Panther Tracks

Stephen A. Smith: Cam Newton won’t be stopped on Sunday

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, left and running back Jonathan Stewart, center, joke around while taking a selfie during the Super Bowl Opening Night at SAP Center in San Jose, CA. The Carolina Panthers will face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, CA. At right is wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, left and running back Jonathan Stewart, center, joke around while taking a selfie during the Super Bowl Opening Night at SAP Center in San Jose, CA. The Carolina Panthers will face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, CA. At right is wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Popular ESPN talk show host Stephen A. Smith doesn’t think the Broncos will be able to keep Cam Newton from getting his first NFL Championship Sunday.

“You’ve got Denver’s defense, who’s capable of causing...trouble for the Carolina Panthers, I get that,” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take” show Friday morning. “These boys are no joke. They can’t be diminished, but in the end, that speaks to a tight game, which I understand....But in the end, it’s going to come down to what are you going to do with Cam Newton?

“Do any of us see the guy we’ve been watching all season long get completely neutralized and stopped on the biggest stage, which is where he has customarily shined? I don’t see that happening. I don’t think it’ll be that much of a defensive battle. I think Carolina will have a lead somewhere along the lines of 24-21 and they score a touchdown later on. I see a final score of 31-21 and Cam Newton catches his first (Super Bowl title).”

Smith’s co-host Skip Bayless called a 31-20 win in what he called “The Year of Cam.” He compared Carolina’s run to the ‘85 Chicago Bears where, he said, “you are virtually invincible at the right place and time.”

Bayless said even Peyton Manning in his prime could not beat this Panthers team. He sees a late Denver touchdown to make the score 31-20.

“I believe Cam and company are as bad a matchup for this Denver defense,” Bayless said, “as (Tom) Brady and company were a perfect matchup....against a Tom Brady with zero running game to keep the pass rush honest” in the AFC Championship.

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