Super Bowl 50

Have no clue what to look out for during this weekend's Super Bowl?  No worries, we've got you covered!  This primer is all you need to know for this weekend's big game!

The 30-Second Version

Who:     Denver Broncos v. Carolina Panthers

When:   Sunday, February 7, 6:30pm on CBS

What:    In this year's Super Bowl, watch the Panthers #1 scoring offense go up against the Broncos #1 defense. The major storyline everyone will be talking about is the matchup between skilled but aging Broncos QB Peyton Manning and athletic but controversial Panthers QB Cam Newton.

The 2-Minute Version

Denver Broncos


The Broncos have the best defense in the league.  Need a reference?  Just ask New England Patriots QB Tom Brady who was hit a record 20 times during the Conference Championships two weeks ago.  On the other side of the ball, things aren't as great. QB Peyton Manning started off the season with a league high 17 interceptions.

QB: Peyton "the Sheriff" Manning"

Background:  Peyton is a future NFL hall-of-famer.  He has been playing in the league for 18 years and despite all the accolades he's only won 1 Super Bowl, so you can bet he is looking to add to his collection before he retires.  But as he's gotten older he's been riddled with injuries, including neck surgeries, a foot injury, and not being able to feel his finger tips.

Style of play:   Peyton is a traditional pocket passer, so it's a pretty big challenge that his arm-strength is disintegrating before our very eyes.  You can bet that the Panthers will be looking to force interceptions whenever they can.  Peyton will have to use his high football IQ to try and outsmart the Carolina defense.

What everyone will be talking about:  This could be Peyton's last game before he retires.  Even though he hasn't made it official, he's started telling friends as well as Bill Belicheck and Tom Brady that this could be his "last rodeo.”  Everyone is rooting for Peyton to get one more ring before he retires, including Donald Trump.

Other Players to Watch

  • Offense:  Peyton's favorite targets are running back C.J. Anderson and wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas (whose mom was just released from prison and will be watching the big game).
  • Defense:  Von Miller and the entire defensive line will be putting pressure on Cam all game.  Also watch out for cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr.

Carolina Panthers


The Panthers had the best record in the league this year (17-1) and the #1 scoring offense.  They are looking to tie a pretty bow around this season with some Super Bowl rings.  Their game has virtually no flaws, but they are known for getting out to early leads and then slacking in the second half of the game, so maybe the Broncos will be able to take advantage.

QB: Cam "Superman" Newton

Background:   Cam is the most athletic QB in the league and he is heavily favored to be the MVP of the NFL this season.  He has an NFL high 45 touchdowns this season, 35 from passing and 10 from rushing.  

Style of play:  Cam is a threat both throwing the ball and running with it, which means that defenses have a really hard time guarding against him.  To give you some perspective about how much he runs with the ball, Cam had 686 rushing yards this season, while Peyton Manning has had 701 in his entire career.

What everyone will be talking about:  Cam is a controversial player.  People love him or they hate him.  Reasons to love him:  All the reasons above. He impresses with his athleticism time after time and he always gives footballs after touchdowns to cute kids in the endzoneReasons to hate him:  Cam has been accused of showboating because of his excessive celebration.  Other teams' angry fans frequently send him hate mail.  This Cam controversy has also sparked a debate about whether race may be a factor.

Other Players to Watch

  • Offense:  Cam's favorite targets are tight end Greg Olsen and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.  You've also probably heard of tackle Michael Oher (of The Blind Side fame).
  • Defense:  Watch out for cornerback Josh Norman and linebacker Luke Kuehchly. Stay tuned to see if linebacker Thomas Davis also plays in the game; he broke his arm two weeks ago but feels pretty confident he can still play.

The Outcome:  The Panthers are heavily favored in this year's Super Bowl, so Peyton Manning may not get his fairytale ending.  That's because the Broncos haven't had very many decisive wins this season.  In fact, 14 out of their 17 games this season were within 1 touchdown--the most in league history.

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