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- Jan 29:
- Renck: Oddsmakers choose Panthers over Broncos in
- Super Bowl 50
- The NFL's secret: How the league controls Super Bowl ticket sales
- Jan 28:
- Kiszla: Super apology may not need to be reissued by Peyton Manning
- Peyton Manning eager to help boost Broncos offense
- Broncos fan rally to go on 'snow or shine' in Denver Sunday
- Gary Kubiak "hopeful" safeties T.J. Ward, Darian Stewart will play in Super Bowl 50
- Colorado AG warns against pricey scams for Broncos Super Bowl tickets
Kiz: All of Broncos Country wants a fairly-tale ending for quarterback Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl. But the rest of America isn't buying it. In fact, with more than 80 percent of the early money wagered being placed on Carolina, the line has moved to favor the Panthers by six points. If the line holds, it would make Denver the biggest underdog in the Super Bowl since the 2008 NFL season. Is this a mismatch?
Renck: The Panthers deserve to be favored. They are 17-1, and if they hadn't taken an in-game selfie team photo during a 38-0 win over Atlanta, which motivated the Falcons for the rematch two weeks later, they would be undefeated. As someone who has lived nearly my entire life in Colorado, I understand why Broncos fans break out in hives over Super Bowls. The games have not been kind to the team. But this year's Denver defense will keep a win within reach as long as the offense doesn't create short fields with turnovers. Denver's only double-figure loss this season — 29-13 to Kansas City — came on a day when Manning threw four interceptions and was benched.
Kiz: The betting public can't see past the glitz of Carolina's 17-1 record and the glamour of quarterback Cam Newton, the Panthers' rising star. But the underdog in the Super Bowl has hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy in five of the past eight seasons, dating to the New York Giants' stunning upset of the undefeated New England Patriots. The Panthers deserve to be favored, but the legitimate difference in these teams seems to be more like a field goal rather than a touchdown.
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Renck: I agree. Six points is a reaction to Carolina's playoff demolition of Seattle (in the first half) and Arizona (full game). The Broncos excel at winning ugly. They want to soak up the clock, run the ball just enough to make their fans go mad, and terrorize opponents with a pressure defense. The Super Bowl sets up as a close game because every game the Broncos play is close. They have won 11 games decided by seven points or fewer, an NFL record.
Kiz: Here is what gives me hope for the Broncos: No other NFL team has won more big games this season than Denver, and that includes Carolina. The Broncos defeated seven teams that had a winning record. Carolina? Four. And the role of underdog fits extremely well with Denver's defensive players, a feisty bunch that doesn't care what anybody thinks. In Super Bowl XXXII, the Broncos were 11-point underdogs to Green Bay. How did that turn out?
Renck: Playing with a chip on its shoulder empowers a team in ways that become almost comical. The Broncos don't need to create an enemy. That exists in a gift-wrapped box with Carolina the overwhelming favorite. Combine that slight with the Denver defense's personality and the confidence and trust in the coaches' game plan, and it makes the Broncos very dangerous. The Broncos can win this Super Bowl. Just as they have won their past four games. Keep the score in the 20s, score late and let the defense make one last stand.