By Tyler Zaring, Sports Writer
This past Sunday the National Football League started the Championship weekend of the playoffs to find out who will play in the Super Bowl on February 7.
In the American Football Conference the Denver Broncos played against the New England Patriots. In the National Football Conference the Carolina Panthers faced the Arizona Cardinals. In the Broncos versus Patriots game the league got to see for maybe the last time, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning play against each other. In the Panthers versus Cardinals game two high powered offenses went against each other with quarterbacks Cam Newton and Carson Palmer, two MVP candidates, squaring off.
The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots were the first game on Sunday. The scoring got started in the first quarter with a little over seven minutes left. Peyton Manning completed a 20 yard pass to Owen Daniels for a touchdown. The Patriots answered with a touchdown of their own with a Steven Jackson one yard touchdown run. Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point. The Broncos scored on another Owen Daniels touchdown. To end the first half both teams kicked field goals making the score at half Broncos 17 to the Patriots 7.
The only score in the third quarter was a field goal by the Patriots to make the score 17 to 10. In the fourth quarter the Broncos kicked another field goal while the Patriots ended with a field goal and a touchdown and a chance to tie on a two point conversion. Pressure on Tom Brady forced the pass incomplete and the Broncos won with a score of 20 to 18. Tom Brady threw two interceptions in the game, was sacked four times, and was hit a for a league season high 20 times. The second game was the Carolina Panthers facing the Arizona Cardinals. To start the game the Panthers defense stopped the Cardinals offense and drove down the field to kick a short field goal. On the next Panthers drive on a wide receiver end around Ted Ginn Jr. ran for a 20 yard touchdown. To end the first quarter scoring Cam Newton hit Corey Brown for an 86 yard touchdown where Brown ran through one tackle and raced to the end zone. At the end of the quarter Panthers were up 17 to 0.
The second quarter included a one yard rush from each team one by Cam Newton for the Panthers and the other by David Johnson for the Cardinals. The score at half was 24 Panthers to 7 for the Cardinals.
In the third quarter the Panthers had all the scoring with a field goal and a Cam Newton touchdown run. In the fourth quarter the Cardinals scored a touchdown to make the score 15 to 34 with a two point conversion. The Panthers came back and scored another touchdown with a two point conversion. On the very next play from scrimmage Luke Kuechly took an interception for a touchdown. The game ended with the Panthers winning by a score of 49 to 15. The Cardinals turned the ball over seven times.
With the Panthers win they will meet with the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 in two weeks. The matchup will showcase two defenses that showed their dominance on Sunday. The game will see two great quarterbacks play against each other for what could be Peyton Manning’s last football game and a look into the future and what Cam Newton can do.