Come Sunday, as much as I’d love to see the beloved Peyton Manning hoist the Lombardi trophy as he makes a triumphant exit from the NFL, I just don’t see it going down like that. While the Broncos defense is obviously going to give Superman Cam all his dabbing arms can possibly handle, he’s got the weapons to deal with it. Let’s also keep in mind that the Panthers defensive unit ain’t too shabby either. And if we’re calling spades spades here, Peyton Manning, at this point in his career, is a game manager which just won’t be enough.
If you don’t like my opinion, then let’s consider some numbers here:
During the regular season, when it came to total defense, the Broncos were the best in the league, giving up the least yardage in the air of all teams in the NFL (199.6 yards per game), and the second least yards on the ground (83.6 yards per game).
And who was second to the Broncos when it comes total defense? The Panthers!... Just kidding, it was the Seahawks. AKA the very same Seattle team that allowed the least points per game in the NFL this season. The same one the that Panthers just beat in the NFC Divisional Round. I’m not at all saying I expect this to be the same game. But, it is worth noting that Carolina has the tools to get it done against some of the league’s best defensive units. Not to mention they also have one of the league’s best defensive units themselves – which, in my humble opinion, will be the difference maker.
Despite the media circus surrounding the Dab King himself, I don’t think Cam Newton will be the Panthers’ most important asset in Sunday’s game. It’ll be Carolina’s defense. I just don’t think 39 year old Peyton Manning has enough magic left in him to take home another piece of hardware against Luke Kuechly, Josh Norman and the rest of the Panthers’ D. I’m still trying wrap my head around the meltdown that was Denver in Super Bowl 48.
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