Well today is the day, Super Bowl Sunday! And not just any Super Bowl Sunday, but the 50th Super Bowl Sunday! Could we have asked for a better storyline for this 50th battle of the two best teams in the NFL? In my opinion, you couldn’t and here is why.
Let’s start with what everyone is talking about and that is possibly Peyton Manning’s last NFL game. A legend of the game and a guaranteed first ballot Hall of Famer. As most people know Peyton Manning started playing football in the NFL in 1998 when he was selected 1st overall by the Indianapolis Colts. After a storied career with three Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl title, he came into this season with most people thinking that he had lost his ability to not only play at a high level, but even play at all. You could see slight declines in his numbers over the years and the injuries were piling up, including a major neck injury that ended his career with the Colts. Manning missed a full year from the neck injury and missed several games this year to other ailments. In his absence, quarterback Brock Osweiler led the Broncos to a 5-3 record with some big wins against the New England Patriots and the Cincinnati Bengals. With the team’s success and Peyton’s injuries, many people believed that Manning had played his last days with the Broncos. However, with the Broncos struggling in their final game against the San Diego Chargers, Peyton replaced Brock Osweiler and led a game winning drive to secure the victory and the #1 seed in the AFC. Even with Peyton back and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, many people including myself, didn’t believe the Broncos or Manning were good enough to run the table and make it to the Super Bowl. Not only did they win, but they beat two great teams in the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. Now with one last game to play, you wonder if Peyton can do it one more time and ride off into the sunset as a champion.
Now, the other half of this story belongs to the Carolina Panthers. Their story is quite different than the Broncos. Carolina has played solid all year and posted a 15-1 regular season record. They are also led by NFL MVP Cam Newton who runs the best offense in the NFL. Cam is known for his large frame and ability to run and pass all over opposing defenses. Many people wonder however, if the stage is too big for Newton, who has come under public criticism for his excessive celebrations during games. He has been fined over $200,000 for giving footballs away to kids and is known world-wide for his touchdown celebration of Dabbing! The thing I like most about the Carolina Panthers is that they are new blood and in my opinion have the best overall team in the NFL. Not only is their offense ranked as the best in the NFL, but their defense is ranked highly as well. Defensively, they are lead by linebacker Luke Kuechly who makes plays all over the field and could cause a major issue for Manning and the Broncos offense. I am happy to see a different team in the Super Bowl like the Panthers. Don’t get me wrong, last year’s Super Bowl that featured Tom Brady and Russell Wilson was fantastic. I am however, glad to see someone else besides Seattle and New England.
When it comes down to it, I don’t really care who wins. All I ask for is a good competitive game. If it comes down to the final drive like last year, I will be a happy guy. I would like to see Peyton go out on top as he has had an amazing career and has always been a class act. On the other hand, I want to see a different team reign atop the NFL. Can Cam makes his mark as one of the game’s greatest, or will the legend of Peyton Manning steal the spotlight? Time will tell and enjoy the game everyone! Remember, it’s the last game until September….