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4 ways the Broncos can avoid another Super Bowl blowout

Denver's suffered through some historic, lopsided Super Bowl losses. Here's how they can avoid that against the Panthers on Sunday.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Before the Denver Broncos can win Super Bowl 50, they must bounce any idea of a blowout. We are talking Broncos obliteration. Something like Carolina 84 and the Broncos zilch.

Because nobody loses Super Bowls quite like the Broncos. Not just losses -- annihilations.

Only Pittsburgh, Dallas and Denver have reached eight Super Bowls. No franchise has lost more than Denver's five. Everybody rips the Buffalo Bills for four consecutive Super Bowl losses, but the Broncos hang in the same hallway -- they lost their first four Super Bowl appearances, the last three by 55-10, 42-10 and 39-20.

That 55-10 game was in New Orleans, a big, fat, easy win for the 49ers as they torched the Denver defense with a barrage of touchdown passes over the middle. That 42-10 loss was to Washington, the Doug Williams game where he lit up Denver en route to a 35-10 halftime lead. Historic games. Harrowing losses.

The latest Denver loss was in Super Bowl 48, the New York affair, a Seattle 43-8 pasting.

While the Broncos were squeezing through this year's playoffs with slim victories over Pittsburgh (23-16) and New England (20-18) the Panthers were hanging 31 consecutive opening points on Seattle and shredding Arizona, 49-15.

Carolina scored more points (500) this season than any NFL team.

Points in bunches leads to blowouts. Especially if the other team is spooked. Especially if the other team starts re-living its worst history.

Here is how Denver can avoid that.

Get to Cam

The paramount goal for Denver is to stifle Carolina's running game. Quarterback Cam Newton is a central part of that attack. Former NFL safety Rodney Harrison was criticized for saying the Broncos should try to knock Newton out of the game if he insists on running with the football. Actually, Harrison wasn't saying anything the Broncos were not already thinking about the quarterback who frequently runs. Hitting Newton hard, making him pay for those runs, is a key component of Denver winning.

Newton is so big and strong that this is not easy. But it is doable. A few toasty hits may create some doubt in his run game. They may create turnovers. They could knock him out. All of that bodes well for Denver's championship chances.

Hold tight

Carolina during the regular season was +20 in turnover differential and +8 in the postseason. Denver was a stunning -4 in turnover differential in the regular season. It improved to +2 in the postseason. Denver must hold the football tight. It cannot change the game, field position and momentum with boneheaded turnovers. Carolina will be eager to produce them. The Broncos cannot comply.

Corral Ted Ginn, Jr.

This speedster can break open this Super Bowl as a kick returner, as a receiver or as a runner on reverses. His speed is exceptional and deceiving. You think you have him in sight, you think you are on track, and -- swoosh! Ginn can be a blur. He averaged 16.8 yards per catch this season and boosted that to 26.0 in the postseason. He caught 10 touchdown passes this season.

The Broncos must have one man deeper than Ginn at all times in this Super Bowl.

He is the definition of blowing the top off of a defense. He is the quintessential stretch-the-field guy.

The Broncos cannot let Ginn outside of their defense and allow him to beat them.

Trust in Emmanuel

The Broncos chances of winning tremendously increase if receiver Emmanuel Sanders has a huge game. He is the Ginn of the Broncos offense. If Sanders runs repeatedly free and through the Panthers defense, Denver will be in superb shape. Sanders can be the biggest thorn in Carolina's side. The Broncos have to let him be that. The Broncos should feature him in repeated, confrontational, bold ways. Sanders could break this game wide open for Denver.

I don't think the Broncos will master these goals. Looks like another Broncos blowout.

Carolina 30, Denver 12.