Denver D holds key |

Denver D holds key

Published Caption: Dave Price

We’ve heard all the Super Bowl hype regarding Peyton Manning and the Broncos vs. the defense of the Seattle Seahawks.

I see this game being decided by defense, but not Seattle’s. My prediction two weeks ago called for a Manning victory, however, Denver is going to need a stellar performance from its defense to win. And the Broncos have an underrated unit that is very capable of rising to the challenge.

“I think a lot of people are forgetting that Bronco defense is really coming on,” former Gardnerville resident Fred Aldrich wrote in an email. “(Defensive coordinator Jack) Del Rio has those guys playing their best ball yet.”

This defense really hasn’t received its due respect. The Broncos allow yards through the air, but remember, most teams have fallen behind early and been forced to the throw the ball. Just consider how well the Broncos played in December and now in the postseason. They limited Philip Rivers to 1 net yard passing through the first half and held the Chargers to 79 total yards through three quarters. The Patriots didn’t fare much better with 149 total yards through three quarters, when Denver already had a 20-point lead.

Another factor in the last four to six weeks, Manning and the Broncos’ offense have also been able to control the ball and stay on the field, which helps keep the defense fresh.

The key for Denver’s “D” will be to contain Russell Wilson, keep him in the pocket, and maybe create a turnover or two.

My prediction? Denver 21-16, with Seattle coming back in the fourth quarter to make it close.

What do the Seahawks need to win this game?

“(Marshawn) Lynch is the real deal and, of course, their defense is a beast. But playing against Manning with his army of wide receivers might be a bit tough for them,” Aldrich wrote. “As always, keeping Manning off the field and controlling the ball will be Seahawks’ game plan. Bottom line, it looks like a great match-up.”

What more can you ask for?

Dave Price is sports editor for The Record-Courier