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Both home teams came out of Sunday’s championship games with victories, but that was hardly a given heading into the weekend. While the Panthers were favored over the Cardinals, the Broncos entered Sunday’s AFC championship against the Patriots as underdogs. However, an incredible effort by the defense, which hit Tom Brady more than any quarterback has been hit in a single game all season, helped Denver pull off the 20-18 upset.
While the Broncos squeaked through to Super Bowl 50 with a last-minute defensive stop, the Panthers throttled the Cardinals from start to finish in the NFC championship, and Carolina will head into the final game of the season as favorites over Denver.
Although some observers and reporters have likened the matchup to the Broncos/Seahawks Super Bowl two years ago, in which Seattle blew out Peyton Manning and the Broncos, this Denver defense looks much more dangerous than that team’s unit, and might be capable of slowing down Cam Newton and the Panthers. At the very least, Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and company should ensure that the league’s probable MVP won’t be quite as comfortable as he looked against the Seahawks and Cardinals.
How do you expect Super Bowl 50 to play out? Will the Panthers continue to cruise through the postseason en route to the franchise’s first championship, or will the Broncos pull off their second consecutive upset victory? Weigh in below with your predictions!