Coming off a surprising AFC Championship Game win over the New England Patriots, the Denver Broncos are facing the tall task of taking on the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. After trash-talking Tom Brady and the Patriots for the entire week leading up to the game, the Broncos’ defense has chosen a different approach with regard to Cam Newton and the Panthers.
Cornerback Aqib Talib – normally one of the more outspoken players in the league – referred to Newton as “the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL right now.” It’s high praise from a player who just faced Tom Brady, but Newton’s recent play and likely MVP award back up Talib’s assessment.
Newton has had a career year while guiding his Panthers to a 17-1 record, throwing for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns. As if that’s not impressive enough, the former Auburn star has also added 636 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
The Panthers were the highest scoring team in the NFL during the regular season at 31.3 points per game, and have only built upon that figure in the postseason. Facing two of the best defenses in their first two playoff games, the Panthers scored 31 and 49 points against the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals.
While both NFC West defensive units are elite, Carolina will be facing an entirely different animal in the No. 1 ranked Broncos defense. Denver ranks first in the NFL in sacks, passing yards allowed per game and defensive efficiency, and should be feeling confident after stymying New England’s offense in their most recent game.
Whether these two teams engage in trash talk as Super Bowl 50 gets closer remains to be seen, but as of now, the Broncos clearly recognize that winning the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since 1999 won’t be easy.