Super Bowl 2014: Broncos have 'X-factor' in Trindon Holliday

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The talk is always about defense and offense, but so often special teams can and does change the game.

The Denver Broncos will be aiming for their third Super Bowl championship on Sunday when they take on the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

The talk will be centered around their high-flying offense and, mostly, their quarterback, Peyton Manning. However, one major player will be largely forgotten.

Trindon Holliday, who has been one of the league's most dangerous return men over the past few seasons, will be quietly waiting for his chance to shine on the game's biggest stage. This season, Holliday had 1,046 combined return yards and two touchdowns.

On the negative side, he could cost Denver a ton by fumbling the ball, something he has been known to do at times. In 2013, he fumbled five times.

Over at Mile High Report, Tim Lynch writes about Holliday's potential in this game:

The stats show Trindon has always been a fumbler, in fact, he was worst in 2012. Midway through this season, Holliday was permanently removed from punt return duty, which has limited his ability to make impact plays on Special Teams - both positive and negative.

Yet, he was able put up a few electrifying plays. Being limited to kickoff return duty has severely limited his chances of making impactful plays at Mile High Stadium, but the Super Bowl isn't taking place at altitude. It's taking place at sea level, in a stadium where kickoff returns will be more than possible - they will be likely.

This is why Trindon Holliday is my x-factor on kickoffs.

Should Holliday have a huge night, he wouldn't be the first returner to have a massive impact in a Super Bowl.

Back in Super Bowl XXXI, Desmond Howard of the Green Bay Packers won the MVP award after returning a kickoff for a touchdown. The Chicago Bears' Devin Hester also returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLI, albeit in a losing effort.

Even without scoring, Holliday can change the course of the game by consistently altering field position.

In a game that figures to be very tight, one positive or negative play by Holliday might be the difference.

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