The 50th Super Bowl is almost here. The golden anniversary game of the marriage between the NFL and the old AFL is being played today in Santa Clara, California, in the home of the San Francisco 49ers.
The game features a quarterback who appears headed to a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame against one fresh off being named the league’s Most Valuable Player this season. Specifically, Peyton Manning against Cam Newton.
It’s Manning, the classic drop-back passer who rarely scrambles, against Newton, who is just as dangerous with his legs as with his right arm.
For Manning this could be, as he put it to Patriots coach Bill Belichick after the AFC Championship game, his last rodeo. He is 39 and a win would make him the oldest man to ever quarterback a Super Bowl championship team.
In the Broncos Newton is facing the top defense in the NFL as well as the top pass defense. Denver allowed just 283.1 yards a game and just 199.6 passing yards a game. In Carolina the Broncos “D” is facing the league’s top offense, which scored 500 points and had 59 touchdowns in the regular season.
This is Denver’s eighth trip to the big game while the Panthers are appearing for the second time. They lost in Super Bowl 38 to New England while the Broncos have won twice, back to back in 1998 and 1999.
The Broncos enter the game 14-4 while Carolina is 17-1.
Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. Central Time.
And enjoy the commericals.