The AFC Championship was pegged as a battle of the two top quarterbacks in the league in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. In my opinion, it should have been considered the battle of the number one defensive of the Broncos vs the number one offense of the Patriots.
The old cliché of “defense wins games” was showcased in the matchup. Tom Brady was picked off twice in the second quarter by a stingy Broncos defense that continued to get through the Patriots offensive line and put up sack after sack on Brady. After two quarters the Broncos lead the game 17-9.
The Third quarter was much of the same with tight defense being played by both teams for the entire quarter. After three the Broncos still had the lead 17-12.
What a fourth quarter to finish the AFC Championship. Tom Brady led the Patriots down the field, and scored a touchdown late in the quarter to be only down by two. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick opted going for the two-point conversion where Broncos Aqib Talib ended up tipping the ball and being intercepted, which sealed a trip for the Broncos to the Super Bowl with a 20-18 win.
The Carolina Panthers are in the Super Bowl for the second time in team history. In 2004 they played the New England Patriots for the Super Bowl, but came up short. They earned their way back with a total dominance over the Arizona Cardinals. Everything negative that could happen in a football game happened to the Cardinals. You cannot win a game or stay in a game by committing SIX turnovers, fumble the ball multiple times, and commit penalties that lead to loss of yards that put you in a deep hole that you cannot crawl out off.
Now saying that the Arizona Cardinals played a bad game is an understatement. The Carolina Panthers led by Cam Newton were unstoppable from the kickoff to the clock turning 0:00 in the fourth quarter. The defense was outstanding from putting pressure on Carson Palmer and stopping Arizona from getting anything going on the offensive front. Carolina has a potent offensive and they showed why they are 17-1 for the season. With a 49-15 win over the Cardinals, the Carolina Panthers look unbeatable going into the Super Bowl.
I picked the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers in my last story to go to the Super Bowl, click this link to re-read it. I feel that the Panthers have the compete team to win the Super Bowl. They have a potent offense and a top ranked defense. The Broncos have a deadly defense but the offense is streaky and does not put up the numbers that Carolina generates.
I cannot wait for February 7th when these two teams meet in Super Bowl 50 and the Carolina Panthers hold up the Lombardi Trophy. But this is just MY opinion.