Sure, the Broncos defense was absolutely dominant on Sunday afternoon and is so good it doesn’t really matter that Peyton Manning can’t feel his damn hands. And sure, anything can happen in the Super Bowl—Coldplay could even give a good halftime performance! (Coldplay will not give a good halftime performance.)
But in the third quarter of Sunday night’s NFC Championship against the Arizona Cardinals, I thought, “The Carolina Panthers are going to win the Super Bowl,” and I haven’t really been able to shake that thought since. The Panthers may not deserve all the credit—Carson Palmer was practically their 12th man—but they were dominant for 60 straight minutes, while Denver sputtered to a two-point victory over a depleted New England Patriots team.
This is the year that Newton finally put it all together to become a new kind of “complete player”—a perfect quarterback inside of the pocket and a near perfect runner outside of it. And the Panthers are both the league’s most complete team and its most entertaining, the Golden State Warriors of the NFL. Your uncle is going to hate it when Peyton Manning, who “plays the game the right way,” gets dabbed on by Cam, but then again your uncle is an idiot.