Carolina Panthers vs Denver Broncos
Its a rematch of Super Bowl 50 as the Carolina Panthers travel to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. Both teams said goodbye to two key veterans in Peyton Manning and Josh Norman. Manning retired for the Broncos and Norman left the Panthers in free agency for greener pastures and the Washington Redskins.
Despite the departures of Manning and Norman, the core of both teams is still in place. The Panthers offense will once again center around Cam Newton and a strong running game while the Broncos will lean on their defense as they break in a new starting quarterback in Trevor Siemian. We’ll find out soon enough, though, just how good these teams will be.
Panthers Keys to Victory
1. Pass Protection: Von Miller absolutely destroyed right tackle Mike Remmers in the Super Bowl. Remmers is probably still having flashbacks. If the Panthers want to get off to a good start offensively in this game, they need to give Cam Newton more time.
2. Get Consistent Pressure On Siemian: The Panthers don’t blitz a lot, but they may have to in this game. It is imperative that Carolina gets consistent pressure on Siemian and throw him off of his spot.
3. Avenge the Super Bowl: Why not? The Panthers should have a revenge mindset heading into this game. You can’t change what happened in Super Bowl 50, but you can use that loss as motivation to set the tone for this season.
Broncos Keys to Victory
1. Trevor Siemian Must Play Well: Siemian must validate Gary Kubiak‘s faith in him and play well. The Broncos coaches saw something in Siemian this preseason and that’s why they named him the starter. Siemian must prove Kubiak and his staff right by proving he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
2. Wade Phillips: The Son of Bum put together a masterful game plan for Super Bowl 50. Look for a similar approach in this game as Phillips puts pressure on the Panthers offensive line and forces Cam Newton to hold the ball.
3. Win the Turnover Battle Again: The Broncos forced four turnovers in Super Bowl 50. Winning the turnover battle again in this game could be the difference between winning and losing what could be a tight game.
Point Spread: Panthers, -3
Moneyline: Westgate: Carolina -165, Denver+145
Carolina will finally solve the riddle that is the Broncos pass rush and win what should be a close but highly entertaining game.
Pick: Carolina Panthers: 24, Denver Broncos: 17