Youth, domination, scoring, defense, special teams, the Carolina Panthers have a complete team and Vegas has watched an initial 3.5 point betting line move quickly to 6 points. Carolina has been the favorite since the match was made by the guys in the shark suits.
Whats’ not to like? The Panthers can put pressure right up the middle and on the edge, any QB’s worst nightmare. They have DB’s with sticky hands and linebackers that can fly. Their offensive line has gelled and their RB corps is deep. They have a tight end that was made to be Cam Newtons go-to guy and a WR corps with plenty of speed and savvy. Did I mention the QB was molded after the Greek god Adonis and Mercury threw in his wings on a lark? The Panthers are that good.
Wait a moment. Is that tires I hear screeching? Is that rubber I smell burning? Is the car doing a 180 and screaming the other direction at full acceleration?
Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Aqib Talib the Broncos are stacked with talent from top to bottom and just beat Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a playoff game. Let that sink in for a moment. DeMarcus Ware has seen every offensive alignment known to the NFL, twice. Manning has seen every defense three times and the rest of the guys are students sponges with insane athletic skills.
Denver brings huge pressure off the edges, are able to stop the run, create turnovers and generally knock an offense off it’s stride. Manning has seen every formation known to man and will not be fooled. Last Superbowl the first snap went over his head and the Broncos chances with it. They never recovered. What do you think he dreams about every night? Do you think he or DeMarcus Ware have ANY issues getting motivated for “one more game?” Think adrenal glands the size of wedding cakes. Focused? The Hubble has never been this dialed in. Their teammates are feeding off of it.
It’s the old versus the new. Vegas has long been a fan of the shiny new toy. Fans have long been fond of those that have paid their dues. Reminds me of the old saw “experience and savvy will overcome youth and enthusiasm almost every time.” So watch out Vegas, your house just might be sitting on the wrong side of the fence when two guys on the other side are both sure fire, first ballot, hall of famers with ice in their eyes and fire in their hearts.
It’s why they play the game. I’ll be watching!
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over