Panthers look to take down Broncos in Super Bowl 50

February 3, 2016 — by Apoorv Kwatra

It has arrived. The day that everyone has been waiting for, the day of parties in front of the TV, the day America comes together to watch the biggest sports event of the year: the Super Bowl.

On Feb. 7, the Denver Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium in a thrilling match. As the most anticipated sports game of the year, it has a lot to live up to. Fortunately for everyone watching, both teams can exceed the expectations placed on them by impassioned fans.

With a 15-1 record in the regular season, the Panthers are favored to win. With likely MVP quarterback Cam Newton (who has a 59.8 percent completion percentage and 3,837 regular season yards), tight end Greg Olsen (who has 77 regular season receptions and 1,104 regular season yards) and many other talented players, the team obliterated the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 in the NFC Championship game.

Not far behind are the Broncos, who went 12-4 in the regular season and escaped with a victory against the New England Patriots, winning 20-18 in the AFC Championship game. Along with a solid supporting cast, the Broncos are led by quarterback Peyton Manning (who has a 59.8 percent completion percentage and 2,249 regular season yards) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (who has 105 regular season receptions and 1,304 regular season yards).

Whether there is an upset, a late-game hail mary pass completion, a crunch-time fumble, or a new celebration from Newton, Super Bowl 50 is bound to be one of the most entertaining Super Bowls in the past few years. The extreme levels of talent in both teams promise at least this.

The main storyline of the game is the battle of the quarterbacks. Manning and Newton will be facing off in a brawl between a quarterback who has already solidified his legacy and one who is just starting to define his. Fortunately for the Panthers, Newton had arguably the best season of his career while 39-year-old Manning saw his excellence dwindle as age and injuries continued to spite him. Newton is likely to win the battle against Manning, which would probably propel his Panthers to escape with a win against Manning’s Broncos.

Defense will also play a major role in the Super Bowl, as the Broncos have the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL, with the Panthers right behind them in second place. In the AFC Championship game, the Broncos got an interception against the Patriots on a potential game-tying two-point completion attempt, while in the NFC Championship game, the Panthers more than tripled the Cardinals score.

The Super Bowl will be a game filled with exciting offense, stifling defense and unexpected plays. I predict it will be a close game, going down to the last play. Still, the Panthers have the better team and are set to achieve the goal that every team sets at the beginning of the season: winning the Super Bowl.

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.


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