Five questions everyone is too embarrassed to ask about Super Bowl 50By Allie Day | 2/5/16 2:14pm | Updated 2/5/16 2:14pm
The Super Bowl is a big deal, even for those of us who don’t regularly watch the NFL - there’s probably a good chance you’ll be watching this Sunday with the rest of America. For those of you who need a few football reminders, here’s a simple guide to help you watch and talk about this Sunday’s big game.
Five questions everyone is too embarrassed to ask about Super Bowl 50 --
1) Who’s playing?
This is a good place to start. The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are facing off this Sunday in the biggest game of the season. The Broncos are the AFC Champions and the Panthers are the NFC Champions - basically the two teams won their respective conferences and are now meeting for the first time in Super Bowl 50.
2) How did these teams get to the Super Bowl?
A big reason both of these teams made it to the Super Bowl is because of amazing defense. In the postseason, the Panthers had eight sacks and the Broncos had seven, which shut down the offenses of the teams they were matched up against. Carolina also forced the most turnovers in the league in the regular season (39), while Denver had the most sacks (52). In other words, this Super Bowl depends on which offense can break through the opposing side’s defense.
To get a little more specific, (and to give you something to talk about at the Super Bowl party you may attend) here is a little background on both teams’ conference championships:
The Broncos defeated the New England Patriots in a close game to advance to the Super Bowl; the Pats missed a two point conversion in the final seconds of the game that could have tied it up. The final score was 20-18. The Panthers almost achieved a perfect season with a 17-1 record, and they didn’t hold back in the playoffs. In their game against the Arizona Cardinals, Cam Newton threw two touchdowns and ran for two more (wow), and the game ended with a 49-15 win for Carolina.
3) Who is Cam Newton?
Cam Newton is the 26-year-old quarterback for the Panthers and is a big reason for their success this season. He led the Carolina offense to be the highest scoring in the league, while also rushing for 10 touchdowns of his own throughout the season. Basically, he can throw and run the football. Newton can make game changing plays at the right moments and showed his versatility throughout this NFL season, which is why he is expected to be the MVP. He also recently became famous for his touchdown celebrations. Newton is a young, enthusiastic quarterback who has been extremely successful this season and is definitely someone to watch out for.
4) What’s the deal with Peyton Manning?
Right, so most of you have probably heard of Peyton Manning (not to be confused with his brother, Eli). This is his final season in the NFL, and he made history along the way as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Manning previously played for the Indianapolis Colts but has been in Denver since 2012. He holds the all-time record for passing yards (71,940) and the all-time record for NFL career passing touchdowns (539); he has so many awards and accomplishments that it would be difficult to list them all. Despite this, the 39-year-old has his work cut out for him against Newton this Sunday. Manning has the experience, but Newton is coming off a strong season and a huge win against the Cardinals.
5) Who’s projected to win?
The safe prediction to win Super Bowl 50 is the Carolina Panthers.
As I mentioned earlier, defense is going to play a large role in the outcome of this game - both teams are extremely strong in this area, and the team who can exploit the other’s defense will most likely win the Super Bowl.
Looking at just the quarterbacks, Manning does have experience on his side. He has started a total 26 playoff games in his career, winning 13. However, Manning is at the end of his time in the NFL and is not the quarterback he used to be. Newton, on the other hand, is at the beginning of his career; he has started just five playoff games so far, winning three. Over the past season, Newton has become a player who can make split second, game changing decisions and should not be taken lightly.
Tune in to CBS at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday to watch Super Bowl 50.