NFL Denver Broncos

Super Bowl 2014: 5 Denver Broncos Who Will Crack Under Pressure

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Five Denver Broncos Who Will Crack Under the Pressure

Chris Humphreys – USA TODAY Sports

After winning the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots, the Denver Broncos clinched their place in Super Bowl XLVIII. Many consider them to be the favorites against the Seattle Seahawks based on their potent offense led by Peyton Manning.

And while it’s hard to argue against Denver’s chances in the final game of the season, the truth is that the Broncos have several cracks on their roster, and many will be exposed during the biggest game of the year.

It’s no secret that the Broncos have the best offense in the NFL. With weapons like Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Knowshon Moreno, Peyton Manning has enough playmakers on the offensive side of the ball to make things happen. However, whether they will click is a whole different story. The Broncos have already lost a few games due to improper offensive execution, and it’s likely that they might struggle against the best defense in the NFL.

The defense is also a cause for concern, and while it looks much improved in recent weeks, they are still far from being a top unit. They could have their hands full trying to stop the likes of Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson as they are in for a tough assignment against the best team in the NFC.

As it has been shown during this season, the Broncos have weaknesses on both sides of the ball. Even though they are a very strong team, some of their players might crack under the pressure of having to perform in a Super Bowl against a top defensive unit. Read on to find out who they are.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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5. Peyton Manning

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning has always been labeled as a player that “can’t win the big games”, and that reputation will put a heavy load on his shoulders. The fact that the Super Bowl will probably be played in very cold weather doesn’t bode well for his chances either, and he will be under heavy pressure to perform, making him collapse towards the end of the game.

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4. Montee Ball

John Rieger - USA TODAY Sports

Montee Ball is a rookie with a huge responsibility in the Broncos’ game plan as he is the primary rusher near the end zone. Ball has had some issues dropping the ball this season and he might feel the pressure to perform against a top defensive unit, something that could make him fail in the biggest game of the year.

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3. Julius Thomas

Thomas Campbell – USA TODAY Sports

Julius Thomas has seen his role diminished in the playoffs this season as Manning has opted to throw more to Wes Welker and Demayrius Thomas, and he could struggle to get into any kind of offensive rhythm against a Seahawks secondary that is particularly tough against TEs. He could crack under the pressure of seeing fewer opportunities and having to produce against the best defensive unit in the NFL.

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2. Knowshon Moreno

Matthew Emmons – USA TODAY Sports

Knowshon Moreno is the main option in the rushing attack for the Broncos, and while he has been serviceable as a good complement in a pass-heavy offensive system, he has a tendency to drop the ball when it matters the most. That reputation could create some extra pressure on his shoulders, and it could mean he will have a forgettable game.

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1. Sylvester Williams

Ron Chenoy – USA TODAY Sports

It is tough for any rookie to play in the NFL, and the challenge becomes bigger when you play in the Super Bowl and you have to face a potent offensive line. Sylvester Williams has been a pleasant surprise in the Broncos’ defense this year, but all signs are pointing to the fact that he will struggle against the Seahawks.