In this week’s pre-Super Bowl 50 issue, we’ve asked members of The Signal staff who they think will come out of the game holding the famous Lombardi Trophy.
By Otto Gomez
Five years ago, the first two overall picks in the NFL draft were Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller. Well done. Next week, these two forces of nature are going to face off in the biggest sporting event on the planet and I think Carolina will come out victorious. Newton will all but surely collect the MVP trophy in a couple weeks and has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, alongside a very strong defense. While Denver’s D has been even better all year, I don’t think the historically-great Peyton Manning will be enough, and it pains me to say that we won’t be able to see him ride into the sunset — as much as we all want him to.
By Sydney Shaw
Greg Olsen will win Super Bowl 50 and the rest of the Carolina Panthers will bask in his glory. Olsen is a force to be reckoned with on all fronts and shutting him down should be a main priority for the Broncos if they want a shot at taking home a ring (but ultimately, I don’t think they’ll be able to stop the 6’5,” 255-pound machine). Olsen has emerged as Cam Newton’s number-one target in the passing game, boasting more than 1,000 receiving yards for the second consecutive year and about as many catches as the Panthers’ second- and third-leading receivers (Ted Ginn and Jerricho Cotchery) combined. With an asset like Olsen, the Panthers can’t lose.
By Matthew Bowker
We have been spoiled with great Super Bowls lately. Well, except for the last time Peyton played in one. And this time around, things will be more or less the same result for Manning. The Panthers are an all-around superior team compared to the Broncos. Both teams have comparable, opportunistic defenses that make a living on forcing turnovers. Lucky for the Panthers, Manning has a wet noodle for an arm, so Josh Norman and the Panther’s linebackers will be able to force a few interceptions. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Broncos pose almost no threat in the run game and are going up against arguably the best front seven in football. With the Panthers’s huge advantage on offense and Cam Newton being Cam Newton, I’m going with the Panthers in a blowout, 44-17.
By Michael Battista
Looking at Super Bowl 50, the game is going to be between a team that has been hot almost all season and a team thats flame has cooled with time. The Panthers were the only team this season to stay undefeated until the near the very end (with a loss that I called in Around The Dorm, thank you very much). The Broncos started strong and faltered a bit with some injuries while still losing only four games. The absolute destruction the Panthers have caused in the playoffs shows they are not cooling off yet, while Peyton’s boys won close or ugly games in 2016. Their defense is good, but the Broncos can’t stop Cam Newton’s offense.
By Matthew Ajaj
Coming off an impressive NFC Championship Game performance, Cam Newton looks poised to put a cherry on top of his MVP-caliber season with a Super Bowl win. Helping him to the big game were young phenoms Luke Kuechly and Josh Norman, who headline the outstanding Carolina defense. But believe it or not, the Broncos defensive unit is even better. It will be a low-scoring affair that has no chance of hitting the over on the 45.5-point spread. For this nasty, hard-nosed showdown, the edge goes to the old man with a legacy on the line. Peyton Manning is an all-time great, and the football gods will be on his side as he takes the reins one more time for what is sure to be his final game.
By Sean Reis
The Super Bowl is always one of the hardest games to predict in professional sports because the underdog frequently comes out on top. In Super Bowl 50, however, I do not foresee Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy late Sunday evening. Instead, I picture the league’s MVP (to-be) Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers defeating Denver in an extremely close game. Denver’s defense will be strong all game, scoring at least one defensive touchdown, but Manning will fail to produce on offense. In the fourth quarter, Carolina will trail by one field goal, but Newton will march the team downfield for victory and score the game-winning touchdown with his legs for the final score, 24-20.