To no one's surprise, this Chiefs blog is picking the Panthers to beat Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Only part of it has to do with our dislike of the Broncos though. The betting odds on the game favor Carolina, who is a 5.5-point favorite.
These are both great defensive teams but the Panthers are on an absolute roll. It's incredible, really, how much better they look than their opponents. The best matchup of the game - the season, really, - is seeing how the Broncos defense will defend Cam Newton. The Broncos have one of the NFL's best defenses (statistically, not as good as the Chiefs defense) and Cam is the soon-to-be-named MVP.
Cam is big enough and athletic enough to negate the pressure caused by Von Miller and Demarcus Ware coming off the edge. The key for the Broncos will be getting pressure up the middle with Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson. Do that and Cam can't step up and he's in trouble. But that's what everyone tries to do and only one team this year has actually stopped the Panthers.
Denver's offense will have a lot of trouble with the Panthers. This will either be a very average game for Manning or a really, really bad one. I just can't see a scenario where he blows up for three touchdowns and is part of the reason they win. The Broncos need to hope he's just not the reason they lose.
Give me 31-20, Panthers. Make your prediction below.