Then there were two…
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning square off in a match-up that has spoiled football fans for years but is bittersweet at the same time because an era is coming to its end. This will be their 17th and probably final meeting, best thing about it…the stakes couldn’t be any higher. An AFC Championship and a trip to Super Bowl 50 is on the line.
Between the two future hall of famers we are witnessing seven MVP awards, 5 super bowl trophies and countless additions to the record books go head to head. But, something about THIS match-up feels special – maybe it is the fact we may never see them battle again or maybe it’s because a part of us wants to see Peyton win one before riding off into the sunset…After he took control in their season finale, it feels like the entire Denver roster is playing with an added sense of urgency. Unfortunately, Tom Brady could care less about a story book ending for Peyton. He is trying to bring the franchise a fifth Lombardi trophy and with his favorite target, an unguardable Rob Gronkowski healthy it is a very realistic possibility.
This Sunday, January 24th, at 3:05 EST two of the best quarterbacks this generation has seen put everything on the line…one last time. Definitely don’t miss the Patriots and Broncos 2016 AFC Championship Game! SU Pick: New England Patriots.
Look across the league to the NFC, you have two of the most deserving teams without a doubt. Carolina has had an incredible run, ending the regular season at 15-1 and sending the nation into a “dab frenzy” thanks to MVP favorite Cam Newton endzone celebration. Considering the fact he was responsible for 45 touchdowns this season, it’s not hard to see how easy it was to become entertained it week in and week out. But, no one man makes a football team and this unit is incredibly tight knit. If you remember before the season started Cam and star Cornerback Josh Norman got into a scuffle, an incident some tried to spin in a negative manner but that same competitive fire has fueled both sides of the ball the entire year. Add the superhuman linebacker combination of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis you’ll immediately begin to see exactly how the pieces add up to a franchise best season.
Although Arizona has its fair share of stars, their route to the NFC Championship was a little more “grind it out, all effort in by any means”. Ironically with a 13-3 record they managed to fly below the radar in large part due to the Panthers setting the league on fire. This time has poise and won’t be intimidated at all, wide receiver (future hall of famer) Larry Fitzgerald provides a tough mental foundation for the Cardinals. Whether it is showing leadership through his experience in Super Bowl 43 or coming up huge with a clutch play (his 75 yard reception in OT helped overcome the Packers last round). Their defense led by Patrick Peterson in the secondary and a vicious pass rush to match, has no fear heading into this matchup. All of the pressure is really on Carolina and Cam Newton leaving the Arizona team in a comfortable, yet calculated “nothing to lose” place. Dangerous.
January 24th 6:40 EST, a NFC Champion will be crowned and the Super Bowl picture will be complete. Is it going to be Cam dabbing on the Super Bowl stage or will Larry Fitzgerald get another shot at a Lombardi trophy? SU Pick: Carolina Panthers.