The last time these two teams faced off was in last years Wild Card round. The Carolina Panthers were the underdog team entering the game and they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-16. This time around the Cardinals are the underdog.
Of course the last time these two teams played Carson Palmer was not dressed in a uniform for the game because Palmer tore his ACL during a regular season game against the St. Louis Rams. Ryan Lindley was under center for this playoff game. With Cam Newton and Carson Palmer being the first Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks to go head to head in a playoff game, this is definitely going to make for an exciting Sunday NFC Championship game.
What Does Each Team Need To do To Win?
The Panthers as you all know were looking to make history until that week 16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Cam Newton is the MVP in my eyes, but this team needs to do just one thing in order to win, finish. The Panthers scored 31 points in the first half last weekend against the Seattle Seahawks, but 0 points in the entire second half. That can’t happen this Sunday in order for this team to advance to Super Bowl 50 and Cam Newton even said that. If the Panthers can just play the way they have been playing and finish in the end, they won’t have any problem at all dabbing their way to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California.
The Arizona Cardinals survived a near comeback from Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last weekend, but now it’s time to shake that off. I believe Carson Palmer got all the jitters out of his system, which means he is going to play his heart out. In order for Arizona to win, Palmer must throw 2 touchdown passes and have 0 turnovers. If Palmer can just be good enough for his defense to take over in the final quarter, they will win this game.
X-Factor (Panthers) – Cam Newton
X-Factor (Cardinals) – David Johnson
My Pick: Cardinals 27 – Panthers 23
It may be the Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots on Sunday and that may be exactly what Tom Brady and Peyton Manning say it is, but everyone knows it’s another Manning vs. Brady classic. Even though Brady holds the record of 11-5 against Manning, every time these two have played in the playoffs the home team comes out on top. So why are we even discussing this? Manning and the Broncos are at home which means they should win, right?
What Does Each Team Need To do To Win?
The Broncos have the advantage in this game that is huge in the Manning vs. Brady rivalry, the fact they are the home team. The thing is Manning doesn’t have to win this game for the Broncos, he just needs to be the on the field game manager he has been so great at this season. The defense led by former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware has been outstanding all season. The running game Coach Gary Kubiak brought to Denver has been the best thing for Manning’s career. Manning just doesn’t have to sit back and pick apart defenses anymore, he just needs to have 0 turnovers and make the plays, when plays need to be made. The Broncos need to hold Tom Brady in check and the running game is what will win this game. Denver needs to run the ball down the Patriots throats and that’s when the Broncos will win this game. But the hardest thing to do in any level of sports is to beat a team twice in one season.
New England Patriots
It’s a simple explanation, Tom Brady is still playing at an elite level and that’s why this team is so good. Brady has played games this season with almost a new offensive lineman every week it feels like and with a new wide receiver in the game. Health has been the biggest problem for the Patriots this season and they still are recovering. The Patriots just have to play Patriot football and Brady needs to out play this Denver defense and then they will win this ball game.
My gut is telling me this one. I just would love to see Peyton Manning go out on top.
X-Factor (Broncos) – Von Miller
X-Factor (Patriots) – Tom Brady
My Pick: Broncos 27 – Patriots 26
Everyone enjoy the game Sunday because it will probably be for the last time, so in memory here is a video of the greatest game of all time that took place in the Manning vs. Brady rivalry.