By Jay Maturi
Super Bowl Sunday (February 7th) is rapidly approaching, when the Carolina Panthers will square off against the Denver Broncos in Levi’s Stadium located in San Francisco. The game kicks off at 6:30 pm E.T. on CBS, and temperatures at the stadium will be in the mid-60s with a slight chance of showers.
For the first time since the 4th Super Bowl, the NFL is not naming this Bowl with a Roman numeral. Instead, it is being addressed as Super Bowl 50, not Super Bowl L; the use of Roman numerals will resume next year.
Even if you aren’t a major football fanatic, the Super Bowl is known for having some of the best commercials of the year. Costing 5 million dollars for 30 seconds of airtime, commercial topics will range from Pokémon to Doritos to Taco Bell. No longer can you go to the bathroom during a commercial break — you might miss the best commercial of the night! In addition, both Coldplay and Beyoncé will be performing during the Super Bowl halftime show.
This year’s matchup involves the top two defenses in the NFL. Out of every NFL team, the Broncos and Panthers have held opposing offenses to fewest yards per play. In addition, the Carolina Panthers have scored more points out of any other NFL team.
Throughout the season, Carolina has been a powerhouse in the NFL. Finishing the regular season 15-1, they clawed their way to the #1 seed. After receiving a first-round bye, they swiftly defeated the Seahawks in a 31-24 victory. Moving into the NFC championship with ease, they demolished the Arizona Cardinals, 49-15. With the versatile Cam Newton at quarterback and a dominant defense led by linebacker Luke Kuechly, the Panthers are ready to pounce the Broncos (pun intended) in Super Bowl 50.
The Denver Broncos had an erratic, but strong season. Starting off 7-0 (like the Panthers), the Broncos seemed unstoppable. However, following a loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Denver offense began to break down. During the Week 9 encounter with the Kansas City Chiefs, Peyton Manning threw 4 interceptions within the first half; coincidentally, this was the same day he broke the record for the most passing yards in NFL history. After Manning was benched for Brock Osweiler, Denver’s backup quarterback, Denver finished their shaky season with a 12-4 record with Osweiler at quarterback. While it may not have been pretty, Denver was able to acquire the #1 seed and first-round bye. During the divisional round of the playoffs, the Broncos beat the Steelers 23-16. Moving into the AFC Championship, the Broncos played the New England Patriots, known for their recent “deflate gate” scandal. In this thriller, the Broncos were able to hold off the Patriots in a close, 20-18 victory.
This Sunday, turn on your TV’s for a night of football, commercials, and Beyoncé, as Superbowl 50 will be one of a kind!