So it has been decided—Super Bowl 50 will be contested by the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, February 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The AFC Champion Broncos held on by their fingernails to defeat the New England Patriots 20-18 and the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers dominated a lethargic Arizona Cardinals 49-15.
The AFC Championship was played earlier Sunday between strong defensive teams with offenses led by football legends at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, CO.
Peyton Manning played his second full game since being out for six weeks with plantar fascia and rib injuries and managed to somehow keep the Broncos just ahead of Tom Brady and the Patriots. Brady had several great passes to Rob Gronkowski late in the fourth quarter but just fell just short of forcing overtime by missing the opportunity to score on a two-point conversion during the last seconds of the game.
Denver Broncos fans surely had several heart attacks during the course of the game. And we have no doubt that Patriots die-hards were sitting in disbelief that their team was unable to beat this Broncos team, especially because they were considered an underdog (first to make the playoffs and then to win the AFC Championship). I’m pretty sure the antacids were passed around freely on both sides of the country.
The NFC Championship game was played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC and was dominated early by a quick and squirrely Carolina Panthers team. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was constantly pressured by the Panthers defense and had a hard time converting several passes. The Cardinals scored before the end of the half to stop a complete shut out and finally started to show signs of life.
However, the second half brought some serious hurt (and embarrassment) from the Panthers, and the Cardinals fell too far behind to launch any kind of legitimate comeback. Unlike the AFC game, the NFC Championship was sewn up early and decisively and showed the world that the Broncos will have to stay focused and be ready to play hard in order to beat such a dominant Carolina team come February.
Super Bowl 50 will air on CBS and be immediately followed by a live airing of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It’s bound to be a great day of sports and television, so don’t miss out!