So in the end as the confetti falls, which team will be Super Bowl champions? Here are my exclusive predictions for Super Bowl
Before we get to the greatness, check out accurate my predictions from back in September were. After all, when your predicted Super Bowl champion finishes 5-11 (as well as having the Colts as the one seed in the AFC with the Dolphins making the playoffs and the Rams winning a playoff game), you know that things have gone well.
Carolina Panthers (15-1) vs. Denver Broncos (12-4) - CBS, 6:30
an all-time classic of a game a year ago, as well as an all-time dud the year before which happened to feature the Broncos getting absolutely whipped by the Seahawks.
And let's be frank, I have gotten the Broncos wrong every step of the way this postseason. In the Divisional Playoffs, I took the Steelers. In the AFC Championship Game, I took the Patriots. Of course, I also picked against the Panthers during that same timespan but that was only once so take that as you will. And I have taken just about every chance to rip Peyton Manning for his noodle arm and while he really hasn't played as well as some are making it out to be, he has been the quarterback of a team that has reached the Super Bowl.
Plus, Denver may just have the best defense that we have seen in probably over a decade. They beat the hell out of Tom Brady in the AFC Championship and Wade Phillips deserves all the credit that a coach could get for what he has done with this unit. The Panthers are pretty darn good on defense in their own right but even they don't have that much on the Broncos defensively.
But here is why I like the Panthers to take this game. First off even with their terrific defense, the Broncos have not exactly had it easy as they could have very well lose either of them so they're not exactly coming in hot. Second, I don't see how this Denver offense can find that much success considering that Josh Norman should be able to slow down either Demaryious Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders and a pretty good run defense should be able to keep C.J. Anderson in check. And third, I think that Cam Newton, the presumptive MVP, will continue to be able to make some big plays as he has been doing all season long.
Panthers 24 Broncos 14