• Wagers & Lagers: Super Bet 50 Edition

    Welcome to this season's final edition of Wagers & Lagers. It's a long way until September, so we've given you a pretty tremendous sendoff into the offseason in the hopes that you'll remember us and come back to join us again next season. First, we'll make our conventional Super Bowl picks, and then weigh in on a collection of prop bets from the reasonable to the ridiculous. Finally, as always, we'll give you an in-game snack and some booze for the week.


    MK: So, we're doing the same thing we've done all season: we'll be picking the ATS winner in Super Bowl 50, as well as the over/under on that contest. The rest comes later.

    If you haven't already done so, to get a fuller preview, you should probably read some of the other content produced on this site for a fuller preview, including Rich Gapinski (of this column) in his annual X Things about Super Bowl X1 and Brian Williams's Golden Anniversary All-Super Bowl Team. We do pretty good work around here.

    Panthers (-5.5) vs. Broncos, O/U 45

    RG: It would be pretty disingenuous of me to go against what I have been saying for two weeks now. I have to go with what my preview says. My prediction comes down to the fact that I think the normal game scenarios play out in Carolina's favor. While I am well aware of Denver's 14 close games in 18 games played, any sort of decent lead for the Panthers makes the road a tough one for the Broncos. I think this is the case not just because Peyton is old, but also because the Carolina defense is every bit as effective as Denver's. The formidable Broncos defense has all the number stats in their favor (yards allowed, rush defense, opponent QB rating, etc..), but Carolina is the best at providing turnovers and giving their Cam Newton an easier time of things. I do think both offenses will play a bit better than advertised, but I think Carolina finds a way to win by more than 10 points. PICK: Panthers, Over

    PS: With two weeks to prepare, I think Wade Phillips will devise ways to frustrate Cam Newton into reversing his tendency to not turn over the football. Then look for Gary Kubiak and Peyton Manning to do all they can to put together some clock chewing drives and keep the Panthers offense on the sidelines. These are two great defenses and both teams have relatively trustworthy kickers. Those two facts point to a low-scoring affair. I would love the UNDER at 46, but will have live with it at 45. PICK: Broncos, Under

    MK: I don't think this is a terrible complicated bet. Carolina really passes the eye test, having demolished Seattle and Arizona in first halves during the NFC Playoffs. Those are good defenses and with good quarterbacks, and while the Panthers had the benefit of playing at home, you can't convinced that was all because the games took place in Charlotte. Denver, meanwhile, has squeaked by teams all season, including in their two post-season wins.

    Both of the defenses are great, but really, this is about offense. I just don't see what Denver can do to either build a lead or come back from a deficit. They don't run the ball particularly well, and Manning simply can't go down the field any more. Denver has been outgained in their last five games, and prior to that, they lost a game 10-3 to Oakland. They're facing the best scoring offense in the NFL, and they have enough guys who can make plays on the periphery and pound in the middle to break through this defense. Even if Ted Ginn, Jr., drops a sure touchdown, Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart are surely upgrades on the ground over any combination of Fitzgerald Toussaint, Jordan Todman, James White, Brandon Bolden, and Steven Jackson,, as non-runners Martavis Bryant and Tom Brady led their respective teams in rushing in each of the last two games. PICK: Panthers, Over


    MK: I need a lot of action this week to ensure that I can get over .500 for my aggregate total of regular season and playoff wagers here at W&L, so we're providing a gargantuan number of prop bets on the game across all its phases. Where relevant, I've also included the money line for each bet, which is to say, the amount of money a gambler, if someone were actually doing this, would need to risk in order to make (or relative to) one hundred dollars. For instance, if a money line is -145 (as it is in our first prop bet), a gambler needs to risk $145 to win $100 from the house; if the number is +115 (again, like the other option in our first prop bet), then a prospective bettor would need only $100 in order to make $115. In short, a negative total denotes a favorite and a positive one assigns underdog status. Money lines, much like this column, are provided for amusement, and have no bearing on the scoring in this round.

    First scoring play:

    Touchdown (-145)
    Field Goal or Safety (+115)

    RG: The safety bet is one of the more interesting stories over the last ten years of the Super Bowl. After having years and years of no safeties, the game has exploded with four in the last ten games. Some people won a lot of money with those bets and now Vegas has caught on and killed the odds. In this game, though, I think it would have been a bad bet anyway. I think the first score will be a big touchdown. Whether it's a sack-fumble, a pick, a Sanders punt return or a Ginn kickoff return, I think the first score will be something that allows Phil Simms to talk about momentum for about five minutes straight. PICK: Touchdown

    PS: While a big play touchdown would not surprise me, I think points are going to be at a premium in this game. PICK: FG/Safety

    MK: It just feels to me like Carolina is either going to stomp down the field on their first possession, or Denver is going to have found something on film and, knowing that they're the underdog, they're going to take the points it can generate immediately and early. PICK: Touchdown

    Team to score the shortest touchdown in the game:

    Panthers (-130)
    Broncos (EVEN)

    RG: Let's see, do I go with the team with tanks like Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert or do I go with the team that has unproven backs and a QB with less tread on his tires than an Edsel? PICK: Panthers

    PS: Kinda hard to argue against Carolina being highly likely to score from the 1/2 yard line, right? PICK: Panthers

    MK: Yeah, in hindsight, this was probably not one of the best football-related props, and I'm not sure why I included it. Which means we'll all be wrong about this. PICK: Panthers

    Over/Under, successful field goals by both teams combined: 3.5.

    RG: Well, my prediction must have either 2, 5 or 3 to get to the final score. Based on that completely logic-less stupidity, I guess I have to go Under.

    PS: Defense & field position will be critical. Points are going to be at a premium. Look for a healthy dose of the kicking game. PICK: Over

    MK: Four is actually kind of a lot of field goals. I actually think there will be more scoring than people expect in this game, and Carolina has scored ten touchdowns this post-season. I guess this is a moment to hedge. Denver will absolutely move it enough between the twenties before stalling at least twice, and McManus will capitalize, if nothing else; that means Carolina just has to settle for points twice, which seems reasonable against Denver's defense. Anyone feel like there's going to be a situation early in the game where it's 4th & inches on the plus-side of the 50, and Carolina should obviously go for it, but Phil Simms is going to be absolutely in favor of taking the points because it's the Super Bowl? PICK: Over

    Over/Under, largest points lead of the game by either team: 14.5.

    RG: I've stated to a lot of people that I think the Panthers just have to continue what they have been doing all season to win. So, based on their current modus operandi of taking big leads only to the opposing team come back in the second half (except for the Cardinals, of course), I think Carolina is likely to jump out to a 21-3 or 21-6 lead before getting more conservative to ensure victory. PICK: Over

    PS: I am holding true to my belief that this will be a low-scoring affair. PICK: Under

    MK: That half-point puts this in the total-Vegas-Zone of the props. This is essentially a bet about whether you think Carolina can jump out to a big lead again, but wouldn't you love this at 13 or 13.5, Rich, but at that half point over two touchdowns you're a little worried? PICK: Over

    Over/Under, passing yards by Peyton Manning: 235.

    RG: For Manning to beat this number, he is going to have to remember some guy named Thomas. He hasn't done that since his return and I wonder if he has the ability to do so. I saw a stat that said that Manning's longest air throw this season was just 38 yards downfield. Think about that. The first scary thought is what happens when Denver is forced to pass. The second scary (and sad) thought is whether that means Manning will even finish his last game. Sure, he is probably too smart in the pocket to get hurt again, but we never know. Pick: Under

    PS: I think Manning will get close to 235 yards via a mess of dink & dunk passes to, well, I dunno. But it will besomebody, right? PICK: Over

    MK: As Rich said, the biggest indictment of Manning since his return is that one of the best receivers in the NFL has six catches for 52 yards in two playoff games. If Denver is satisfied with their best offensive player not being involved, then I don't know how he beats this number. That said, you figure that Denver is either going to be (1) throwing the ball a ton because they're behind, or (2) using the pass as an extension of the run to move the ball and keep up with Carolina. PICK: Over

    Over/Under, pass attempts by Cam Newton: 28.5.

    RG: This is a tight one. Newton has been under this number for three straight games, but only 8 of 18 for the season. How dare I attempt logic again for a list of almost completely random guesses. You know what, I am going with the Under. I think they will be successful in the first half with 18-ish throws and there will be less of a need in the second half as Carolina tries to impose their will on Denver.

    PS: I think Bum's Son is going to find a way to make Cam throw the ball more than Riverboat Wrong would like. PICK: Over

    MK: Like the largest-lead-of-the-game bet, this comes down to whether you believe Carolina will build that early lead they've gotten so many times this season, only more so. It's entirely possible for the Panthers to pull away late and still have a lead of better than two touchdowns at some point, but it's hard to see Cam throwing less than thirty or so times if the game remains tight for at least three quarters. I also think that coaches and players unwittingly get caught up in narratives like everyone else, regardless of what they tell you, and the Panthers are going to try to put an exclamation point on Newton's MVP season. PICK: Over

    Over/Under, rushing attempts by Mike Tolbert: 3.5.

    RG: How about this prediction: I think Cameron Artis-Payne will end up with more carries than Tolbert. PICK: Under

    PS: How about this line: 2 carries for 1.5 yards and 1 TD? PICK: Under

    MK: I'm going against the grain here. Remember that Ron Rivera was the defensive coordinator of San Diego before becoming the head coach in Charlotte, and brought over Mike Tolbert from the Chargers in his second year in Carolina. Yes, he was a good fit, because he'd worked well in Norv Turner's offense, and he was bringing him to work with like-minded offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski--for whom Norv Turner would later work in Cleveland--but seven years together is a long time in the NFL, especially for a player who's not an eye-popping talent. I think Rivera gets him some touches, and he could beat this easily if the Panthers roll. PICK: Over

    Over/Under, rushing yards by C.J. Anderson: 65.5.

    RG: I think Ronnie Hillman comes off the bench to out-rush Anderson. I think Denver has a much better chance to win if Anderson beats this bet. Obviously, that will mean that Denver is playing with a lead during the game. However, as it has happened a few times, I think Hillman will come off the bench and bust something like 35 yards on his first 4 carries and get the remaining looks during the game. However, I am not sure if either one of them ends up with 10 carries. PICK: Under

    PS: What Rich said. PICK: Under

    MK: A rushing-and-receiving yards bet would be better for Anderson, I agree. PICK: Under

    Over/Under, receptions by Demaryius Thomas: 5.5.

    RG: Who? PICK: Under

    PS: The opposite of what Rich said. PICK: Over

    MK: I've already talked about this a little bit. The o/u on receiving yards for Thomas is somewhere in the sixties, a bet I'd be much more comfortable with rolling the dice on, because he's big enough to drag defenders and shake them off and fast enough to break open at least one catch in the game, but Manning hitting him six times puts a lot of faith in Peyton's arm that I just can't justify right now. PICK: Under

    Over/Under, receiving yards by Tedd Ginn, Jr.: 42.5.

    RG: Over, and he will do it will just two catches for the whole game. I'm thinking two for forty-seven.

    PS: Ginn can easily break 43 yards on any play. It may be his only catch of the game but... PICK: Over

    MK: I think Corey Brown is the Ohio State receiver on Carolina more likely to make an impact on this game. PICK: Under

    Over/Under, combined quarterback sacks by both teams: 5.5.

    RG: I'll take the Over an even give numbers. Four for Carolina and two for Denver. I think this bet is beaten by exactly a half sack.

    PS: Five is a big number. I'll pass. PICK: Under

    MK: In their four playoff games, these teams have seen a combined total of four sacks (twice, PIT @ DEN and ARZ @ CAR), six (SEA @ CAR), and seven (NWE @ DEN). So, this number, predictably, is kind of perfect. The Broncos have some shaky protection issues and enough playmakers on defense that I'm willing to go after this one. PICK: Over

    Will a defensive or special teams touchdown be scored?

    Yes (+145)
    No (-175)

    RG: This is my sucker bet of the list. It seems like when we see odds like this that we are always thinking about what we perceive these defenses to be and not what they actually are. For all the bluster and babble about the great defenses and Denver's good special teams, Denver had six such touchdowns with only one on special teams and Carolina had just five such touchdowns, all of them on defense. Interestingly, both teams had exactly four pick-sixes and one fumble return TD. So, this is where I hedge my bet by going back on my prediction for about five minutes ago. PICK: No

    PS: This is most definitely a sucker's bet. Good thing I walk around with a lollipop wrapper on my head. PICK: Yes

    MK: I mean, maybe, but what the hell? If you were doing this in real life, you'd have to risk $175 to make a hundred to bet that a team that didn't start the play with the ball will score a touchdown. To hell with that. PICK: No

    Will there be an onside kick attempt in the game?

    Yes (+145)
    No (-175)

    RG: Yes, late in the game as Denver attempts the late comeback. PICK: Yes.

    PS: Think Sean Payton to start the second half in SB XLIV. PICK: Yes

    MK: Yeah, somebody is going to try one at some point. PICK: Yes

    Will either backup quarterback take a snap in the game?

    Yes (+275)
    No (-450)

    RG: I stated this fear above, but I think both finish the game. Had this been the "how many players attempt a pass" bet (always set at 2.5), I might take the over. PICK: No

    PS: Absent an injury, not a chance. PICK: No

    MK: I really want to pick yes just for the idea that Derek Anderson could take a snap in the Super Bowl, but it's hard to pull the trigger on this one. I know it was John Fox, but there's no way Manning could be so ineffective that Kubiak would pull him, right, in what has to be the final game of his career? PICK: No


    MK: Now, this is what you've all been waiting for: semi- or completely random prop bets that have nothing to do with the actual football being played. I usually excel at these, so I'm hoping to make my move here and bring home my first W&L championship since like 2012 or something.

    What color will the liquid be that is poured on the winning coach?

    Orange (+125)
    Blue (+300)
    Clear (+400)
    Yellow (+400)
    Red (+600)
    Green (+1000)
    Purple (+1000)

    RG: It's going to be some story when the world finds out that the Panthers won the game by chugging straight vodka during the game. PICK: Clear

    PS: Both team wear blue in some capacity. PICK: Blue

    MK: It's time to retire the Gatorade bath, I think, but it's hard to pass up orange here.

    What will be higher, the total points scored by the winning team, or the percentage of votes Donald Trump receivers in the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary?

    Trump (-200)
    Total points by Super Bowl winner (+150)

    RG: (Inner monologue: Don't get fired, don't get fired, don't get fired) Um, PICK: Winning Team

    PS: Donald Trump is an asshat. Gimme Cruz or even Rubio. PICK: Trump

    MK: This is my favorite prop of all time. So, I've had a theory about why a petulant clown who never elaborates any of his policies--you know, when he isn't proposing something that is obviously illegal--beyond that they will be 'phenomenal' or 'awesome' could be leading in the polls basically wire-to-wire from his entry in the race, and it's that people bandwagoned around him because he could always pass himself off as a perpetual winner. He's rich, he's famous, his name is on hotels and casinos and he appears on popular television shows, and his immediate surge to the top of the polls seemed to confirm all this; now, though, he's undeniably lost something in Iowa, and once that aura of invincibility is shattered, people are always more vulnerable and that vulnerability is recognized. I've thought this was coming for a while. I think the hard Rs might look elsewhere and the moderate section of the party is louder in New Hampshire than in Iowa, so I'd expect to hear a lot about John Kasich and Chris Christie. I've already said that I think Carolina wins and scores somewhere approaching 30, so... PICK: Winning Team

    Over/Under, times John Elway will be shown during the broadcast: 2.5.

    RG: I think this is a good number. I can think of two really good reasons to actually show him. At some point in the first quarter, they will show him while doing the "going out on top" angle for Manning. Then, at the end of the game, there will be a brief shot of him consoling Peyton Manning or a really long segment of them celebrating together. I think two is the exact amount. PICK: Under

    PS: The narrative around Manning's impending retirement and all that... PICK: Over

    MK: If this includes flashbacks, then this is a total lock. PICK: Over

    Total times 'John Fox' will be said during the broadcast: 1.

    RG: Unless they find a reason to mention how both of the coaches took over their current jobs when John Fox left each team, I certainly see no reason to go over here. This seems fishy as a push, so I guess I say PICK: Under.

    PS: It has to be at least one. Rich, you just laid out why. PICK: Over

    MK: I agree with Patrick, it has to be at least once. PICK: Over

    Will Mike Carey be wrong about a challenge?

    Yes (+135)
    No (-175)

    RG: I think CBS will be smart to vet Carey's answers before he even makes it to air. As funny as this whole thing has been, I am betting no one wants to be embarrassed here. PICK: No.

    PS: Abso-freaking-lutely. PICK: Yes

    MK: I have to go with Patrick here. The football gods demand it. PICK: Yes

    Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first?

    Team (+200)
    God (+200)
    City/Fans (+600)
    Coach (+750)
    Family (+1500)
    None of the above (+225)

    RG: I can imagine hearing either Manning, Miller or Newton saying "My teammates" immediately. I think Newton would go to Coach after that, Miller might talk about God and Manning might not saying anything more at all. PICK: Team

    PS: I gotta go team as well. PICK: Team

    MK: Considering there's a decent chance that someone will surprise and emerge as an MVP, I'm trying to avoid thinking of individual responses to this question. Free-form, context-building answers like this go from biggest to smallest, and there's no way God doesn't cut to the front of that line with a high percentage of the players in this game. PICK: God


    MK: It's the Super Bowl, and so everyone feels compelled to put a bowl of guacamole out on the table. It could be home-made and spectacular or store-bought and, well... yeah, but either way that creamy green stuff with tortilla chips is probably making its way to your party. I'm not sure I've ever published this before, but it's always a dark horse of a crowd-pleaser when I make my twist on guac.

    Sweet Potato Guacamole

    Yes, you read that right. It's a riff on the avocado-based dip that everyone will raise an eyebrow at but ultimately try and concede your awesomeness. I am not joking. Here's what you'll need:

    Sweet Potatoes
    Avocado (ratio of about 2 lbs. sweet potato to about 1 lbs. avocado)
    Red Onion (one, finely chopped)
    Jalapeño Pepper (one per sweet potato, de-seeded and de-veined)
    Cilantro (to taste, but about 1/3 cup, chopped, should do)
    Lime (1, juiced)

    Salt & Black Pepper (to taste, but you'll need plenty of both)
    Fennel (1.5 TSP; seed, toasted, crushed)
    Chili Powder (1 TSP; I think Ancho Chili Powder works best)
    Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (1 TSP)
    Cumin (1.5 TSP; seed, toasted, crushed)
    Coriander (1 TSP; ground)

    So, this is pretty easy. Peel your sweet potatoes and boil them for about thirty minutes, the same way you would if you were making mashed potatoes. Once they're forked tender, removed them from the water and allow them to cool in a refrigerator. When they're at least room temperature or so, add your avocado, onion, and jalapeño, mashing and combining them as you would for any creamy dip. Now, add your spices, cilantro, and lime, and adjust as needed until it really pops.

    Do not overlook the importance of toasting the fennel seed and whole cumin. They really make this dip sing. Be careful not to burn them when you're toasting them, either. It's like trying to toast nuts, only worse.


    MK: I'm in Spain, as I think all of you know, so I may not even get to watch the game, but Madrid will provide us with our beer of the week, which is Mahou Clasica. This lager plays well with all foods and will remind you of a pretty normal American domestic, but it keeps a creamy, sweet head to complement its crisp taste throughout.

    Not outstanding, but certainly worthy, and on tap in about 90% of bars in Castile.


    RG: 71-66-3 (3-1, last week)
    PS: 1-3, 67-70-3 (1-3, LW)
    MK: 1-3, 66-71-3 (1-3, LW)


    1 As in, like, x in algebra, not Super Bowl X.

    Rich Gapinski, Patrick Sullivan, and Matt Kocsan are staff writers at FootballPros. Each week, they pick the most difficult games based on the Tuesday morning lines and produce this column for their—and hopefully your—amusement. You can follow them on twitter @PolishedSports (Rich), @GoBigOrGoHome2 (Patrick), and @kocsan (Matt). We'll see you on the site throughout the offseason, we hope, and in Week 3 of the preseason for our annual W&L dress rehearsal.

    Oh, in case you have not yet figured it out, these guys are a tad crazy about food and beer.

    Especially food.

    And also beer.

    Comments 106 Comments
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Only twenty two bets this week, guys and gals.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      By the way, I have a wing sauce recipe in my head that I'm pretty sure is going to be awesome, but I haven't had a chance to test it at home yet. I have research to do for next year.
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      I don't have much here, but I can't NOT comment on the last football day of the season...

      This is the 1st SB in 16 years (yup, how long I've been a fan of the game) that I don't give two craps about. Hope it's a tie, but I could very well be chowing/drinking poolside and not even notice if the game is on.

      For that, you may thank Roger GODdell.

      Big thanks to the authors for throwing a little political shout out to me (it was silent, but I know y'all were thinking of me!)

      In fact, maybe I'll just replay last night's debate and skip the SB.

      Lastly, m6, how does that dip not turn out an unappetizing brown? It sounds good, but my inner artist is balking at that color wheel. (Not that I wouldn't eat anything you guys ever made. You the men!)

      Enjoy the day, folks, and hope your team wins. See ya next year.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by brauneyz View Post
      Lastly, m6, how does that dip not turn out an unappetizing brown? It sounds good, but my inner artist is balking at that color wheel. (Not that I wouldn't eat anything you guys ever made. You the men!)
      It's kind of a deep orange color. I'll admit, it's more than a little weird, but with good, sturdy tortilla chips, it's pretty great. The avocados give the sweet potatoes the sort of buttery flavor they need, and the spices keep it savory.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      I want it known I wrote my portion of this prior to watching Marco Rubio get straight depantsed by Governor Christie.

      Quite the showing by the governors three last night. At least one of them is also a disingenuous asshat (looking at you, Mr. Kasich).
    1. Amy's Avatar
      Let's go Panthers!
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      I seriously just made a spreadsheet to keep track of all our bets for tonight. I'm going to need some help with the broadcast ones, you guys, since I definitely won't have the CBS feed, if I have any.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      I initially said 45-14 Carolina. Even if I modify that to something like 37-13, that's still Over. The desperation of the Super Bowl often leads to bigger scores than expected, and often leads to a blowout.

      Interesting sidenote to this game-- how many times in Peyton Manning's career has he played without much pressure or expectation, especially in a playoff setting. That he played so poorly even before he ended up missing time with a foot issue has removed much of the typical pressure that he's played with in the past. Many expected them to beat Pittsburgh, and Denver did play a bit tight at times in that game, but I can't remember ever seeing PM more at ease in a big game situation than he was against New England.

      If/when they lose this game, it will have exactly zero impact on Manning's legacy, nor should it. If they win, and especially if he plays well, this game will serve to enhance his legacy even further, much like that 2nd Super Bowl win did for John Elway.

      I'm probably over-simplifying things, but when is the last time Manning played, relatively speaking at least, with nothing to lose? Obviously he's able to lean on a great defense, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if he plays really well tonight.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      I seriously just made a spreadsheet to keep track of all our bets for tonight. I'm going to need some help with the broadcast ones, you guys, since I definitely won't have the CBS feed, if I have any.
      To summarize, these are the broadcast-based props:

      Color of liquid dumped on winning coach
      Number of times Elway is shown (O/U 2.5)
      Total times "John Fox" is said during broadcast (O/U 1)
      Will Mike Carey be wrong about a challenge?
      Who will the MVP mention first?

      Any help tracking these offered will be accepted.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      I want in on the fun...


      Shortest TD- Panthers

      FG (3.5)- Over

      Largest Points Lead (14.5)- Over

      PM Passing Yards (235)- Under

      Cam Passing Att- Under

      Mike Tolbert- Under

      CJ Anderson rushing- Under

      Demaryius Thomas- Under

      Ted Ginn- Over

      Sacks- Over

      Defensive/ST TD- Yes

      Onside kick- No

      Backup QB- Yes (Osweiler- down big late, Kubiak will give the fans a chance to honor Manning)

      Gatorade- Red

      Trump% or Winning Team points- Winning Team (but Trump will be in the 30s)

      John Elway- Over

      John Fox- Under

      MVP- Cam Newton mentions the fans first. ("Self" isn't an option)?
    1. Amy's Avatar
      Going into it, Super Bowl 50 reminds me a lot of Super Bowl 48. Let me explain.

      Two years ago, Denver took the best offense, possibly ever, into the AFC Championship Game. They beat New England in a tight game where Brady missed a wide open TD in the first quarter. Then, they watched the NFC game where they had to be rooting for San Francisco.

      Seattle won.

      Seattle was, arguably, the worst match up for Denver. A top notch D that could, on paper, slow down Manning's offense. But, Denver had an average defense that year, and that defense did not match up well against Seattle's offense.

      We all know what happened.

      Elway went all in on defense.

      Two years later...

      Denver has one of the best defense's in the Super Bowl era. They beat the Steelers (who were down thier top 3 playmakers and had a hurt QB) mostly on a fumble by what, the 6th string Steeler back.

      They beat the Pats (who had a gimpy Oline and #1 WR, missing RBs #1 and #2, and had Josh go into cocky mode), mostly because we didn't kick a FG with about 8 to go.

      Then they watch the NFC Championship game and had to be rooting for Arizona.

      Carolina won.

      Carolina might be the worst matchup for Denver. Denver likes to apply edge pressure. Carolina wants edge pressure, since that opens up the read option. Has Denver faced that this season?


      KC runs it, and Alex Smith had two good games, with one W and one fluky L. Cam is better than Alex Smith.

      Denver has been turn over prone this season, and Carolina has 9 takeaways in two playoff games.

      Denver's weak spot is the center of the Oline. Carolina likes to get pressure - up the middle.

      Everything Denver wants to do, Carolina is good at stopping, and while you can say the same about Denver's D, have they played an offense this dyamic this season? Certainly, they have not lately.

      And, when we hit the divisional round, with 8 teams left, 5 of them (Denver, Carolina, Seattle, Arizona, and New England) were top 6 defenses.

      Carolina put up 31 on the #1 Scoring Defense in the NFL and more than 40 over a second top 5 defense.

      Can Denver score 20 against the Panthers? I don't see it. Unless it is a very ugly game (like 13-10, or 7-3), I have a hard time seeing Denver able to score enough to win.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      First call of the game: Bad call. You can make contact at the line. Norman played bad D on the play, so that flag did not matter. But, it doesn't bode well when the first flag is that wrong.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Carey is about to get one wrong.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      0 for 2.

      Great showcase of giving the best refs the biggest game.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      That was a catch. I dunno how the refs and the replay booth missed that.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      So, we have a FG/S and MIKE CAREY WRONG.

      PS: 2-0
      RG: 0-2
      MK: 1-1
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      D/ST TD HITS!

      Biggie: 3-0
      Rich: 0-3
      Me: 1-2
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Wow, I've been terrible so far. However, this is exactly that we said Denver needed to win the podcast
    1. Amy's Avatar
      Cam's guys are getting open. He needs to calm down a little.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      Huge mistake by Talib!