Super Bowl 50 a battle of defenses, quarterbacks

The Broncos and Panthers square off in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday night


Courtesy of Charlie Lyons-Pardue

Zach Stilgenbauer, Reporter, Scottsdale Chronicle

On Feb. 7, 2016, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will face off against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

Super Bowl 50 is not only the biggest game of the year for league MVP Newton but it might be his most difficult as well. Newton will be going up against the toughest defense the NFL has to offer in the Broncos.

Denver’s defense is stout all around but their defensive line is where they are at their best. The Broncos led the league in sacks this season with 52 with a lot of those coming from defensive ends Von Miller and Demarcus Ware. SCC student Anthony Aldridge believes that those two may cause Newton and the Panthers problems on Sunday night.

“Demarcus Ware and Von Miller might cause some trouble,” Aldrige said.

Not only are the Broncos stout up front, but head coach Gary Kubiak also has a great secondary to back them up. Pro Bowl cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib blanket opposing team’s starting receivers and free up the safeties, while Darian Stewart and former Pro Bowler T.J. Ward lay the hammer on anyone trying to catch passes over the middle.

Newton’s receivers may have a hard time getting open on Sunday against this rugged secondary but the Panthers has been solid on the offensive line all year.

“They have two Pro Bowl offensive linemen,” SCC student Justin Medinah said.

Center Ryan Kalil, guard Trai Turner and the rest of the Panthers offensive line will have their hands full all evening but the Panthers are equipped to avoid this pressure thanks to the elusive Newton. The key to the game could very well lay in the hands of Denver’s linebackers and safeties making sure Newton doesn’t beat them with his legs.

Super Bowl 50 may prove to be a defensive bloodbath with the Panthers also bringing in a star-studded defense, headlined by All-Pro linebackers Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly. And in what will likely be his final game ever, Manning will be in a mental chess match with defensive captain Luke Kuechly as both players are known for their expansive knowledge of the game.

Super Bowl 50 will likely be controlled by both teams’ dominant defenses but the victor of this game will likely be the team that protects the ball the best.

Catch Super Bowl 50 on CBS.