The Broncos' big weakness

Why Super Bowl could be decided when Peyton doesn't have the ball

Updated: January 29, 2014, 9:14 AM ET
By Vince Verhei | Football Outsiders

Champ BaileyDoug Pensinger/Getty ImagesCan Champ Bailey and the Broncos' pass defense hold up against the Seahawks?

A quick rundown of the Denver Broncos' résumé heading into the Super Bowl:

• An NFL-record 606 points scored
• 55 touchdowns and 5,444 yards passing for Peyton Manning, both the best in the history of the league
• One player with more than 1,000 yards rushing
• Two players with more than 1,000 yards receiving
• Five players with at least 10 touchdowns scored

Can a team with this much firepower be beaten? Well, it's obviously possible, because the Colts, Patriots and Chargers all managed to defeat the Broncos this season, and the Cowboys nearly beat Denver in a 51-48 loss in Week 5 (given the quality of the competition, that may have been the worst game the Broncos played all season).

Is there a common thread between these four games that shows Denver's weaknesses? For the most part, no, but one glaring issue does stand out: the Broncos' pass defense.