NFL Denver Broncos

5 Most Intriguing Denver Broncos Storylines To Watch For In Super Bowl XLVIII

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5 Most Intriguing Denver Broncos Storylines To Watch For In Super Bowl XLVIII

Peyton Manning
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have reached the NFL's biggest stage after acquiring Peyton Manning just two seasons ago. The Broncos took a huge gamble in signing Manning after multiple neck surgeries threatened to end his illustrious career, but John Elway and the Denver franchise have been rewarded ten-fold for taking the risk.

Remember how enamored Broncos fans were with Tim Tebow? The same Tebow that led the Broncos to a Wild Card Playoff berth and helped lead the team to an upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers which made it hard to believe that the franchise would go after Manning when he was less than 100 percent. Elway knew that even at less than 100 percent Manning would lead the Broncos much further than Tebow ever could.

Now the Broncos, who just so happen to have the most devastating offense in NFL history, are playing the first outdoor Super Bowl ever in the New York metropolitan area, and there are major concerns with how the weather will impact the game. I wouldn't worry as much about the weather as I would worry about how the Broncos will deal with the league's best passing defense.

The Seattle Seahawks come into this game as the brash underdogs that are extremely confident they can limit the effectiveness of the Denver passing attack while the Broncos are little more unassuming. That's probably due to the fact that the Broncos have many veterans who know all too well how badly failing in the Super Bowl can hurt.

With that being said, it will be interesting to see how the Broncos react to playing in some less than ideal playing conditions. All in all, there will be plenty of situations to keep an eye on, but here is a list of the 5 most intriguing Denver Broncos storylines to watch for in Super Bowl XLVIII.

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5. Will The Broncos' Running Attack Have Success Against Physical Seattle Seahawks Defense?

Knowshon Moreno
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously any time Peyton Manning is under center the focus will be on the passing game, but the Seattle Seahawks' defense is the best in the league at defending against the pass. That means that it will be important for Knowshon Moreno to have a big game for the Broncos both carrying the ball out of the backfield and in check-down situations in the passing game. The Broncos finished 15th in the NFL in rushing offense averaging just 117.1 yards per game, but it is imperative that they have some balance with their play-calling against the Seahawks.

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4. Will The Broncos Defense Be Able To Contain Beast Mode?

Jack Del Rio And His Defense
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

No team has been able to contain Marshawn Lynch this postseason as he has rushed for 250 yards and three touchdowns in just two games, and it be an especially difficult task for the injury-riddled Denver defense. The Broncos currently list eight defensive players on their injury report which could be a huge problem if the Seahawks decide to control the time of possession by giving Lynch a ton of carries. It may be wise for the Broncos' offense to attempt to play a more methodical offensive game themselves to take the pressure off of their defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and his defense.

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3. Will Wes Welker Be Effective Running Routes Over The Middle Of The Field?

Wes Welker
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wes Welker hauled in 73 receptions this season for the Denver Broncos which is somewhat of a down year considering how he has performed since 2007. Welker has averaged 106.4 receptions since 2007, but the Broncos have so many options that his production hasn't needed to be quite as high in Denver. The only problem now is that Welker suffered a serious concussion late this season that caused him to switch to wearing a huge helmet to protect his head. It will be interesting to see how willing Welker will be to run routes over the middle of the field with hard-hitting Cam Chancellor and Earl Thomas III lurking in the Seattle Seahawks' secondary. My guess is Welker will be willing to lay it all on the line as he has gone 0-2 in his previous two trips to the Super Bowl when he was a member of the New England Patriots.

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2. Can John Fox Win A Super Bowl After Undergoing Heart Surgery In The Same Season?

John Fox
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

John Fox is making his second Super Bowl appearance as a head coach, but this would be an extra special victory for him after missing games earlier this season due to heart surgery. Fox was one of two NFL coaches to spend time away from their teams because of health related issues this season as Gary Kubiak spent time away from the Houston Texans after suffering a “mini-stroke.” These incidents have brought more attention to the intense work schedule NFL head coaches are subjected to, but all that will be put in the rear-view mirror if the Broncos win Sunday. Fox is currently 0-1 in his lone Super Bowl appearance from back in 2003 as coach of the Carolina Panthers.

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1. What Impact Will This Game Have On Peyton Manning's Legacy?

Peyton Manning
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knows how effective Peyton Manning can be during the regular season, but his playoff proficiency has always be called into question. Manning is just 11-11 in his postseason appearances throughout his career, and his younger brother, Eli Manning, has more Super Bowl victories. To be considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning desperately needs this game against the Seahawks. Just imagine the stories that will emerge if Manning is able to pull out a win against the league's best defense in 30 degree temperatures. On the flip side, imagine how much criticism Manning will face if the Broncos lose to give him a losing record in the Super Bowl. There's obviously a lot on the line in this one, and it should be fun to watch.