Here we go as Super Bowl 50 is really close to taking place on Sunday. The last two weeks of hype and numerous stupid Super Bowl tidbits are now history. Oh, we cannot forget all the dumb questions at media day! What a waste of time that day is for all the football players. Let’s be honest here, almost everyone watches the Super bowl whether it be for the commercials, you have some squares, your favorite player is playing, you have made a friendly wager with the neighbor or a friend at work, or you are attending a Super Bowl party. Let’s not forget the fact some have plunked down a large hunk of cash on who they think will cover the spread.
The Fat Guy has a pretty good record picking Super Bowls, only losing three against the spread since I started writing this column way back when (2003). The three losers were Pittsburgh against the Arizona Cardinals, the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco Forty- Niners and last year’s debacle the “Great Play Call” Seattle losing to New England!
The bottom line is, I should have only two losses. Thanks a lot, Pete Carroll! Boy, did you out-think that play call!
It’s time to break down this Super Bowl with some facts and figures for all you to ponder.
The Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos have some interesting trends in this football game, which we will get into later. The quarterbacks are 13 years apart in age, making it the oldest margin ever for a Super Bowl. I guess one could call it a passing of the torch game, if you wanted. In his last 20 games as a favorite, Cam Newton is 19-1 straight up. Denver, in its last 10 games, is a solid 8-2 straight up. When Carolina has been a favorite of five points or less this season, it is a solid 8-1. If you love the Panthers, you have to love that trend.
The other side of the coin is Denver supports a 5-0-1 record as an underdog in its last six games. Denver also was a solid 4-2-2 on the road, which is very impressive. Here is an alarming trend to me. The last four favorites have gone 0-4 and only covered three of the last 15 games! Ouch!
The Super Bowl has been very good to the NFC, however, going a stellar 20-10-1 against the spread. NFC has dominated the last 30 years of the Super Bowl. Denver brings in the No. 1 defense to the Super Bowl, which is good news for Denver and its fans. Why, you ask? The No. 1 defense has been to the Super Bowl 11 times and the No. 1 defense has won nine times and only lost twice. If you are one of those who believes that defense wins championships, then that trend is for you.
Here is how I think this game will play out. The Denver defense will have to repeat the performance it put on against Tom Brady and crew. The difference is, the Panthers can run the football and the Patriots could not. The Carolina offense adds a running game and a running quarterback in Cam Newton. Cam is one tough guy to tackle. Cam also has a rocket arm he can beat you with from the pocket.
Denver has the old veteran Peyton Manning, who will be trying to get his offense in favorable matchups against the Carolina defense. I look for Denver to try to run the ball and hit short intermediate routes with his receivers. Let’s be honest, though. The Manning deep ball is no longer there, so he has to throw it short. Peyton did make the throws against New England. I admit they were not pretty but he got the job done.
The Carolina secondary is the weakest part of its defense and the Denver defensive secondary is real solid. The Cardinals turned it over seven times, which made the Panthers’ victory lopsided. Denver will not turn it over seven times; trust me on that!
Here is the Super Bowl prediction: Carolina wins the football game but Denver covers the spread. Cam and Company 24 and Peyton Retires? 20. thefatguy@mihomepaper