The 2015 NFL season was filled with excitement, drama, heartache and some memorable games, and it all comes down to one game to decide who will be the Super Bowl champion.
This year presents an interesting matchup as the Denver Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers from Levi Stadium in Santa Clara.
There is sure to be a lot of emotion, as this pits Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in what could be the final game of his historic career against Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who is looking to cap an MVP-caliber season with a Super Bowl ring.
This is similar to the Super Bowl from two years ago that pitted the Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks. The Panthers, like the Seahawks, have a young, aggressive defense, which could pose trouble for Manning because he is not like most modern quarterbacks, as he is traditional pocket passer and not the mobile type like Newton and others, such as Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers.
The Panthers are led on defense by aging defensive end Jared Allen, linebacker Luke Kuechly and cornerback Josh Norman.
The Broncos will no doubt lean on their stout defense, led by linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller and cornerback Aqib Talib. Both offensive lines will need to be on top of their game in this contest, otherwise these defenses will be looking to capitalize and could have some game-changing plays.
This game has several key matchups, but I think probably the will be Panthers corners Charles Tillman and Josh Norman against Broncos receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. These two receivers are no doubt Manning’s favorite targets. With Norman more than likely going to be locked in on Thomas, it’s going to put more pressure on the aging Tillman to hang with Sanders.
Other matchups to keep an eye out for: Broncos TE Owen Daniels against the Panthers linebacker corps and linebacker Michael Oher against Miller and Ware.
Now time for my prediction: As much as I would love for Peyton Manning to ride off into the sunset and get another ring, I really believe that Carolina and Cam Newton are going to “dab” their way to their first championship. I think the combination of Newton, and that attacking defense, will prove too much for Denver.