BRONCOS HEADED TO SUPER BOWL 50
Broncos “D” comes up big against Brady and the Patriots
Denver—Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos will face Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers in the 50th Super Bowl – which many expect to be the final game of Manning’s career. Denver (14-4) edged the New England Patriots 20-18 for the AFC title Sunday, before Carolina (17-1) ran away with a 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC.
At 39, Manning – the only five-time MVP in league history – is the oldest starting quarterback to lead a team to the Super Bowl. He is1-2 in the big game, winning with the Colts in 2007, then losing with the Colts in 2010, and losing with the Broncos in 2014. The Feb. 7 game at Santa Clara, California, will be the Broncos’ record-tying eighth Super Bowl, the Panthers’ second.
Manning, Broncos scramble to Super Bowl in 20-18 win over NE
DENVER (AP) – Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby saved the game by picking off Tom Brady’s pass on a 2-point try with 12 seconds left to preserve a 20-18 victory for the Broncos over the Patriots Sunday in the AFC title game. Denver (14-4) will face Carolina for the title on Feb. 7. New England had to go for 2 after Brady’s 4-yard touchdown to Rob Gronkowski because Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point in the first quarter, snapping a string of 523 straight makes. Manning threw two touchdowns but the 39-year-old QB’s best play may have very well been his 12-yard scramble on third down in the third quarter – his longest playoff run since he was a rookie.
SUPER BOWL BETTING
Panthers open up 4-point favorites in Vegas over Broncos
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Carolina Panthers will be favored to beat the Denver Broncos and win the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Oddsmakers didn’t even wait until the Panthers finished off the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday to install them as favorites in the game two weeks from now. At most books in this gambling city, the Panthers were a 4-point pick, though the early line varied. Bettors couldn’t wait to get early action on the game at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, which posted a line as the third quarter of the Cardinals-Panthers game was winding down. The initial line favored Carolina by 5 1/2 points, and was quickly bet down to 4 points. The over/under on the game was settling in at 45 points in early betting.