clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Super Bowl 50 Broncos vs Panthers: Previewing the NFL Title Game

New, comments

Tomorrow, the Denver Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, California. Let's take a look at the match-up.

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Tomorrow, the biggest one-day sporting event in the world will take place: Super Bowl 50. Unfortunately for us here at Pats Pulpit, the game will take place without the New England Patriots, who were eliminated in the AFC Championship Game.

The Patriots, who are in great shape moving forward, are on to 2016. We are too but with the Super Bowl on the horizon, take the time to preview the NFL's title game between the AFC's Denver Broncos and the NFC's Carolina Panthers.

Super Bowl 50: Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos

Panthers coverage: Cat Scratch Reader
Broncos coverage: Mile High Report

Overview
Carolina Panthers 6:30 PM ET (CBS) Denver Broncos
15-1
(1st NFC South, #1 seed)
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA 12-4
(1st AFC West, #1 seed)
Head Coach: Ron Rivera Statistical Comparison Head Coach: Gary Kubiak
panthers
1st (31.2/gm) Points Offense 19th (22.2/gm)
broncos
6th (19.2/gm) Points Defense 4th (18.5/gm)
1st (12.0/gm) Point Differential 10th (3.7/gm)
1st (+20) Turnover Differential 19th (-4)

Road to the Super Bowl

After losing only one game during the regular season, the number one seeded Carolina Panthers rolled through the NFC's playoff race. First, the team beat the reigning conference champion Seattle Seahawks (10-6; #6 seed) 31-24, in a game that saw the Panthers take a 31-0 halftime lead. While the team was unable to put the nail in the coffin, it did enough to secure a 7-point win.

The very next week, Carolina hosted the NFC title game. Against the visiting Arizona Cardinals (13-3; #2 seed), the Panthers had another fast start and jumped to a 17-0 first-quarter-lead. The combination of a methodical offense and a stifling defense ultimately led to a 49-15 victory, giving the Panthers their second conference title after 2003.

While the Panthers' road to Super Bowl 50 was marked by stretches of dominance, the Denver Broncos' was a little more rocky. After finishing the regular season with a 12-4 record, the team hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6; #6 seed) in the Divisional Playoff Round. Due to good drive-starting position and an untimely fumble by the visitors, the Broncos advanced 23-16.

For the AFC title game, the New England Patriots (12-4; #2 seed) traveled to Denver. The game was a defensive battle, which was ultimately decided by a missed Patriots extra point. While the Broncos never looked as good as the Panthers, they played efficient, (mostly) mistake-free football to earn their record-tying eighth conference crown.

Individual Stats

Quarterbacks



Attempts Completions Comp.% Yards TDs INTs Rating
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton (1) Regular Season 496 296 59.7 3837 35 10 99.2

Postseason 50 35 70.0 496 3 1 113.4
Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning (18) Regular Season 331 198 59.8 2249 9 17 67.9

Postseason 69 38 55.1 398 2 0 81.7

Runners



Rushes Yards Yds/Att TDs
Panthers: Jonathan Stewart (28) Regular Season 242 989 4.1 6

Postseason 38 189 5.0 2
Panthers: Cam Newton (1) Regular Season 132 636 4.8 10

Postseason 21 50 2.4 2
Panthers: Mike Tolbert (35) Regular Season 62 256 4.1 1

Postseason 10 21 2.1 0
Broncos: Ronnie Hillman (23) Regular Season 207 563 4.2 7

Postseason 27 54 2.0 0
Broncos: C.J. Anderson (22) Regular Season 152 720 4.7 5

Postseason 31 144 4.6 1

Receivers



Receptions Yards Yds/Catch TDs
Panthers: Greg Olsen (88) Regular Season 77 1104 14.3 7

Postseason 12 190 15.8 1
Panthers: Ted Ginn Jr. (19) Regular Season 44 739 16.8 10

Postseason 2 52 26.0 0
Panthers: Jerricho Cotchery (33) Regular Season 39 485 12.4 3

Postseason 5 39 7.8 0
Broncos: Demaryius Thomas (88) Regular Season 105 1304 12.4 6

Postseason 6 52 8.7 0
Broncos: Emmanuel Sanders (10) Regular Season 76 1135 14.9 6

Postseason 10 147 14.7 0
Broncos: Owen Daniels (81) Regular Season 46 517 11.2 3

Postseason 4 43 10.8 2

Defensive Line



Tackles Sacks INTs FF FR
Panthers: Kawann Short (99) Regular Season 55 11.0 0 3 2

Postseason 4 2.0 0 1 0
Panthers: Mario Addison (97) Regular Season 19 6.0 0 0 0

Postseason 1 0.0 0 0 0
Panthers: Kony Ealy (94) Regular Season 32 5.0 0 0 0

Postseason 3 0.0 0 0 0
Broncos: Derek Wolfe (95) Regular Season 50 7.5 0 0 0

Postseason 10 2.0 0 0 0
Broncos: Malik Jackson (97) Regular Season 46 5.5 0 0 2

Postseason 4 0.0 0 0 0
Broncos: Sylvester Williams (92) Regular Season 25 2.5 0 0 0

Postseason 0 0.0 0 0 0

Linebackers



Tackles Sacks INTs FF FR
Panthers: Luke Kuechly (59) Regular Season 118 1.0 4 2 1

Postseason 19 0.0 2 0 1
Panthers: Thomas Davis (58) Regular Season 105 5.5 4 4 1

Postseason 11 0.0 0 0 0
Panthers: A.J. Klein (56) Regular Season 47 1.0 1 1 0

Postseason 2 0.0 0 0 0
Broncos: Von Miller (58) Regular Season 35 11.0 0 4 3

Postseason 7 2.5 1 0 0
Broncos: DeMarcus Ware (94) Regular Season 25 7.5 0 0 0

Postseason 5 1.5 0 0 1
Broncos: Brandon Marshall (54) Regular Season 101 1.5 1 2 0

Postseason 9 0.0 0 1 0

Defensive Backs



Tackles Sacks INTs FF FR
Panthers: Kurt Coleman (20) Regular Season 88 1.0 7 0 0

Postseason 12 0.0 2 0 0
Panthers: Josh Norman (24) Regular Season 56 0.0 4 3 2

Postseason 7 1.0 0 0 0
Panthers: Roman Harper (41) Regular Season 73 0.0 0 0 2

Postseason 6 0.0 0 0 0
Broncos: Aqib Talib (21) Regular Season 45 0.0 3 0 0

Postseason 9 0.0 0 0 0
Broncos: Chris Harris Jr. (25) Regular Season 58 0.0 2 2 0

Postseason 10 0.0 0 0 0
Broncos: Darian Stewart (26) Regular Season 59 0.0 1 1 2

Postseason 7 0.0 1 0 0

---

In 28.5 hours, the last game of the 2015 NFL season kicks off and the NFL will crown its newest champion.