Two weeks ago, when I made my picks in the conference championship games, I was wrong about pretty much everything. I thought the Patriots would walk all over the Broncos. Instead, Denver’s defense, led by an otherworldly Von Miller, decimated Tom Brady, thereby allowing
Grampa Simpson Peyton Manning to play in his fourth, and surely final, Super Bowl. Meanwhile, I thought Carolina-Arizona would be the game of the year, with the Panthers only surviving because Carson Palmer would turn back into Carson Palmer at exactly the wrong time. Well, it sure wasn’t the game of the year, but I WAS right about Palmer. Man oh man, did he pick a bad time to remember that he’s a shitty quarterback.
Anyway, I don’t have a lot to say about Super Bowl 50 in
San Francisco the very expensive Silicon Valley strip mall the Niners call home. I may not even watch it, just because I’ll be at risk of having a rage-seizure every time they show an overhead of beautiful San Francisco without mentioning that the stadium is 50 (hey, that’s appropriate!) miles from the City by the Bay. About the only thing that makes me happy about this whole situation is that someone tagged “evict ed lee” on the statue at Alamo Square (my old hood).
So let’s just get to the pick, which I think is a pretty simple one. Denver’s defense is great, but the Broncos are going to have a tougher time with the Panthers than they did with the Pats. Carolina’s solid run game—from both Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton—will keep Miller and DeMarcus Ware from pinning their ears back and launching themselves at the quarterback on every single play. And Newton has a much better shot of evading those guys than cement-footed Tom Brady did.
Meanwhile, does anyone believe that Denver will be able to move the ball against the hyper-physical Carolina defense? If Thomas Davis is limited—and you have to think he will be, given that he broke his arm two weeks ago—it hurts the Panthers a little bit, but the Broncos had one of the worst offenses in the league this year, and Manning, again is basically Grampa Simpson out there at this point.
The Panthers’ ball-hawking defense had five pick-sixes in the regular season, and Luke Kuechly already has two in the playoffs. I’d be shocked if they don’t get one off Peyton in this game. Frankly, I’d be shocked if Peyton survived this game. (Which raises a question: If the NFL’s favorite son died on the field during the Super Bowl, would the league immediately disband?)
Anyway, I just don’t believe that Denver can score against Carolina. And with the way Carolina has come out guns blazing in the first halfs of the last couple of games, I could see this getting out of hand early. And honestly, I don’t think I can live in a world where Peyton Manning gets to walk off the field a champion after his final game. I mean, doesn’t this just feel like the year when we pass the torch from the old white guy quarterback to the hip-hop generation quarterback?
The pick is Carolina 32, Denver 16. Dab it, Super Bowl Champion Cam Newton.