• 50 Things About Super Bowl 50



    Stories that we’re going to let others handle:

    1.How this could be Peyton Manning’s last game.

    2.Cam Newton’s attitude, antics, or wondering if, gosh darnit, people like him.

    3.The Broncos choosing to wear the white uniforms.

    4.Peyton Manning’s legacy.

    5.Peyton Manning's preparation. Cam Newton's, too.

    6. Any attempt to resurrect the “Omaha” discussion.

    7. Michael Oher “Blind Side” stories.

    Things that don’t matter:

    8.Previous records.

    9.Previous results in the playoffs.

    10. Any home and road splits of any kind for each team. The Super Bowl can’t be figured that way and the sample sizes are too small to begin with.

    Things that matter:

    11.How effective Thomas Davis can be. If Manning can find Owen Daniels for 4-5 big catches, then the chances for a Denver win increase drastically. We will see how well Davis can play, particularly his tackling. I don’t think he will have problems running with people, but I wonder if he can be exploited at all. I also wonder if he will finish the game.

    12. How much better the Carolina offensive line is than New England’s. Continuity is probably the most important thing for a line. The Panthers’ starting line has been together for 86 of a possible 90 game starts. PFF ranks them as the 3rd best pass blocking group. A power running game and good blocking overall are great solutions when facing a tough pass rush.

    13. Evan Mathis vs. Luke Kuechly/Kawaan Short in the run game and Michael Schofield/Louis Vazquez vs. Charles Johnson/Star Lotulelei in the pass game. Evan Mathis is still one of the best run blockers in the league and Short was my pick for the most improved player in the league (no, really). We all know how much Kuechly will mean with a less effective Thomas Davis, but the ability to bring pressure to Manning’s face will be equally important. Also, a big pass rush from the Panthers would force the Broncos to make Daniels stay in and block much more often.

    Fun Facts and Farces:

    14. Peyton Manning is much older than Cam Newton. In fact, he will break his own record for the biggest gap in age between Super Bowl quarterbacks. Manning is 13 years and 48 days older than Newton, breaking the mark set by Manning two years ago against Russell Wilson. Also, Manning becomes the oldest QB to start a Super Bowl, supplanting his boss, John Elway, for that honor. Obviously, Elway would love to have Manning go out on top like he did. The former Stanford Cardinal could also become the first former Super Bowl MVP to pilot a winner from the management side of a team.

    15. Coaching Carousel Fun: Gary Kubiak and Ron Rivera both took over for John Fox. Wade Phillips also took over for Kubiak in Houston during the 2013 season.

    16. Coaching Carousel Fun, Part Two: John Elway made his first Super Bowl in 1989. That year was the first year for Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator for Denver. This year, Wade Phillips returned as DC and Denver made the Super Bowl again in his first year back. It’s time to fire and re-hire Wade in alternating years. Of course, they lost that first game 55-10 to that season’s MVP (Montana). Cam Newton is expected to win league MVP in a landslide.

    17. When Peyton Manning won his lone Super Bowl, Ron Rivera was the linebackers coach for Chicago.

    18. Cam Newton could become the first quarterback since Joe Montana to win the Super Bowl after winning a collegiate national championship. The other one? Joe Namath, who, like Newton, played in what is now the SEC.

    19.Maybe Cam Newton is a superhero. He does a Superman celebration, once rolled a truck and played shortly after and got this year’s offense to be the number one scoring unit in the league even with Ted Ginn dropping 10 of his 20 touchdown opportunities. Let’s just hope that the Broncos don’t call him an ___hole just one more time. I wonder who would be Charlize Theron in this scenario. Greg Olsen?

    20. Ted Ginn? Coming into the season, he had 11 career receiving touchdowns. This year, he had ten in the regular season and added one more rushing touchdown against Arizona to give himself 11 offensive touchdowns this season. Unfortunately, he still wasn't the key to the season.

    21. If Peyton Manning wins the game, he will have a gap of nine years in between Super Bowl victories. It would the second longest gap in league history. The longest? Tom Brady, who set the mark at ten years just last season. Just another thing he can't beat Brady at.

    22. Peyton Manning has had a different head coach in each of his four Super Bowl appearances. Those men are Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, John Fox and Gary Kubiak.

    23. The Panthers have continued to be good at what they were good at during the regular season. After leading the league in turnovers forced (39) and points off turnovers, they have forced nine more in just two games. For the whole season, they have a +28 turnover ratio.

    24.The Panthers have rushed for 100+ yards in every game this season. In fact, during the last three seasons, Carolina has rushed for 100+ yards in 46 of 53 games played. They are 3-4 in the seven games they haven’t and are 34-11-1 in all other games. During the regular season, the Broncos allowed the lowest yards per rush (3.2) and rushing yards per game (83).

    25.The Broncos average of 22.2 points per game on offense is the lowest since the 2008 Steelers (21.7). Pittsburgh went on to win the game.

    History:

    26. Top teams in total defense are 9-2 in the Super Bowl. Denver led this season. Seattle lost the Super Bowl after taking that honor last season. They were the first #1 defense to lose in the Super Bowl since the 1969 Minnesota Vikings.

    27. Top scoring offenses are just 10-9 in the Super Bowl. Carolina led this season. The last top-scoring team to win the Super Bowl was the 2009 Saints. The quarterback they beat? Peyton Manning.

    28. Teams with a 15-1 record in the regular season are 2-0 in the Super Bowl. The two winners occurred in back-to-back seasons. San Francisco beat the Dolphins after the 1984 season. Chicago did it the next year. The three other 15-1 teams (2011 Packers, 2004 Steelers, 1998 Vikings) all failed to reach the Super Bowl.

    29. Ron Rivera is trying to become the first person to become a part of two 18-1 NFL teams (‘85 Chicago, ‘15 Carolina pending). The 1984 Niners and the 2007 Pats are the only two other teams with 18+ victories in NFL history.

    30. While the numbers 1 and 18 are uncommon for quarterbacks in Super Bowl history, the match-up itself the rarest. This is the first game to feature two quarterbacks who were taken #1 overall in the NFL Draft.

    31. Top Seeds, Part One: This is just the sixth Super Bowl since 1993 to feature the top seed in each conference. Last year, New England became the first AFC team to win one of these games. Previously, the NFC had won each of the other four meetings by an average score of 38-15.

    32. Top Seeds, Part Two: Since 1993, the AFC has been more diverse, with only 10 (including New England) top seeds reaching the big game. The NFC has had 16 of 23 top seeds make the Super Bowl.

    33. It appears that Gary Kubiak is the first one to participate in a Super Bowl as a player and then a coach for the same team.

    34. The Denver Broncos have five Super Bowl losses, which is the most ever. If they do lose, they tend to lose big. The average score in those games is about 41-12. With a loss, Peyton Manning can “join” Jim Kelly (4), Frank Tarkenton (3) and John Elway (3) as the only quarterbacks with 3 or more losses.

    35. During it’s history, the Super Bowl does not tend to be a close game. The average score has been around 31-16. Recently, though, things have gotten closer. For the last ten years, the average score has been 28.2-18.6.

    36. Since the merger, the average Super Bowl winner ranked around 6th in offensive points per game and 6th in defensive points allowed per game. Carolina ranks closest at 1st on offense and 4th on defense. The average Super Bowl loser ranked 6th in offensive points per game and 8th and defensive points allowed per game.

    Possible Headlines:

    37. New York Post- “Out to Pasture: Panthers Dominate, Send Manning to Retirement.”

    38. The Charlotte Observer- “Ready for the Cam-eras: Newton leads Panthers to First Super Bowl Victory.”

    39. The Denver Post- “Broken Arms: Davis Intercepts Manning to Key Victory.”

    40. The Denver Post- “A Manning For All Ages”- Broncos victory, Peyton cements legacy.

    41. The Charlotte Observer- “Riverboat Wrong.”- A key fourth down call dooms Carolina.

    Predictions for the Game:

    42. Carolina’s defense will have more sacks than Denver’s defense.

    43. No quarterback will throw for 225 yards.

    44. The Carolina streak of 100+ yards rushing will continue. In fact, they will have that much by halftime.

    45. Both quarterbacks will throw an interception.

    46. If the over/under on how many times the broadcasting crew says a variation of “Manning has more zip than people have said” is 5.5, I am taking the over.

    47. Ted Ginn will catch a touchdown. Greg Olsen will not.

    48. Gary Kubiak will not try to enter himself into the game, but he will be tempted to. (Career Super Bowl stats: 5-7, 76 yards)

    49. Cam Newton will be the MVP of this game and the league. The Panthers will win 31-19.

    50. COUNCIL OF THE LEARNED SUPER BOWL PICK: (CAR 7-2)
    Conference Championships: 1-1
    Season: 167-99 (62%)
    Unanimous: 45-17 (72%)

    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Great stuff, Rich. I look forward to this article each year.

      I'm going the other direction with Greg Olsen. TEs have been a tremendously weak position historically in the Super Bowl with no standout performances. Greg Olsen will not only score a TD, he will be on the short list for MVP, and will only need 1 game to pass Jay Novacek as the top TE in Super Bowl History.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      24.The Panthers have rushed for 100+ yards in every game this season. In fact, during the last three seasons, Carolina has rushed for 100+ yards in 46 of 53 games played. They are 3-4 in the seven games they haven’t and are 34-11-1 in all other games. During the regular season, the Broncos allowed the lowest yards per rush (3.2) and rushing yards per game (83).
      The Panthers are one of the few top offensive teams you can actually say "run and win" instead of "Win and run". For example the 2009 Saints were a "win and run" team, in that they would rack up the score and then run out the clock, and therfore acumulating those 100+yard games. Teh Panthers rack up those 100 yards to win, like theose old 70's Steelers did.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Now up is a corresponding podcast for your listening pleasure: https://soundcloud.com/polishguy00/p...ypodcast2-5-16
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      You sum things up nicely, Rich.
      I believe you did leave out the big story of the week--Cam's pants. I assume we are going to allow others to deal with this story.
      20. Ted Ginn? Coming into the season, he had 11 career receiving touchdowns. This year, he had ten in the regular season and added one more rushing touchdown against Arizona to give himself 11 offensive touchdowns this season. Unfortunately, he still wasn't the key to the season.
      You know, in some ways Ted Ginn finally actually was the key to the season. Benjamin was out. Cotchery was out for a while. Funchess has made progress, but wasn't ready for prime time. Philly Brown? Has had some moments. Ted Ginn has made big plays on special teams and yes, he has a maddening tendency to drop the damned ball, but I can't count the times that Cam has gone right back to him and he's come up with a big play. #19 has been big for the Panthers this season.

      I am shocked that 2 of my teams are playing each other in the Superbowl. I'm all in on the Panthers, but I'd love to see Manning get another championship, so I'll be happy either way. My gut tells me that the Broncos' defense comes up big and Peyton has just enough left to win this one. I just hope both teams come out and play a game worthy of their amazing seasons.
      Also, if Peyton wins and retires, I can jump off the Broncos bandwagon. I am not a fan of Mr. Elway.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      I am not the biggest Cam Newton fan, but that fumble he didn't dive at? I think he new he wasn't going to get it and the quickness of his reaction when Ware missed it suggest he was hoping for a rebound. Maybe.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Well, I am pretty happy that we went over all of the ways Denver could win and what types of things they needed ..... and then it happened exactly that way. So, the prediction stunk, but the analysis was correct on the podcast.
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottDCP View Post
      I am not the biggest Cam Newton fan, but that fumble he didn't dive at? I think he new he wasn't going to get it and the quickness of his reaction when Ware missed it suggest he was hoping for a rebound. Maybe.
      Listening to Cam's non-response to this question yesterday (and I'm never 100% sure of what Cam's talking about), I get the feeling that he really just couldn't get himself in position; it looked bad on T, but whatever else people may say about him, I've never seen him as a low-effort, self-preservation kind of player. The Broncos' defense had the Panthers a little shell-shocked for whatever reason, and they looked about a step slow all night. In fact, I think they sent the 2014 team to SF...
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      who knew Biggie was such a romantic?


      http://www.fox19.com/story/31205716/...valentines-day
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      who knew Biggie was such a romantic?


      http://www.fox19.com/story/31205716/...valentines-day
      Biggie is Da man.