Wow. That was a total beat down by the Carolina Panthers, and it really wasn’t even close all night.
The 49 points that the Panthers scored tonight where the most by a NFC team since the AFL and the NFL merged in 1970. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton also became the 4th quarterback in NFL playoff history to throw for at least two touchdowns and rush for at least two, joining Colin Kaepernick in 2012 as the most recent one.
Newton will become the 4th Heisman Trophy winner that was drafted number one overall to play in the Super Bowl, joining Billy Cannon, Jim Plunkett, and George Rogers.
“We won as a team,” Newton said on the Panthers NFC Title win. “We came out here and fought our tails off and we did what a lot of people said we couldn’t do. It’s not over yet. We’ll be ready to go in two weeks.”
The Panthers will meet Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. The Broncos of course beat the Patriots earlier today, 20-18.
The Panthers defense forced seven turnovers today, including picking off Carson Palmer four different times. Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly picked off Palmer for a touchdown to push the Panthers to 48, then to 49 after Graham Gano put through the point after.
“We wanted to come out and play a complete game and I think the guys up front played exceptional,” linebacker Kuechly said. “There was pressure all day.”
Most of the sport books have the Panthers opening up as four point favorites over the Broncos. If the Panthers get out to a big lead this game, the question by many will be can they hold the lead like they did versus the Cardinals? The Broncos will need a very sharp game from Peyton Manning.
If the Broncos win the Super Bowl, I think Peyton Manning will end up retiring. If not, expect him to give it one more shot at least.
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