Super Bowl 50 – Coldplay Welcomes Special Guests Carolina, Denver

Super Bowl 50
(Image Credit NBCBayArea.com)

Sir Isaac Newton is, even after his death way back in 1727, still considered by some to be the greatest genius who ever lived. In fact among physicists it’s probably neck-and-neck between him and Albert Einstein who’s Smart #1.

Fig Newtons were invented in part because many physicians at the time felt eating biscuits and fruit helped fight off digestion problems, considered to cause most illnesses (…and a shout out to our local native, baker and fig lover Charles Roser who patented the cookie cutter to make ’em way back in 1891).

Yet until several years ago – even after all those years – had you said the word Newton I would have immediately thought of Sir Isaac or Fig.

But now there’s Cam.

If you saw him play at Auburn you were likely amazed he looked like the biggest, fastest and most determined man on the field…and a quarterback at that.

At that time most of his detractors said he would get his comeuppance once he became a pro.

The last time I checked he still looks like the biggest, fastest and most determined man on the field. And still a quarterback…one who should be the shoo-in NFL MVP this season.

Cam Newton has accounted for almost 80 percent of the Carolina Panthers offensive TD’s this season. His ten rushing touchdowns – yep, as a quarterback – were just one shy of the NFL’s leaders…running backs Adrian Peterson, Devonta Freeman, Jeremy Hill and DeAngelo Williams. He’s a big reason why Carolina has run for at least 100 yards in 31 straight games including post-season play. He’s a big reason why Carolina led the NFL in scoring this season averaging just over 31 points per game. His teammates rally around their bigger-than-life leader, making sure he’s been hit only 61 times this year, the third-lowest total in the league.

I recall telling my wife while watching him in college I’ve never seen a guy like him.

I still haven’t.

I’ll admit Cam’s showboating on the field and the sideline has not been my idea of good sportsmanship or of having respect for the game. I’m a Barry Sanders guy (Google if necessary) – make first downs without creating a scene, score a TD and hand the ball to the nearest official…and show you’re doing your well-paid, highly-compensated job in a professional manner.

But when he’s just playing football…he’s doing his job about as good as it gets in 2015.

The Denver Broncos (14-4) are about to get a full-on view of Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers (17-1) in Super Bowl 50.

Some facts give Denver hope in trying to not wind up like Seattle and Arizona, Carolina’s post-season victims (their chalk lines are still visible on the Panthers’ field in Charlotte). Denver’s defense generated pressure on opposing quarterbacks more than any in the NFL this season. They have allowed opposing offenses to crack 30 points or more just once. Their defense ranks first in fewest total yards of offense allowed. Only seven times this year has a team rushed for over 100 yards against them. They are nasty. They are quick. I noticed some of their defenders looking to not just take down New England Patriots last week but take them out. And…be forewarned whistles tend to stay unused in the Super Bowl.

But alas, there are things that surely give Denver pause…like the not-so-unimportant fact their offense is just not very good. If you can hear this above the violins playing about this being QB Peyton Manning’s last game ever, a huge shout-out to that defense that has been winning games for the Broncos all season long. There is a reason Denver is 11-3 this season in games decided by seven points or less. Their offense simply doesn’t cut it – Manning has been inefficient courtesy in no small part to a confused offensive line and the subsequent lack of a running game – and the Broncos defense often has to ride to the rescue. The pressure on the Denver defense has been relentless this season. They know they’ve got to win games – close games – and they’ve been quite good at it.

Carolina’s defense? They have thrived off of turnover differential, leading the NFL and also factoring into the offense’s success as they’ve been rewarded with favorable field position. But consider this…the Panthers defense on average has given up only about the same number of points per game as Denver. That’s the thing. As good as we know Denver’s D is…Carolina’s at best just a hair behind. Everyone’s talking about the Broncos defense. I suspect the Panthers defenders are a bit annoyed and looking to prove they’re worth talking about too.

And Newton can’t wait to help them out…

So it shouldn’t take a smart cookie to figure out…

Carolina 23, Denver 16.

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside Philadelphia PA. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen US states (most just one time each) and Canada (twice). 50-plus years - married 30-plus years. Love massive quantities of sports, television and movies (viewed in a movie theater).
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30 Responses to Super Bowl 50 – Coldplay Welcomes Special Guests Carolina, Denver

  1. I am happy that Peyton made it to another Super Bowl, but it’s Newton’s and the Panther’s game. At least Peyton will be able to say he and his brother played in two of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. garym6059 says:

    I got a feeling this could get ugly fast, I’m a Hoosier and love Peyton to death hell he practically rebuilt Indy, but just don’t like this match up at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary, I completely wrote off Peyton after his injury and he gets mad props from me for fighting back and staying in the league a bit longer. Indy will always love him for how he lifted that franchise to another level. That being said, this sure looks like Carolina to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have such mixed feelings about this game. I love to have a horse in the race but honestly, I can’t decide who I want to see win more. In one way it would be nice for Peyton to win another SuperBowl – no more awkward family dinners at Mom and Dad’s! But alternatively, love him or hate him, Cam Newton is having a blast. I hope it’s at least an exciting game!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meg, I usually reveal in the comments section who I want to win so here goes…I don’t have an emotional attachment. Denver barely defeated a one-armed Roethlisberger who didn’t have Antonio Brown or a running game and then barely defeated a two-armed Brady who didn’t have an offensive line or a running game. I had a lot of respect for both the Seahawks and Cardinals before the Panthers beat them up so I think, along with only losing one game, the NFL would be more legit with a Carolina win if that makes any sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. cmblackwood says:

    Very nice article! And you know, I didn’t know that about Fig Newtons. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I won’t be watching, as I lose all interest once my teams are out of anything (yeah, I’m one of those), and normally don’t care who wins at that point, however, in this case, Go Panthers! The Broncos shouldn’t have even won the division let alone made it to the Super Bowl. (I’m not bitter or anything . . .)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. George says:

    I don’t know why I have this feeling that Denver might shock some people. Not sure if it’s wishful thinking on my part hoping that Peyton had one more great game in him but it’s what I’m hoping.
    I think top to bottom, Carolina is the better team but we all know the better team doesn’t always win. I think it’ll be entertaining, which is all those of us who don’t have a team in be game, could hope for.

    Liked by 2 people

    • George, I know a few folks who aren’t buying into the Panthers being a TD better. Whether Denver can muster a win is of course another matter entirely. Absolutely the better team doesn’t always win a one-and-done and we’ve seen our share of betting underdogs doing well in recent Super Bowls. I have just seen Manning struggle so much this year. I also have that Super Bowl from two years ago in my head.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Did I see that Lady Gaga is singing the National anthem? That would be great!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Troy Sparks says:

    I know it’s a big time comparison, but Colin Cowherd said that Cam is like the Magic Johnson of football. The smiling. I know it’s early in his career to say that, but I can see where Colin is coming from.

    This Panthers defense reminds me an awful lot of that Seattle defense from two years ago. Maybe Seahawk Lite.

    Carolina has a track record of blowing teams out early but producing tepid second half football (not counting last week). I think if the Super Bowl was played a week after the conference title games, I’d give the edge to Carolina based on momentum. Denver is more of a veteran group with aging players that might take advantage of the two week break. Of course, this could all be for naught.

    If Denver manages to keep the game within a field goal distance at the half, the second half is going to be mightily interesting. Grinding games out is their forte. I’m pretty excited, especially in comparison to the last two Super Bowls!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Troy, I think talent-wise the athletic comparison is valid if Cam plays at the same level for a few more years. As for the smiling there was a USA Today columnist who decided last week to criticize Cam’s “enjoyment” on the field and the sideline was being racist. Hey I’ve got a whole multi-cultural list of sports athletes who I think are showboats starting (in football) with anyone who has ever done that Lambeau Leap in Green Bay, J.J. Watt, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Rodgers with “discount double-check,” etc. But I digress. Carolina’s defense is not getting enough credit. They play from sideline to sideline and cover a lot of ground. If Denver could go up top that would be great…but they can’t. I do agree if we were playing this thing last weekend I would have liked Carolina even more. I also agree Carolina’s been blowing teams away in the first half and playing conservatively thereafter…the problem for Denver there is they don’t have the offense to launch a comeback. I remember how the Broncos panicked against Seattle two years ago – Peyton included – and never got back in it. If they get down early big that will be a new experience for 2015. Indeed, they need to keep the game close throughout.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Laura says:

    Hope you enjoy the game this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. aFrankAngle says:

    You mentioned Barry Sanders … I’ll follow with Paul Brown’s “Act like you’ve done that before.” The defensive players drive me more crazy than Cam. Nonetheless, he is quite the talent!

    Carolina is good … actually very good. On paper, the better team. I’ll pull for Denver in case this is Peyton’s last year …. While hoping for a good game, it could also be a blow out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Frank, I have mentioned in some other comments my memories are quite fresh from two years ago when Denver got lit up by Seattle. The Broncos of 2015 are not built for a high-scoring affair or a big comeback so if this gets out of hand early it will likely stay out of hand. Paul Brown was one of my favorites! I don’t have a rooting interest but considering the year Carolina has had I would consider them the more worthy champion if they “finish the deal.”

      Like

  11. SportsChump says:

    I’ve been going back and forth on who’s gonna win this game, Burnsy, flopping from Denver to Carolina then back to Denver.

    For this one, I may stay wager-free.

    Naaaaah, who am I kidding?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Little known in modern times fig fact: you can always tell where the outhouse was in an old homestead even if the buildings are all gone. Within a few paces of a giant fig tree. ’cause they always planted them there because the figs would grow big and juicy. Tasteful.
    As far as Super Bowl, I just hope it’s a good/interesting game, not one sided. Who could have guessed this would be the teams playing. Despite everything, Denver is a scrapper and has found ways to win. (Hope no one gets hurt)
    Wish the league would put pause on all the celebration after TD and all sorts of plays these days. The players are beginning to remind me of Bart Simpson. It’s your job, do it and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Troy Sparks says:

    Bruce, your former quarterback did an “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) on the NFL subforum of the website “Reddit”. Figured you might be interested in looking through some of his responses.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/44cnb5/im_donovan_mcnabb_reddit_ask_me_anything/

    Pretty funny guy. Somebody asked him if he had ever spoken to Rush Limbaugh since those notorious comments from 2003. He, of course, said “absolutely not” in three different ways.

    Liked by 1 person

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