I can’t believe it’s come down to this: one game for all the marbles. But it always comes down to this, doesn’t it? Every single year there are two teams scrapping it out to see who will come out victorious, and this year is no different. Just like last year the big game pits the number 1 seeds from each conference against each other. And just like the 2014 version of the game it features a clash of the league’s number 1 offense vs. the league’s number 1 overall defense.
Remember how that one turned out? I can bet you Peyton Manning remembers. It was a long evening, and the prolific Broncos offensive attack was stymied at every turn. That’s because defense wins championships. I believed it then, and I still believe it now. The difference is that the Broncos offensive attack is no longer the “aerial aires” show, and the defense is the main attraction.
But Cam Newton is a little bit more agile than the other quarterbacks Denver has faced this season, and he’s proven that he can take care of business with his feet when necessary. With Greg Olsen at his disposal, and some solid defense of his own, he and this Panthers team have only lost one game all season. That loss is important, though, because it was to Atlanta, a team that schemed all day to take away the legs of Newton, and for the most part succeeded.
So who do I think wins this golden championship?
Defense wins championships, and the best one in this game belongs to Denver. As long as the offense doesn’t turn the ball over this should be a battle of attrition, one that will be won by Denver, ironic considering just two years ago they were seen as one-dimensional in the other direction. Denver will win Super Bowl 50 not because they’re a better team than Carolina but because they have the better defense. They will harass Cam Newton all game just like they did to Tom Brady, and they have the athleticism to cut off his running routes.
Denver will win Super Bowl 50 because they win the ones that matter. Just ask Tom Brady.