Broncos vs Carolina Panthers
Since that match many things changed. First of all the Broncos QB legend, Payton Manning retired and the backup Brock Osweiler signed a contract with the Texans. For solving the quarterback problem the Broncos acquired Mark Sanchez and drafted Paxton Lynch. People mostly know Sanchez about his famous „buttfumble” but i was optimistic and had trust in his experience. However during the training camp both Lynch and last year’s 3rd QB, Trevor Siemian played better than Sanchez. This ended in a removal from the team for Sanchez and Siemian got named as the starter QB. In the last season Manning didn’t play well, he was just a mediocre passer meanwhile the defense won the games. Siemian could be capable of doing the same but there is a huge difference between Manning and him: experience and the overall vision on the field. Manning was able to decide very well meanwhile this is not true for a player who was only the 3rd QB on the roster and had only one snap during his NFL career. These factors can be the difference between a bad throw and an interception. Personally i believe Siemian got the potential to be an average player but he has to earn some experience. Other than the QB position the offense remain similar to last year’s (the O-line is slightly weaker but we’ll see how much impact will this have) and the gameplay will be the same: be solid in offense and let the fierce defense win the game.
It’s crystal clear that the defense won the championship for the Broncos. After winning the championship it’s always hard keeping the team together because everybody wants to receive a huge chunk of money but Denver handled the situation really well regarding the defense. Two impactful players gone (Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan) but the team found good alternatives. The defense became just slightly weaker and they will rock this season as well.
The Panthers did excellent job during the offseason as well. Big roster changes avoided the offensive unit however WR, Kelvin Benjamin returns from his injury. The player who missed the whole last season will be a huge addition to the team since he is the #1 WR and favorite target of QB, Cam Newton. In the Super Bowl match the offensive line wasn't able to stop Denver's pass rush and the Panthers offense got simply annihilated. In this match the pass rush vs o-line will be a key matchup but i believe the Panthers won't commit the same error twice and hardly but they will be able to protect Newton.
Regarding the defense they lost one of their brightest star, CB Josh Norman. Despite the fact that the replacement is made by rookies i don't see this as a huge problem. Of course losing one of the best players is never good but the excellent pass rush and the front 7 is still there. Even if the secondary is weaker it won't have a huge effect in this game because we don't have to expect big plays from Siemian and the pass rush will cause trouble for the Broncos.
There is one more factor that can play role in this game. In the Super Bowl i've seen an inexperienced Panthers that after an almost perfect season got surprised by the Broncos. They committed many errors -especially in the offense- that costed the game. I expect a defensive battle just like it was in the Super Bowl, but this time the Panthers will win it. In my opinion they are not only a better team but this time they will know who they face.
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|Carolina Panthers||Bet365||1.60||8||21-20 LOST (-8 units)|