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Tonight - Super Bowl 50 Denver - Carolina Levi's Stadium Santa Clara, California 6:30 P.M. This golden anniversary game features two of the league's top defenses. Denver ranked first in total yards allowed per game, yards per play, total passing yards allowed, passing yards per play, and rushing yards per attempt. Carolina ranked first in takeaways, turnover margin and points off turnovers. Both teams will need to establish the run to open the passing game.

How Carolina wins: On offense - establish the read option, run misdirection plays and establish Cam Newton as run threat. Offensive line must give Newton the opportunity to extend plays with his legs and look downfield for the deep ball. If deep threat is not there find secondary receivers. Get out of the gate immediately and avoid third and long yardage situations. Denver is not built to come back from two touchdown deficits.

On defense - Crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the run and cut off the short to intermediate pass routes. Force Peyton Manning to throw the deep ball and to his left as his arm strength has become a question mark. Keep seven defenders in coverage to prevent yards after the catch which result in the big play and get inside pressure on Manning.

How Denver wins: On offense - Use Carolina's speed against them by running the ball at them. Exploit underneath pass routes for yards after the catch. Protect the ball. Avoid turnovers. As mentioned above, Carolina led the league at forcing turnovers, turnover margin, and points off turnovers. Be patient and drag the game into the fourth quarter. This is a Carolina team that has been prone to complacency having allowed a 17 point fourth quarter lead 23 and 28 point leads to slip through their hands.

On defense - Use outside pressure to contain Newton and force him to hold the ball longer than he would like and especially force him to win the game with his arm. Jam Carolina's receivers at the line of scrimmage and tighten the coverage. Use blitz packages to confuse Newton.

Denver will need to win the special teams battle. Pin Carolina deep in its own end, get off the field on third down, and get return yardage on Carolina punts to take advantage of a short field.

Carolina 35 Denver 21.

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Denver 24 Carolina 10. In a game dominated by defense, turnovers, special team mistakes, and penalties doomed Carolina. The Panthers had no answer for Denver's blitzing schemes and its team speed. The Broncos forced four turnovers, two of them occurring deep in Carolina territory. One fumble was recovered in the end zone for Denver's first touchdown. The other was recovered on the six yard line and converted into the final score of the game and came after a defensive holding penalty. The other two turnovers stopped potential scoring drives.

Denver also stuffed Carolina's run game and sacked Newton 6 times - a seventh was against receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. on an aborted trick play. Newton also missed open receivers, some cases by at least four feet. Penalties and sacks also helped stall potential chances. A defensive lapse by Carolina allowed Denver to return a punt 61 yards to set up Denver's second field goal.

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Cleveland Browns linebacker Armonty Bryant has been indicted on two felony drug charges. Bryant was arrested on Christmas day following a traffic stop along with former teammate De'Ante Saunders. Police say marijuana, prescription drugs, and loaded handgun were found in Saunders' car. Bryant remains on the roster and along with Saunders will be arraigned in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on February 24.

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