Are you sick of this yet?! I’m guessing it’s VERY LIKELY you are. Thanks for reading this, because if it were me I wouldn’t! I am to the point now where I look to avoid Super Bowl hype the week leading up to it, because really…how much is there to talk about? I’m doing my picks, so that’s a little different than most, and I’m looking to take an angle here today that most won’t, but man it is TEDIOUS!
This game has the feel of a few different games. Believe it or not, but I wasn’t around in January of 1969. But I’m a sports history buff…well…I’m a sports history buff as long as there is video, who the hell wants to read anything?! Side note, thanks for reading!
Heading into Super Bowl III, it was the old guard vs the new guard. The old guard in that case was expected to destroy the new guard. Even though he didn’t start the football game, Johnny Unitas did find his way into Super Bowl III. But the Colts, favoured by 19 points going into the game, lost to the man who was quickly becoming a pop culture icon, Joe Namath.
Don’t you have a little bit of that feel this week? Manning is the traditional, old school QB, and Newton is the “QB of the future” so to speak (although I roll my eyes at that notion). It is rare you ever seen Peyton in anything other than a suit, or maybe khakis and a golf shirt. It is rare that you ever see Newton in something you’ve never seen before.
Polar opposites, and it’ll make for a polarizing Super Bowl.
But that isn’t the only game I’m reminded of this week. It also has a little Super Bowl XXXII feel. That was when the defending champion and seemingly invincible Green Bay Packers led by the league MVP Brett Favre went in as massive favorites against the Denver Broncos, led by the old legend John Elway who just could never win the big one. Many believed that would be Elway’s final game, much like Manning. A few differences here though from that game, namely the fact that heading into this game it is Manning, the old legend who just can’t win the big one, has the ring. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s true.
Last year heading into the game you just had a feeling that we were getting the best matchup and potential for the greatest Super Bowl of all time, which once we’re another 3 or 4 years away from it I believe that’s how it’ll be viewed. This one in no way feels THAT way. But this one has potential to be one of the greatest stories in Super Bowl history should the Broncos win. It would be up there with Namath beating the Colts, Elway upsetting the Packers, the Giants ending the bid for 19-0.
Upsets are nice because most people pull for the underdog, but when it has a little something extra on it like those ones did and this one would, it’s so much better. Nobody ever talks about Super Bowl IV when the Chiefs upset the heavily favored Vikings, because it didn’t have the dramatic story to go with it. Super Bowl XXV is remembered for Scott Norwood missing wide right, but the Giants were massive underdogs going into that game. Again, no “win one for the gipper” story.
But the thing is, there is potential for this story a lot of the time. Super Bowl XLIII, Kurt Warner nearly pulled off the dramatic upset against the Steelers…but he didn’t. Super Bowl XXVIII would have been an amazing story had the Bills after losing 3 straight FINALLY won the Super Bowl…but they didn’t. Super Bowl XII had the potential for the ultimate redemption. Craig Morton was a Cowboys 1st round pick and was cast aside for Roger Staubach and the 2 faced off for the Super Bowl. What a redemption it would be for Morton to win. Instead, he was horrific and the Cowboys destroyed the Broncos.
So in all likelihood, this game will go one of 2 ways. It’ll either be one of the greatest stories ever told in NFL history, or it’ll be a blowout to begin the Cam Newton era of the NFL.
This all leads me to my pick ATS, and I’ll also do an over/under for the Super Bowl as I do every year.
I said on the podcast this week that I liked the Broncos because it was such a big number. But the more I give this thought, the more I say “pick with your head”. My head initially said “Panthers should be 6.5 point favorites”. Right now, they’re only getting 6. Then you have to look at what they did to the Seahawks D and the Cards D. Those defenses are no joke. They aren’t as good as the Broncos on D, but especially Seattle to end the season, they weren’t far off at all. And the Panthers put up 31 on the Seahawks in the first half. I also have to believe, despite Peyton Manning going to be ultra conservative, that the ball hawk Panthers D will get at least 1 pick. And then as high as I am on the Broncos D, I just can’t see them stopping Cam Newton.
The Broncos haven’t played the Panthers and Newton since 2012, Broncos DC Wade Phillips hasn’t gone up against the Panthers since Newton’s rookie season…and the Panthers won that game. I can see teams figuring it out when they see a guy on the 3rd or 4th time, not on essentially the 1st go around.
I won’t lie to anyone, I am pulling HARD for the Broncos. A lot to love about the Panthers, but I tend to pull for the underdog like most people, and I tend to pull for the best story which would be the Broncos in this case. But, that’s my heart. I said I’m picking with my head.
Super Bowl 50
Denver vs Carolina
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