Luke Kuechly could end up being the X-factor in the Super Bowl:

Photo credit: Scott Cunningham / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

With the Denver defense getting the recognition they clearly deserve throughout the season. You have to wonder what the Carolina defense is going to do to make an impact of their own. Sticking to the script would be the best option for the Panthers. Essentially that’s letting those front 4 defensive lineman rush the passer and letting those 3 linebackers scrape and make plays. That is the formula for success for the Panthers and all season long their defense has played sideline to sideline. One player has emerged as a star from these defense efforts and his name is Luke Kuechly. Since being drafted in the first round with the 9th overall pick. The former Boston College linebacker quickly made the transition to successful NFL linebacker. He did this by anchoring Ron Rivera’s defense and bringing a unique intensity to Carolina. Kuechly is a rare specimen of raw athletic talent and whip smart football instincts. That translated on the field to a player who can not only shut you down in the running game, but also a player that is coordinated enough to play the pass. Make interceptions and then return those interceptions all the way to the end zone for a Panthers score. When you have a defensive player that can intercept passes and score on that play. It adds a whole other dynamic to your football team because now you have the potential to score points even when the opposing team has the ball. That is what Kueckly brings to this Carolina defense and he has scored 3 defensive touchdowns in the postseason and regular season combined in 2015. The probability of a team winning when scoring a defensive touchdown shoots through the roof. With an aging Manning entering the Super Bowl for the Denver. That might ultimately spell disaster for the Broncos. Keep an eye on whether or not Kuechly is able to jump one of Manning’s passes. That play alone makes Kuechly the x-factor for the Panthers in the Super Bowl.

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