Like every year I asked several NFL legends, past and present, who they think is going to win the Super Bowl between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos, and why their pick is going to be victorious. Here is what they had to say:
Brandon Williams (former cornerback with the Cincinnati Bengals): “Pregame Super Bowl L looks like one of the best matchups we have had in a while. Last year was [Tom] Brady vs Legion of Doom but it was nothing like what we have now... #1 scoring Offense vs the #1 scoring defense. I always love those matchups and as a defensive guy of course I usually lean that way but this year (mostly because of Cam [Newton]) I think it's really a toss up. I say that not only because of how skilled a player Cam is but also because over his career he has proved that no matter how you feel about him he's a winner. He's won on every level and it was just a matter of time before he finally made the big stage.
All that being said I think I'm going with the Broncos. Not that I think Peyton [Manning] will outplay Cam but as good as Carolina's defense is I just feel like Denver has an elite defense this season. And just from some of the midweek events I feel like Denver's defense is feeling overlooked as a historical team and they see this as that shot. I've also played under Wade Phillips and games like this are what he lives for.
So as much as I wouldn't mind Carolina winning because they are a great team the "Swami" in me is picking Denver and that defense. Even though I played in Denver the good thing about not having a dog in the fight is I can just sit back and hope for a good game.”
Reggie Givens (former linebacker and special teams captain with the San Francisco 49ers): “My prediction for this year’s Super Bowl 50 Carolina vs Denver. The game is broken up into 3 phases: Offense, Defense and Special Teams. Offensively, Denver's lack of a running attack and Peyton’s [Manning] physical limitations will make it hard to move the ball. Carolina's strong run game with [Jonathan] Stewart and Cam's [Newton] dual threat ability will dominate.
Defensively, Denver’s #1 ranked defense will find it hard to contain Carolina’s "Superman" QB. The Panthers will win this phase by pressuring Peyton and stifling Denver’s running game.
Special Teams will ultimately decide the game. The Broncos are not strong with their returns or cover teams. Panthers with a more explosive return team will win this phase as well.
Conclusion: Broncos Defense will do their best to keep it close at first but in the end Panthers Offense, Defense & Special Teams will prove to be too much for Broncos and Peyton Manning to overcome. Final Score: Panthers 30 Broncos 13.”
Noah Burr (former defensive back with the New York Jets): “If Denver’s defense is healthy and Peyton [Manning] and the offense put up 24 points the Broncos will win. I am not too sure Carolina has seen a defense playing this well.”
Hillary Butler (former linebacker with the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos): “It’s Peyton Manning's turn to perhaps go out like my old teammate John Elway. I am hoping that the #1 Defense can stop Cam [Newton] then the Broncos will have a chance. Great matchup for SB50.
Charles Stackhouse (former fullback with the New York Giants): “Denver 28 Carolina 24. Peyton [Manning] pulls it off along with the great Defense they have. Great matchup!”
Akeem Spence (Defensive Tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers): “I think Denver is going to take it.”
Tony Coats (former offensive lineman with the Cincinnati Bengals): “I like Denver and the points. Time for a Carolina letdown!”
Tom McManus (former linebacker with the Jacksonville Jaguars): “The Carolina Panthers win 45-17.”
Bill Schroeder (former wide receiver with the Green Bay Packers): “My son is a huge Broncos fan so I'll pick them.”
Super Bowl 50 is a great matchup and represents two top defenses. Carolina’s MLB Luke Kuechly and Denver’s OLB Von Miller will be the guys to watch as they make big plays. Both defenses will try to stuff the run and force the quarterbacks to throw.
Carolina, however, will be able to call some successful running plays, which will keep the offense two-dimensional.
Unfortunately for Denver this game will mark the end of an era and a takeover of the new generation with QB Cam Newton at the helm as the Panthers celebrate a comfortable win in the 50th edition of the NFL Final.
Super Bowl City Entertainment
If you’re in the Super Bowl City on Friday night make sure to check out the band Sweet HayaH, who will perform from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at location 17 on the map.
The Rock/Soul/Funk band from San Jose, Cal, writes its own songs and plays high energy music. Their new album called Gentle Lies is about to be released.
The multi-cultural sextet can’t wait to pump up the Super Bowl crowd and would love to see you at the venue to make this a special event to remember.