January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) attempts to avoid a sack by Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton (94) in the second half of the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The key stat for this Denver defense is 17 – as in holding its opponents to 17 points or less.
When it does that, Manning and the Broncos are 16-0. For his career, Manning is 101-3.
The Denver defense will do that on Sunday against Brady and the Patriots offense.
A lot has been made of the improvement of New England’s offensive line over the last month when it’s gone 4-0. It’s not good enough to stop or slow the Broncos defensive line – the best in football.
Denver is No. 1 in the NFL against the run and it has the best tandem of pass rushers in football. But the key to that success comes from the defensive tackles who will make life miserable for the middle of that Patriots offensive line.
Keep New England to 17 points or less and the Broncos will win this game.