Football Insiders Super Bowl 50 Predictions


The football season comes to a close today when the Carolina Panthers take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.  Our Football Insiders staff put on our prediction hats and here’s what we came up with.

Charlie Bernstein-

After Championship Sunday, I was pretty convinced that the Carolina Panthers would run away with this game against a severely flawed Denver Broncos offense.  Maybe it’s paralysis by analysis, but over the last two weeks I’ve flipped.  No. 1 defenses have fared very well in Super Bowls (8-2) and the Broncos have recent experience in the big game being there just two years ago, and a pretty big chip on their shoulders after being blown out in that game and then being significant underdogs today.  Carolina is the better team and they would likely win seven times out of ten, but they only get one shot and this one will be won by Denver.

Broncos 20, Panthers 17. 

John Owning-

I have discounted the Carolina Panthers’ chances the entire season. I thought that their lack of offensive firepower would come back to haunt them at some point; however, it has not. Their defense has been one of the most dominant in the league and Cam Newton has been the best player in the NFL. The only chance the Denver Broncos have is for the defense to play lights out, like they have for much of the year, but I don’t see it being enough. Cam Newton and the Panthers dab their way to a Lombardi Trophy.

Panthers 21, Broncos 10

Mark Gunnels-

With two of the top defenses in the world being on the same football field, logic tells us there’s a good chance we’re in for a low scoring game. However, Carolina’s offense would say otherwise as they’ve averaged 40 points per game this postseason. Sure, Denver has a great cornerback tandem in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr, but Greg Olsen and Cam Newton are the difference makers. Olsen is a nightmare matchup and Newton’s size, coupled with his unique running ability will be the difference. Also, it’ll be hard for Demaryius Thomas to shake loose from Josh Norman and if he’s ineffective, it’s hard to imagine Denver sustaining drives, unless they can somehow be efficient on the ground against one of the best run defenses this league has to offer.

Panthers 24, Broncos 13

Devon Jeffreys-

Though it likely won’t come down to the final play as last year’s Super Bowl did, this should be a great game between two excellent teams. Denver’s defense alone should keep them in the game, in a way that Carolina’s other opponents this postseason have been unable to. But Cam Newton and the Panthers have too an offensive attack too potent to be stopped cold. The game is likely to come down to whether Peyton Manning can limit mistakes as he has in the playoffs leading up to this game, or if Carolina can use an opportunistic defense to jump him the way they have other quarterbacks all postseason, and the way other teams did Manning in the regular season. My heart pulls for Peyton, DeMarcus Ware and the Broncos, but my head says this is simply Carolina’s year.
Panthers 27, Broncos 21
Pat Donovan-
The Carolina Panthers have been the best team in football all season long, and there’s no reason to believe that should change during the Super Bowl. While a lot of people believe the game should be a blowout, but with Wade Philips having two weeks to prepare for Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense, Denver should be able to keep it close.

Panthers 27, Broncos 24


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