Begrudgingly, Patriots Nation has sobered up to the fact that our beloved boys of Foxboro are not going to be in Santa Clara, California this week. However, two more than capable teams are slated to take the field on Sunday.
Lets go around the horn and see what the BBS staff thinks of Sunday's game.
Pete: By all accounts, the Carolina Panthers are the much better team. They have the advantage at quarterback, and match up pretty well defensively. Unfortunately, I think that this game is going to be closer than a lot of us think. The Panthers should win, but it's not going to be easy...
Dan: Unlike Pete, I think this will be a repeat of the last time the Broncos made the Super Bowl, a beat down. The Broncos defense is amazing, but the Panthers' defense matches them play for play. The difference is the offense and I will take Cam Newton over Peyton Manning everyday of the week at this stage of their careers...Panthers win
Matt N: The Panthers definitely have the more well rounded team. On offense, they can run the ball either with Newton or with their running backs. Newton can also make plays down the field with his arm. I think the Broncos have the superior defense, but the Panthers have too many options on offense for the Broncos to stop. I still think it is going to be a very close game with the Panthers scoring the winning points in the last 5 minutes of the game.
Jordan: I've been picking almost every team in the NFL to beat the Panthers throughout the course of the season. But from we've all been seeing this postseason is that Cam Newton and these Panthers are a legit threat for much longer than just this season. Thomas Davis and Jared Allen are both good to go, but they're production may be limited because they won't be 100%. However, with these defenses, 20 points should be beyond good enough to win, and the Panthers have the better offense by far, especially at QB. Panthers win 24-10 in Noodle Arm's last game in the NFL.
Niko: Forgive my brevity, but i'm still pretty sour the Pats will be watching this game in the same manner as the rest of us. I'm rolling with the Panthers tonight. I see Denver having issues consistently moving the ball, and I think Cam will prove overwhelming in the end for a stout Broncos D. The two weeks off should help Peyton, but I don't think the running game will do him any favors against the Carolina front 7. 27-17 is my final. Newton Super Bowl MVP