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That’s ‘Predictions’ – plural. Because we’re not just gonna predict who’ll win and the spread. We’re going to predict the flow of the game across the quarters, who’s going to win the MVP, and more. Then you get to see how we did!
Manning Will Strike Deep Early
The biggest question about Peyton Manning going in: how much arm is left? He’ll want to answer that and answer early, giving him softer coverage underneath.
Thomas Davis Will Play.
This is our easiest pick make. Thomas Davis isn’t the kind of guy who’s going to be kept out of the Super Bowl. Look for a big play late in the game.
Jonathan Stewart Is Good For 75
He’s got size and speed enough, but in this game it’ll be Stewart’s veteran talents – vision, patience and a recognition of the moment – that’ll see to it that the Broncos’ vaunted D isn’t quite able to shut down the Panthers’ running game.
Denver Might Thwart Cam Early
In particular, Denver is good enough to figure out how to shut down Greg Olsen. At least for a half.
Kuechly Will Figure Peyton
A gimpy arm is too much for Peyton to ‘plan around’, and sometime before the first half ends Luke Kuechly will spot something in his dump-off game. Manning has a record of getting burned in Super Bowls, including a couple of Pick Sixes.
Cam Scores On The Ground
It’s easy to imagine the Panthers in the red zone, jamming up all their receivers. Look for a first-half rushing TD from Cam. He might flatten a Broncos DB along the way – someone he’d usually slide to avoid.
Cam Good For 50 Rushing – By Halftime
The Denver D will do a few things well, but it won’t contain Cam Newton running, especially with the abandon that comes from knowing it’s his last game.
Someone Will Forget Vernon Davis
Unfortunately for Carolina, that someone won’t be Peyton Manning. And this time, Davis won’t have forgotten his hands in San Francisco.
Late 3rd Q: Manning Overreaches
This is Manning’s second pick. It could be Kuechly again. But it wouldn’t surprise us if Manning didn’t start the 3rd hot, maybe even connecting for another TD.
Von Miller Held Sackless In 2nd Half
We think he might get Cam for a sack sometime in the first half. But that’ll be all. In the second half, he’ll bring down Cam a couple times, but they’ll be shoestring tackles from behind as Cam is past the line of scrimmage and headed downfield.
No Answer For Ted Ginn
Greg Olsen will get all the secondary’s attention – a little too much. To see what Ted Ginn is going to do to Denver, see what Antonio Brown did to Denver and cut it by a third. That should be enough for the Super Bowl MVP.
Panthers By 14+
Playing catch-up in the 4th, Denver is more likely to press too hard, giving up a score the other way, than it is to score and close the gap to the Vegas spread (which will hover around 1TD). Denver won’t let themselves get blown out early like they were against Seattle two years ago. But the truth is, Carolina just beat a team that was better than these Broncos. Vaya Con Dios, Peyton. Hello, Age of Cam.