Broncos and Panthers Advance to Super Bowl 50
The Denver Broncos held off a comeback attempt by the New England Patriots to win the AFC Championship 20-18 in Denver on January 24th, while in Charlotte, the issue was never in doubt as the Carolina Panthers hammered the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 to win the NFC Championship. It’s on to the Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California on February 7th.
The Denver-New England contest was billed as perhaps the final matchup between quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Manning had 176 passing yards and tossed two touchdown passes with no interceptions, while Brady had one touchdown pass and threw two interceptions. He had 310 yards passing. But the deciding factor in the game was the Denver defense, which sacked Brady four times and relentlessly pursued him the entire game. New England was also held to just 44 yards rushing, and the defense made stops on drives in key situations.
The Carolina defense was outstanding in the Panthers-Cardinals game as well. Carolia intercepted Carson Palmer four times and sacked him three times. Palmer looked lost out there, or perhaps he was just shell shocked. On the other side of the ball, Cam Newton threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns, plus he rushed for two touchdowns. We’re not surprised that Carolina played so well, especially at home, but we were surprised at the fall the Cardinals took at the end of the season—getting crushed by Seattle in the regular season finale, having to go into overtime to beat a Green Bay team they beat by 30 points three weeks earlier, and now this.
Here’s a link to some Panthers-Cardinals highlights