looking for something else to watch on Super Bowl Sunday? Puppy Bowl XII playing on Animal Planet at 3:00 pm.

UMass Lowell Political Science. Social Media Editor. Politics and professional sports. Media and makeup. Follow @kaylaaakaliope for endless sports rants.

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