Prospector's Super Bowl picks


With the big game only a few hours away, Prospector sports editors weigh in on who they have winning Super Bowl 50. Three of the four take Cam Newton and Panthers, while one sticks with his guns and picks Peyton and the Broncos. Add your own predictions in the comments below. Whoever’s prediction is closest will receive a $10 Chipotle gift card.
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Jack Ankony
Broncos vs. Panthers. Old vs. new. In what could be Peyton Manning’s last game, he takes on the league’s hottest team lead by the hottest quarterback: Cam Newton. Aside from the intriguing quarterback matchup, both teams wouldn’t be here without their stellar defenses. Though Newton gets a lot of the credit for the Panthers’ 15-1 record, their defense lead by LB Luke Kuechly is just as deserving. This year, Carolina’s defense leads the league in takeaways with 39. On the other hand, the Broncos boast arguably the best defense in the NFL, leading the league in least amount of passing yards allowed. CB Aqib Talib and LB Von Miller will try to sustain their dominant defense, but against the league’s best rushing quarterback Cam Newton, it will be tough. In the end I believe Newton’s ability to pass and run at an elite level will ultimately be too much for Denver’s defense to handle. For the Broncos to win this game, I think they will have to score at least 30 to keep up with Carolina’s high powered offense. With Peyton Manning this season, the thirty point-mark has been hard to reach, only achieving this total twice. Though Manning will be the sentimental favorite, I predict Carolina will pull away 42-20, solidifying Cam Newton as the league MVP.
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Devin Prasad
I’m not going to sit here and act like I know all about the NFL. In fact, aside from dozing in and out of two or so games a week and my couple fantasy teams, I do very little to follow football. It’s just not the sport that interests me. That being said, Cam Newton is good, and that I know for sure. Aside from his ability to pass when he needs to, Cam can run. His 636 rush yards in the regular season ranked 31st in the NFL and first amongst quarterbacks by over 65 yards. Cam has also been hot this postseason. His 113.4 passer rating leads the league by over 20 and is 30 points more than Peyton Manning’s. That, however, is only half the story. On the defensive side of the ball, the game will be close. While Carolina led the league in turnovers season, Denver has been able to stifle opponents as well holding them to an average of 18.3 points per game. The combination of Demarcus Ware and Von Miller were able to get to Tom Brady in the Broncos previous game against the Patriots sacking him three times and knocking him down 11. The thing that makes this game different, however, is Newton’s ability to escape the pocket. In the end I feel his mobility will be too much to slow down. It’s going to be sad seeing Manning go out without his second ring, but with the way the Panthers are playing a W for the Broncos is just out of reach. I’ve got the Panthers as Super Bowl 50 champs, 31-20.
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Ben Dojutrek
While the Panthers have a superior offense, the key to this game is defense. The Broncos are the number one defense in the league, while the Panthers have the number two.  Two weeks ago, the Broncos were able to completely distract Tom Brady putting on constant pressure. What was interesting was how little they called the blitz. With that in mind, a rushing quarterback like Cam Newton is going to have problems. Plus Peyton, Manning has shown that he can do great in small bursts, not trying to overextend himself and the offense. Ultimately, the Broncos are just going to play smarter in order to win Super Bowl 50 28-21.
Ryan Molini
First thing’s first — I am a Green Bay Packers fan. Yes, I am biased.
Second thing. You are crazy to believe that the Packers should not have won the NFL Division Playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this. Say they do win the Cardinals game. I give them the favor over the Panthers in the NFC title game. The Packers for the second straight year, blew it. They had a chance — make that plural — chances to put that game out of reach. All in all, thanks for a couple bad drops by … Surprise surprise! Green-gloved Packers in both the secondary (4:40 in video above). Are you kidding me Sam Shields? Are you kidding me …? If Shields intercepts that ball the Packers have the ball up by three with a healthy Aaron Rodgers and 4:40 left in the game. I am confident with the way Eddie Lacy had been running that day averaging 7.4 yds/carry packed on with the divinity of Aaron Rodger’s fourth quarter play, that they run that ball 80+ yard down the field all the while running down the clock. Boom. Game over. Packers win. No need for the Hail Mary part two. No need for the ridiculous overtime coin toss that never flipped once. No need for the entire Packers defense to buy a ticket and become spectators as Larry Fitzgerald marched 80-something yards down the field to first and goal. Packers win. That’s final. But nope. Thanks Sam Shields—for dropping that sure interception.
All in all, the Packers should have won and they’d be in California this week getting all the media attention and I’d be one happy and nervous clam.
Truth is …  they’re not, so Panthers win. Cam Newton is too good for you, Wade Phillips. There has never been a quarterback like him. He will dab all over you, Wade … All over. Panthers win 27-20.
P.S. Go Pack go.