Super Bowl 50: A Game to celebrate the NFL
February 7, 2016
Super Bowl 50 Preview and Prediction
Tonight at 6:30 ET/3:30 PT on CBS, the 50th Super Bowl will be held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. This year’s edition of ‘The Big Game’ features what some consider the greatest quarterback of all time, in Peyton Manning, and the 2015 NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year, in Cam Newton.
The Broncos come into the game with a 14-4 record after defeating the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. During the 2015 regular season they boasted the top defense in the NFL, led by linebackers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. Their defensive dominance highlighted the AFC Championship game, as they knocked down legendary Patriots quarterback Tom Brady 20 times. The Broncos defense allowed 283 yards per game, the least in the NFL and led the league with 52 sacks.
At 39 years old, Peyton Manning will become the oldest quarterback to ever start in a Super Bowl game. Some speculate that the game could be Manning’s last as an NFL player. After the AFC Championship game, Manning allegedly told Patriots coach Bill Belichick that this could be his last rodeo.
The Carolina Panthers come into the game with a 17-1 record, after demolishing the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 in the NFC Championship game two weeks ago. The Panthers are led by the aforementioned MVP quarterback, Cam Newton (4,473 total yards, 45 total touchdowns.) The Panthers offense, which led the league with 31.3 points per game and was second in the league in rushing during the 2015 regular season set the tone for the team’s unprecedented performance this season.
The matchup will be the first in Super Bowl history where two former number one overall picks in the draft will face each other. Peyton Manning was the number overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft for the Indianapolis Colts out of the University of Tennessee. Cam Newton was the number one overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft for the Carolina Panthers out of Auburn University.
Head coaches Gary Kubiak of the Broncos and Ron Rivera of the Panthers will be the sixth and seventh former players who will also have participated in the Super Bowl as a coach.
The Broncos will be donning their white away jerseys and the Panthers will wear their black and silver jerseys. That might bode well for the Broncos, given the fact that 10 out of the last 11 Super Bowl champions wore white.
Las Vegas has the Panthers as 5.5 point favorites over the Broncos for Sunday’s 50th edition of the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Denver Broncos 27 Carolina Panthers 20
Super Bowl MVP: Peyton Manning
12 Facts to know about ‘The Big Game’
- Super Bowl commercials over the years
During the first Super Bowl, the average price for a 30 second ad on television was $37,500. In its 50th year, that price has ballooned to $4.5 million per 30 second commercial.
- Super Bowl I
On January 15th, 1967 the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League (AFL) by a final score of 35-10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The game was made possible when the AFL and NFL agreed to merge their two leagues together and form one. In 1967, they called it the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Although the name Super Bowl did not become the official name for the game until the two leagues fully merged and transitioned into one league in 1970, the game is considered the first Super Bowl.
- The Perfect Season
Through Super Bowl XLIX, the 1972 Miami Dolphins (17-0) are the only team to finish the regular season undefeated and win the Super Bowl. The record was almost broken in the 2007 season, when the New England Patriots entered Super Bowl XLIII with an 18-0 record, but were upset by Eli Manning and the New York Giants.
- Terrible Towel Domination
The Pittsburgh Steelers hold the league record for most Super Bowl championships with six, winning in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005 and 2008.
- Dallas, Denver, New England and Pittsburgh, plus eight
This year’s Denver Broncos make their eighth Super Bowl appearance tying the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most appearances in the Super Bowl.
- Chuck Noll’s what he’s doing
Former Steelers head coach Chuck Noll has the the most Super Bowl victories for a coach, with four.
- The drive for five
The player with the most Super Bowl rings is former Defensive end Charles Haley of the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. He has five rings from the big game.
- South Beach and its Super Bowl reach
Miami, Florida has hosted the most Super Bowls in the 50 year history of the game along with New Orleans, with ten.
- Four Super Bowl Trips not enough
The Buffalo Bills hold the record for most Super Bowl appearances without a victory. During a span from 1990 to 1993, the Bills went to four consecutive Super Bowls. They lost all four by an average scoring margin of 49-21.
- Back to Back
Seven teams have won consecutive Super Bowl titles: the 1966-1967 Green Bay Packers, 1972-1973 Miami Dolphins, 1974-1975 and 1978-1979 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1988-1989 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1997-1998 Denver Broncos and the 2003-2004 New England Patriots.
- Super Bowl Virgins
Only four teams in the NFL have never appeared in a Super Bowl in their franchise’s histories: the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans. The Texans are the only NFL team that has not made it past the divisional playoff round.
- NFC vs. AFC
The National Football Conference (NFC) of the NFL holds the edge in Super Bowl victories over the American Football Conference (AFC) 26 to 23.