3. Luke Kuechly
Just like the Broncos’ defense is led by Von Miller and his ability to make big plays, the Panthers defense is guided by linebacker Luke Kuechly. Kuechly has been unstoppable during the postseason this year with 19 combined tackles and two interceptions. Impressively, he returned both interceptions for touchdowns. Look for Kuechly to be the leader of the Panthers defense in Super Bowl 50, given that he’s the best inside linebacker in football. There’s no reason to think he won’t be a factor in Super Bowl 50.
Kuechly will be charged with helping shut down the Broncos running game and locking down the middle of the field in the passing game. Kuechly has gotten his two interceptions by being at the right place at the right time. Manning isn’t the quarterback that he used to be. He can’t get the same velocity on his throws that he used to, and Kuechly will be in a great position to capitalize on that.
Kuechly is reminiscent of another Super Bowl MVP: Ray Lewis. While he isn’t quite at the level of arguably the best linebacker to ever play the game, he tends to have that kind of impact on his teammates. Just as Lewis made everyone around him better, Kuechly does the same. He might not be as much of a vocal leader as Lewis was, but Kuechly has his own unique way of leading by example.
It would be no surprise if Kuechly was the difference maker who made Manning look old while locking down Super Bowl 50 MVP.
Next: No. 2