Ok, so I’m, as opinionated as I am, never afraid of admitting I was wrong. And, well, I was wrong in some of my Super Bowl predictions. However, who could’ve predicted that the Panthers would turn up their game to eleven or the Arizona Cardinals taking Green Bay out in a way reminiscent of the Kardiac Kids–minus the loss in the Divisional game. I, for one, didn’t. Apologies aside, let’s get into who you should expect to see at Levi’s Stadium come February 7th.
Most folks would say “Oh, well, I see Carolina and New England in the Super Bowl with the Panthers nullifying the Deflategate foolishness and taking the win in February.” And truth be told? You would have a pretty solid prediction. It’s one that’d probably win you some money in Vegas. I’m not that much of a gambler, so let’s look at how the divisional games played out. They were all close – and Carolina’s game didn’t need to be.
Carolina almost threw the game away when playing Seattle after being up 31-0 to start the second half. And while Arizona only squeaked by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, they showed that letting up on the gas defensively can spell disaster for any team that plays them. So, with that in mind, I’ve got to go with the Arizona Cardinals winning their match-up against Carolina, therefore representing the NFC in Super Bowl 50. There’s no doubt that Cam Newton is a Superman and there’s no doubt that Carolina is an elite team. However, they sometimes have shown a tendency to let up in a few games (their Seattle games this season, their lone loss against the Atlanta Falcons, and their game against the New York Giants come to mind).
Do I want to see Cam Newton and Carolina dab their way into San Francisco and hoist the Lombardi Trophy? Oh, heck yeah. However, as solid and elite as they are, Arizona is at that same level (and they have the advantage of playing a slightly more difficult schedule). I see their matchup being another cardiac game with Carson Palmer performing some more late-game magic.
Moving over to the AFC, we’ve got an old rivalry renewed between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Over the years, they’ve given us some pretty amazing games. Their pairing in this year’s AFC Championship game will be no exception.
While Manning has served as more of a game manager these days, he’s still shown flashes of the brilliance that’s made him one of the most-feared quarterbacks in NFL history. Meanwhile, the Patriots have dealt with injuries all season and have suffered because of it (See, I didn’t make two Deflategate jokes in a piece). Star receiver Julian Edelman retreated to the X-Ray room during New England’s divisional game against Kansas City and the Patriots may be down two members of their defense. This game, like its NFC counterpart, will possibly come down to a last-minute move. I, however, still see the Denver Broncos walking out of the match with the win.
I will not provide an actual Super Bowl prediction until the teams are set. So, until then, feel free to tweet me all your “Speed, you don’t know WTH you’re talking about” comments, rage messages, and more. It’s, as always, just my opinion.
The views of our contributors are their own, and not necessarily those of Boi-1da.