I know, I know - the Super Bowl isn't until next week.
But I can't wait that long to make my prediction. I'm doing it now.
Everyone knew the Broncos were a legitimate Super Bowl contender at the very beginning of the season. They are an extremely balanced team and they have proved it all season long. Their defense is almost unquestionably the best in the NFL, and that's why they're here. They were able to shut down Tom Brady last week against the Patriots and that's not an easy thing to do. Their pass rush is absolutely ferocious and they have great coverage in the secondary, too.
Offensively, it looks like this is the last game of Peyton Manning's illustrious career. He's been a beast for Indianapolis and Denver in his career, and while this season has been far from his best, he is still an incredible competitor. He's been injured and slightly less effective than usual this year, but you can't count him out. He's going to do his absolute best to inspire Denver's offense and end his career in the best way imaginable.
I'm not sure too many people picked the Panthers to make it to the Super Bowl, much less lose only 1 game all season en route to the big game. But they have proven the doubters wrong week in and week out this season - this team is for real. They have absolutely crushed their opponents in both playoff games this year, running up and down the field on Seattle and Arizona. Their offense is completely unstoppable, led by sure-fire MVP Cam Newton. He can beat you with his arm and with his legs, and that's what makes him so dangerous. You can never take your eye off Cam as a defender, and there's no telling what he'll do next.
Defensively they slipped up a bit against Seattle, allowing them to come back into the game, but let's not forget that they have been a top defense all season long. They've got the league's best CB - and one of the best defensive players overall - in Josh Norman, and he can shut down any WR that comes his way. Look out, Demaryius Thomas. They can stop the run, the pass, and get to the CB. Tough to game plan against these guys - they are that good.
It's got to be Carolina.
Carolina 29, Denver 22.
Who are you taking in the Super Bowl? Do you agree with me?