Official Game Day Thread: Postseason: SUPERBOWL 50: Panthers vs Broncos
Hello Broncomaniacs, (This is a longer thread)
Here we are, been a long two weeks filled with media hype and speculation. Let me start by saying I am grateful to be able to do a 2nd Bronco Superbowl thread in 3 year period. These moments don't happen often and you never know when you will get there again. Since becoming a fan, I've seen the Broncos make it to 6 other Superbowls, two of which they won. The loss to the 49ers was the worst one I thought I would ever see by a Broncos team. Superbowl 48 put that to rest.
So here we are 24 months later, the team that had the #1 offense changers direction and now has the # 1 D. We are only the 4th team since the merger to lead the league on the fewest passing and rushing yards per play. By tomorrow we will know if flipping the script will work. I appreciate all the work it took to get the team here, if it is the last game with Peyton as our starting QB it has been a heck of a ride.
So lets get down to some details.
Since 1970 the # 1 Defense has went 9-2 in the Superbowl.
Peyton Manning is 7-1 in road games in the Bay Area (SF & OAK) after losing in his rookie season to Steve Mariucci's 49ers.
Broncos are 9-0 (including post season when we rush for 105 yards in a game)
We played a lot of close games this season. We went 11-3 in games decided by 7 points or less.
The Broncos are 12-1 when they hit the QB at least 7 times.
The Broncos only give up (283.1 ypg) Through 18 games the Broncos have given up (18.33) ppg
The Panthers have the # 1 scoring offense at (31.3)ppg The Panther give up (19.27) ppg
Carolina has rushed for over 100 yards in 31 straight games.
Panthers have 39 takeaways this season & only allow opponents to score on 26.5 % of their drives.
Denver led the league with 52 reg season sacks, Carolina was 6th with 44.
Carolina led the league with 24 Ints, Denver was 13th with 14.
For total offensive yards per game Carolina ranked 11th (366.9 ypg) Denver ranked 16th with (355.5)
Since the AFC championship all have heard is how formidable Carolina is, and how they love to get off to fast starts. Media loves you to believe a story line. Carolina during the later part of the season started getting most of their big first half leads. During the first 9 games Carolina they averaged 13.2 points in the first half of games. And the majority of QBs they faces should strike fear in your hearts. They took on the greats, Bortles, Mallet, McCown, Winston 2x, Bradford, Mariota, Cousins, an Injured Romo, and Ryan (2x) That is 10 wins there in 11 games. They did have to face Wilson, Luck, Rodgers, Brees and Eli Manning. Against those better QBs they won as well by scores of +4, + 3, +8, +3 and + 3. In those same games they gave up 23,26,29,35 & 38 points.
If Peyton protects the ball and has some magic in him and we have protection there are points to be had. Jared Allen coming off a bad foot. Thomas Davis with a broken arm. That helps. They have good Defensive players in Kuechly, Norman and Kawan Short.
The Oline of Carolina is not unbeatable. Cam was sacked 33 times for 284 yards (8.6 yards per sac)
Denver Qbs were sacked 39 times for 247 yards (6.33 yards per sac)
The media seem so into Cam and the Panthers running attack that they forget in all of Denver's struggles. We got wins vs KC, Pit, Cinci, Vikings, Packers, 2x Patriots. No small feat with a struggling O-line, inconsistent running game and a QB Carousel.
Cam is dangerous with the run. He ran over 600 yards this season and score 10 rushing Tds. When they get near the 10 yard line Cam wants to be the one to punch it in. Olson has been his go to guy this season. Denver had the benefit of facing several good tight ends this year and other than Gronk they did a pretty good job.
Then there is the D, they have a good D, We have a better D. IF we can contain Cam and tackle well their offense will be limited. The game plan has to be different and Wade Phillips knows that. Your can't let Cam take it up the middle and have to be careful as they run screens and reverses. The D needs to do their job, be aggressive, but do not over pursue. Ginn, Brown and Funchess are easier receivers to cover than we face with Pitt and NE. I can't wait to see what Phillips has planned.
Then there is the Manning factor. He has had 2 weeks to rest the arm again and he has looked fresh after any extra time off this season. The passes are crisper with more drive on them. You start running up tempo and hurry up offenses Carolina starts to struggle. We need the WRs to step up. DT needs to come out of witness relocation and be felt. We need to create mismatches. Get the ball to Vernon Davis, be creative with the run game. Avoid 3 and outs and let Hillman tire the D out so Anderson can be the hammer. Most of all, protect the Ball. AZ and Seattle had turnovers when they forced the ball, or threw the ball when about to be sacked and gave easy scores to Carolina. Peyton has went 10 quarters without an int, we need him to go 4 more. Secure the ball as a RB and a receiver. Take what they give you , but be smart.
Elway brought in these defensive players, hired Kubes and Phillips in order to get us here. Peyton has a chance for his 200th win, to have a positive playoff record and to win a 2nd Superbowl, the first QB to win with his second team. We all know what is at stake. I'd have been more concerned if we were facing Seattle than Carolina. They made it to the dance, beat the teams they had to beat, that does not make them the best team. Denver made it here to and we as fans know the team we have , should we win tomorrow those who hated on us our disrespected what we did this season will have to do some back stepping to eat crow.
I hope we win tomorrow. I don't have any idea of how this game will go, but I like our chances. I think it will be closer than many have given us the chance for. I just don't want to see us beat ourselves. Avoid the mistakes, turnovers and ill time penalties.
Thank you Broncos for a heck of a ride, been a very emotional season but your one of two teams that made it here. Do your job and finish what you started. Thank you to all who have posted here this season and likewise bled orange and blue. So for a final time this season, me and my family wish you and yours a good year and as always... GO BRONCOS!!!
The excitement is palpable. Obviously, I want the victory, but I really want to see our guys fight every minute of the game. Punch the Panthers in the mouth every play. Do not stop, no matter if we're down 20 or up 20. Keep swinging!
Adopted Posters - Broncoholic MS, thatkidhunt, Al Wilson 4 Mayor, Thors Hammer, McSmashie, CanDB, Peanut, BroncoManiac_69, MightyHorse, CHARGER$, Chillez, EddieMac Married Megan Joy on August 18th, 2013
Proud Daddy of Jeremiah James born February 24, 2011 Adopt-A-Bronco 2013 - Champ Bailey Yankees, Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche, CU Buffs
I still miss you Jake Plummer!
#1 priority is ball security! Carolina is +20 in turnovers for the regular season, that is 6 more than the next team's TO margin (+14 KC)... interestingly the highest in 2014 was +14 by the Packers. They also have 9 takeaways in their 2 playoff games. Carolina thrives on turnovers. If the Broncos are to win this game they cannot lose the turnover battle.
Stopping the run is probably the Broncos #2 priority, especially stopping Cam...
Carolina is 2nd in rushing this season - Buffalo was 1st with Tyrod Taylor 1st in rushing per game for QBs -, Jonathon Stewart is 8th in rushing for RBs, with Newton 2nd in rushing for QBs. If we take away Cam's rushing yards Carolina goes from ~142 per game to ~102 per game ... if we take away the Broncos QB rushing yards their rushing yards per game is ~100 yards. Carolina averages 4.3 yards per carry, Broncos 4.2 yards per carry. The Broncos defense is #1 in yards per run play at 3.3 yards, 3rd in rush yards per game, they certainly are capable of stopping Carolina on the ground.
#3 priority for the Broncos is probably rushing for at least 110 yards. The Broncos are 17th in rushing yards. Broncos are undefeated (9-0) when they rush for at least 105 yards this season... our goal should be 110 yards. As usual we have to run the ball effectively if the Broncos are to win this game. Carolina's defense is #4 in rush yards per game, they give up 3.6 yards per play, it will not be easy to rush for over 100 yards against Carolina's defense but if the Broncos commit to it I think they have a decent chance to meet that goal.
Cam Newton in total pass yards was ranked 16th this season, 29th in pass yards per game - he has an average of 7.8 yards per attempt which is good/great, but he ranked 15th in total yards per game. He averaged 39.8 yards per game rushing, 2nd for QBs, 4.8 per carry. A lot has been made of his ability to run the ball as a QB - 8 carries for 40 yards per game is not really anything spectacular but is still enough that the Broncos need to stay aware of him running the ball.
Carolina is 24th in passing yards per game, not really that great. Our strong pass rush can contain Newton and make it difficult for him to get the ball to his receivers, but it will be very difficult to keep Cam contained AND limit his pass yards.
Carolina has scored the most points in the regular season as a team, their +20 TO margin contributes substantially to the total points scored. As long as the Broncos don't give the ball away I think they can keep Carolina's offense from scoring too many points to overcome.
I think this game goes down to the wire like most of the Broncos games have this year. If the Broncos win the turnover battle, run the ball effectively and shut down the Panthers running game I think they can win. I don't think Manning has to do a whole lot ... move the chains, don't throw INTs and rely on the running game and defense to win this.
This will be a tough game, hard to say who wins ... GO BRONCOS!