Sunday, February 7, 2016

Assessing Super Bowl 50 (Scenario Analysis)

(updated at 11:01 hours)

Some of you are statistical fanatics just like us- where we preferred to examine specific data like the ranking of the receivers on 3rd down passing situation (based on field positions) and the number of knockdowns and sacks in a progression mode from the first game to the 18th game.

For this post, we decided not to dwell into the statistical specifics (injuries, quality of opposition, depth, offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency, the offense vs the opposing defense match-up, the coaching comparisons, etc) of both teams, lets focus on the simple projection of this Super Bowl game.

The Grand Projection
Source: Euroweb

Currently, the odds favored the Carolina Panthers to win this Championship game. To be victorious, they must score first, score fast and score repeatedly.  Forcing the Broncos to play catchup.  (This scenario would be similar to their NFC Championship game against the Ariz. Cardinals) Their defensive backs are superb enough to neutralize Manning's average passing skills.  ...

If the two or more of the following three conditions occurred:
the Bronco running backs cannot consistently penetrate toward the 2nd line of the defense;
the Bronco QB is throwing ducks; and/or 
the Bronco receivers are dropping passes as usual.

Therefore, the Bronco offense  became one dimensional.  ... In most instances, it then becomes easy for the Panthers pass defenders to anticipate the Bronco's QB's objective. 

In this terrain,  securing the two second advantage is the name of the game.  ... 

Denver Broncos could still win as long if they score first and dominates the ball possession time factor by running the ball and completing short to intermediate passes consistently with the tactical approach of numeric mismatches (similar to the 1991 Super Bowl where the NY Giants dominated the Buffalo Bills by ball control.)   While they do not possess the capability to play "the comeback and catch up" offense,  their defense can dominate and if they change the quarterback for certain tactical situations.

While the Carolina Panthers possesses an above-average running offense, Cam Newton, the Carolina QB has a predictable tendency to throw long.  Whether the Denver Broncos's defense is able to consistently sack him and neutralize him from the game, would be an interesting challenge for them.

If Cam Newton consistently hits Greg Olson, the TE and Ted Ginn on the long passes, we expected Carolina to win. However, if the Broncos defense are able to influence Cam to run and pass, their chances to shutting down the Panther offense increases.  The success of the Panthers offense begins with their running attack.

If the Carolina Panthers takes a minimum of 10 points lead into half time, the game might be over for Denver. They do not possess the comeback game unless they change the quarterback.

If the Broncos takes a minimum of 10 points lead into half time, they will be grinding the opponent by running the ball.

Side note: For this post, we  cannot predict injuries and turnovers because of the lack of insider information.

Predictions of Possible Scenarios
If the Carolina Panthers win, the total score will be over 45.5 points.

If the Denver Broncos win, the total score will be under 45.5 points.

The Panthers could also win on an Under game if the game stays near even and the Denver defense falters during the final quarter or if the Denver offense gives away the game by fumble or interception.

If the game is even or near parity, the special teams on both sides become quite relevant.

In summary, the Panthers possesses the grand advantage of winning regardless of the score where Denver would only win in an "under" game.

Grand Football Maxim
Offense scores and thrills the crowds. Nonetheless, it is always the defense that wins the championships

Side Note
Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos QB has a tendency of calling two plays during the huddle for any "down and distance" situation.

The two plays could be any of the following combinations:
  • pass play, run play ( draw play or draw trap);
  • pass play, pass play;
  • run play, run play;
  • run play, pass play; and   
  • run play, play action pass off the fake run. 
Whenever the  "Omaha" signal is broadcasted, he is telling his offense to run the other play instead of the other play.  "Omaha" means "opposite."

Final Thought
Will the Broncos (Horses) prevail in the Year of the Monkey?

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