Super Bowl

Super Bowl 50 predictions: From the pros to the weird and all that’s in between

Whether expert or eccentric, here’s a collection of Super Bowl 50 predictions from around the country.

Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL Media analyst, former running back

Pick: Broncos 42, Panthers 28

Comment: “The Broncos haven’t turned the ball over lately, and that’s key. Carolina takes a lot of chances and is going against a Denver defense that has a really good front seven and a secondary that can cover.”

Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com writer

Pick: Panthers 30, Broncos 17

Comment: “Carolina’s versatile running game will be too difficult to stop, even for the vaunted Broncos defense.”

Madden NFL 16, EA Sports video game

Pick: Panthers 24, Broncos 20

Comment: From Forbes.com’s Erik Kain, “Last year was simply uncanny, with the simulation predicting not only the winning team, but the final score as well. But it didn’t stop there. Madden NFL predicted that Tom Brady would be MVP, with 335 yards and four touchdowns – just seven yards off the actual outcome.”

Rick Snider, Washington Post sports columnist

Pick: Broncos 23, Panthers 21

Comment: “Denver’s defense will be the difference, but Peyton Manning will get the game’s MVP award because the NFL is all about Hollywood endings. The real stars will be Denver’s secondary and pass rush, which will once again prove that defense wins championships.”

Nate Burleson, NFL Media analyst, former wide receiver

Pick: Panthers 34, Broncos 17

Comment: “It’s going to be a defensive battle. For me, it’s a wash, defensively; the only game-changer you can’t account for is Cam Newton.”

North Carolina highway sign

Pick: Newton 20, Denver 7

Comment: ...

Greg Cote, Miami Herald sports columnist

Pick: Broncos 23, Panthers 20

Comment: “I don’t think the Broncos will need heroics from (Peyton Manning) in what could be his final career game – not if his defense takes charge as I believe it will.”

Melissa Jacobs, Sports Illustrated

Pick: Panthers 27, Broncos 17

Comment: “Carolina doesn’t just boast explosive players on both sides of the ball; it’s also the more complete team, top to bottom.”

Michael Rosenberg, Sports Illustrated

Pick: Broncos 20, Panthers 17

Comment: “Peyton Manning has been a happy game manager since he returned to the field, and as good as the Panthers’ defense is, the Broncos’ defense is one of the best in history.”

Jeff Legwold, ESPN, Denver Broncos reporter

Pick: Broncos 24, Panthers 21

Comment: “There are all kinds of rational reasons to pick the Panthers. The team is young and talented, with the impact player at quarterback in Newton. But there is something about these Broncos. They win close games, they batter opposing quarterbacks, and they simply do not flinch – no matter how tight the situation.”

David Newton, ESPN, Carolina Panthers reporter

Pick: Panthers 24, Broncos 14

Comment: “The Panthers seem to have the ‘it’ factor the Seahawks did two years ago, when they won the Super Bowl. The Panthers are built a lot like Seattle, with a strong running game designed around a dual-threat quarterback and strong defense. But what will decide this game will be turnovers.”

Tuah, 1-year old orangutan, Salt Lake City zoo

Pick: Panthers

Comment: From The Associated Press, “Tuah chewed up a cardboard Panthers sign and later kissed a papier-mache Panthers helmet. ... Animals at the zoo have correctly predicted the Super Bowl winner eight straight years.”

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