The teams to compete in Super Bowl 50 have been decided. The Denver Broncos will face the Carolina Panthers for a chance to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy on February 7 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Things could have gone a lot differently for the AFC representative, as their game against the New England Patriots came down to the dying moments of the clash, with Tom Brady having a chance to tie the game on a two-point conversion and take it to overtime.
However, his pass was picked off in the endzone by the amazing Broncos defense, ending the game 20-18.
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In fact, the Broncos defense ran riot all game because they essentially knew what the Patriots were going to do every play, pass the ball. They were able to sack Brady four times but that number could have been a lot higher if he hadn't thrown the ball away.
The Patriots simply can't win or play their game when their quarterback has no time to throw. 23 hits on the quarterback are not good. The offensive line needs to improve, but this is also why it is important for the AFC East franchise to build up a running game for the 2016 season.
The loss of offensive tackle Nate Solder and running back Dion Lewis earlier in the season may have played a part in the outcome, but it wouldn't have affected it much. A ground game needs to be built up for another Super Bowl run before age starts to catch up to their gunslinger.
LeGarrette Blount's deal with the Patriots expires this offseason, and he isn't expected to be given another contract, so the team needs to find another running back to ground-and-pound the ball when needed to do so.
Options for this role could be either Marshawn Lynch or Matt Forte, who both essentially lost their starting jobs at the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears respectively, and are in a certain way, surplus to requirements at their current franchises.
New England needs to find a good running back that can pound the ball for 2016, and they may have to pay up in order to acquire it.