Old gun vs. young gun: Manning, at age 39, has won only one Super Bowl. He might just be the best quarterback in the regular season in history but in this world you need more than one Super Bowl trophy to get into other conversations. This is a chance at No. 2 in a season in which just a few weeks ago few could have predicted he would be there. So it would be a fitting end to a career should he decide to retire. This is his fourth appearance in the game and 2-2 sounds a lot better than 1-3. Manning was the No. 1 pick of the in 1998. Panthers QB Cam Newton was the No. 1 pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2011 and has led the team to 17 wins this season. In the title game he threw for 335 yards and rushed for 47. There was no better QB in the league this year. He is as physical as a QB can be and it is extremely difficult to defend him. But the Broncos figured out how to stop the Patriots’ offense, which not many people figured they would.
It could be a blowout: There is some sense that the best game already happened, Patriots-Broncos in the title game. Denver’s offense vs. Carolina’s offense. No match on paper. So the Broncos defense has to come up big like it did vs. the Patriots. Let’s hope so, otherwise the Super Bowl party might not last past halftime. The Panthers opened as four-point favorites, which to some might feel low.
Robert McLain’s big chance: Robert McLain, the former UConn player, was released by the Patriots in September and could not hook on with any other team. Then came the call from Carolina. He signed with the Panthers in mid-December and is now headed for the Super Bowl. He was a seventh-round pick by Carolina in 2010 and also played for the and . In his senior year at UConn, in 2009, he started 13 games at cornerback and had four interceptions. He also returned punts, one 87 yards for a TD.
Concussions: It didn’t take long for the first email to come this way on concussions. With the movie out, with everyone looking for a story angle, we haven’t heard the last of concussion talk. Dr. Bennet Omalu … … we have not heard the last of them.
Everything but the game: Coldplay and Beyonce are part of the halftime show. … The game is on CBS so Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are on the call. … In case you are wondering, it is Super Bowl 50 and not Super Bowl.