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Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle 'D' elite; Broncos average

The Seahawks' top-ranked defense is garnering just about as much attention entering Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII as Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Or maybe it's just cornerback Richard Sherman who's been the talk of Seattle's elite unit.

Not that the brash, well-spoken All-Pro is undeserving. In his young career, Sherman has already ascended to the top of the heap at his position.

It's not just Sherman and his league-leading eight interceptions that makes the Seattle secondary so formidable. He's joined by Pro Bowl safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. The trio leads the way for a group that figures to give Manning his most stern test of the season.

Denver's defense is solid, but unspectacular. While Seattle surrendered just 14.4 points per game in the regular season, the Broncos allowed 24.9 ppg.

It doesn't help that injuries have plagued the Broncos throughout the year. Even in the postseason, they lost cornerback Chris Harris to injury, placing more pressure on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and forcing aging Champ Bailey into a larger role.

And don't expect the Denver front seven to make up the difference. The 41 sacks they tallied is just a hair above the league average of 40.5.

The old sports cliche says that defense wins championships. If that's the case, Seattle reigns here.


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