The stage is set for Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — It will be a perfect late afternoon in Silicon Valley as the Broncos and Peyton Manning take on Cam Newton and the Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium.
The forecast is calling for a game-time temperature of 73 degrees and bright sunshine for the 3:30 PT kickoff off. There is no chance of precipitation during the game in the open-air stadium and heat could be a factor early on as Levi’s Stadium is much like Miami’s SunLife Stadium and the Panthers’ home of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. There is no canopy covering any part of the stadium.
Both teams are relatively healthy coming in, with the biggest injury concern being the broken right forearm of Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. He had surgery to fix the forearm in the bye week before the Super Bowl and assured reporters during the week that he’ll be ready to go and start in the game.
The Panthers are appearing in their second Super Bowl in franchise history, losing 32-29 to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston. The Broncos have matched the Patriots, Steelers and Cowboys with their eighth Super Bowl appearance. But they have the worst record of the four coming in. The Broncos, fresh from their 43-8 rout at the hands of the Seahawks two years ago at MetLife Stadium in Super Bowl XLVIII, are just 2-5 in their previous seven appearances.
They have been beaten by double digits in all five of their losses, falling 27-10 to the Cowboys in Super Bowl XII, 39-20 to the Giants in Super Bowl XXI, 42-10 to the Redskins in Super Bowl XXII, 55-10 to the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV and 43-8 two years ago.
The highlight of the game for Patriots fans figures to be the appearance of Tom Brady, who will be on the field for the NFL ceremony to honor all 43 Super Bowl MVPs. Brady and childhood hero Joe Montana are the only ones with three MVP awards in the game. Terry Bradshaw and Eli Manning have two apiece.