Santa Clara was not usually associated with glamour or football, but all of that changed when Levi’s stadium won the bid to host Super Bowl 50 two years ago. The new 49ers’ stadium is a modern and advanced coliseum, which seems more focused on entertainment than being the home of a good football team. With that said, the stadium represents the high tech area that surrounds it and it will show our beautiful area to the entire nation come Super Bowl week.
With the big game being in the Bay area for the first time since 1985 (where the 49ers dominated the Dolphins 38-16), the traffic, and population of San Jose will be at an all time high. During the week, avoid freeways and all downtown areas, which will be flooded with tourists and fans alike who are searching to find as much football as they can.
For the game itself, Peyton Manning hopes to capture his second Super Bowl win against the most complete team in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers. Carolina comes in riding the shoulders of quarterback and MVP candidate, Cam Newton. Newton lead his team to a 15-1 record and demolished the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC championship 49-15. Newton’s ability to stand in the pocket and make explosive plays with his feet make him a one of a kind player, and a challenge even for the Bronco’s number one ranked defense.
Denver comes in with a completely different identity than it had as the highest scoring offense in NFL history just two years ago. Now, the Broncos rely on their number one defense, led by outside linebackers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, who have a fierce pass rush against any quarterback. The secondary is also talented with cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr and Aquib Taleb. On offense the weapons are still there with All Pro wide receiver Demarius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but Manning has slown down severely. Earlier this season, when Manning became the all time leader in passing yards, he had one of his worst games as a pro, and missed time due to a foot injury. The Broncos will rely on ball control running with C.J. Anderson, and attempt to keep Carolina off the scoreboard, instead of having Peyton outscore the Panthers with a deep passing attack.
While Denver is a great defensive team, their underachieving offense will be their achilles heel in this game. Where Denver is weak, Carolina is strong and their balanced attack of running and passing will allow them to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Prediction: Carolina 31 Denver 17