In the peanut gallery…

In the peanut gallery...

Allison Mueller

Each week sports reporters Matthew Lambert and Sam Thiel will face off on a hot topic in sports. The world of sports is changing quickly and constantly, but we want to slow it down and take a better look at the juiciest gossip, scandal, rumor or issue that is making headlines this week. Lambert and Thiel will take different sides and battle it out, telling you why you they are right.

This week’s topic: Super Bowl 50 preview

Two weeks ago, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers advanced to Super Bowl 50. This week, Matthew Lambert and Sam Thiel voice their opinions about which team will hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday. Let’s talk about it… (Recap by Sam Thiel)

Matthew Lambert / Winonan

With the Super Bowl just days away, the two remaining teams, the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, are the talk of the town.

I’m confused why, though.

Why is anyone in their right mind buying any kind of stock in the Broncos and their 39-year-old, HGH taking (allegedly) quarterback?

Do we not remember what the Seahawks did in Super Bowl 48 to Peyton Manning, who was playing one of his best seasons of his career?

The Panthers will win the Super Bowl, by a large margin, and it’ll be because of tight end Greg Olsen and offensive tackle Kawann Short.

The Panthers are 17-1 this season and Newton has been throwing to guys like Ted Ginn Jr., Jerricho Cotchery, and Corey Brown.

Olsen has been a staple of this offense for years and was the second best player on offense all season, catching 77 balls for 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns. He led the team in receptions and yards.

Short is an easier role player to understand. He was ninth on the team in tackles, but was the only defensive lineman in the top 10, with 55 tackles, while also leading the team in sacks with 11.

It’s been a fun ride, Denver. But judgment day is coming. Along with Olsen and Short.


Sam Thiel / Winonan

When the Denver Broncos defeated the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship last week to go to Super Bowl 50, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick that it might be his last rodeo.

Not only is this possibly Manning’s last game in the popular Manning-Tom Brady rivalry, but it is potentially the final game of the 39-year-old’s career. So how can you not want the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl and have Manning ride off into the Colorado sunset on a buckin’ bronco?

Denver will win the Super Bowl because of their hard-nosed defense. The Broncos have the number one defense in total yards and third in turnovers. DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller will anchor the defense, who also lead in sacks and sacks-per-dropback this season.

Finally, Denver will win because of Peyton Manning. That’s right, future Hall of Famer, Nationwide commercial star, Peyton Manning. He’s the most experienced quarterback since John Elway, and is battle-tested unlike Cam Newton, who’s too busy dabbin’ on the sidelines.

Besides, Manning is one of the most fun-to-watch, relatable quarterbacks in the NFL. I mean, the man eats chicken parmesan sandwiches and plays golf in stylish crawfish shorts.

How can you not cheer for that?