Super Bowl 2014: Knowshon Moreno Is Key to Denver Taking Home Lombardi Trophy

Trey WarrenContributor IIIJanuary 30, 2014

Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (27) leaps over New England Patriots strong safety Duron Harmon (30) during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL playoff football game in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

The Denver Broncos are expecting guys like Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas to have big games in Super Bowl XLVIII.

There is one guy, however, who will need to be the most effective on Sunday. This guy is going to be the key to Denver taking home the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since 1998.

And that guy is Knowshon Moreno.


Offensive Balance

The Broncos ranked No. 1 in passing yards per game (340.3) and No. 15 in rushing yards (117.1).

Denver will need to be more balanced against the best defense in football on Sunday. Moreno will be responsible for converting on short third-down situations and making other downs more manageable, which will give Manning more options as drives progress.

Moreno had the third fewest attempts (241) of any running back with at least 1,000 yards during the regular season. When his number is called, he is capable of gaining the necessary yardage.

The Seahawks secondary is one of the best in the NFL. Moreno’s success will make them stay honest and force them to keep extra defenders in the box.


Extra Receiving Option

Not only has Moreno been solid running the ball, he has also been a good receiving option for Manning.

He only has three catches in the playoffs but finished with 60 during the regular season. The former Georgia Bulldog is one of five receivers on the team with at least 60 receptions.

Patric Schneider/Associated Press

That is one of the biggest reasons why the Broncos have been successful all season. Manning can spread the ball around to each receiver efficiently, and that could really come into play on Sunday. If Denver is unsuccessful running the football, Moreno is going to become a factor in the passing game, too.


Ball Security and Time of Possession

The Seahawks led the NFL in takeaways during the regular season with 39.

Luckily for Denver, Moreno fumbled the ball only once the entire season. That’s pretty incredible considering he finished No. 9 in offensive touches in 2013. Ball security will be a huge factor when both teams are fighting for field position.

Time of possession may play the largest part on Sunday. The Seahawks are capable of marching down the field with their rushing attack, and Denver will have to do the same thing.

If Moreno can run the ball successfully, it will keep his defense on the bench and Seattle’s on the field. His defense will need the rest to keep up with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. It will also allow Denver to move at a faster tempo during drives, possibly opening up the deep ball against a fatigued defense.

If the Broncos are going to win their third Super Bowl in team history, they will feed Moreno the ball.

And they will feed him early and often.