The Seattle Seahawks (1-0) will invade Denver on Sunday. This game will see two teams who are equally motivated to win. The Broncos need to get their first win of the season while the Seahawks need to prove that their week one 31-6 stomping over the 49ers wasn’t just a fluke. While the Seahawks are full of new faces from top to bottom, there’s no identity crisis or sleeplessness in Seattle. They took care of business last week with a brand new zest for the game of football that the city hasn’t seen in a long time. The last time the Broncos played the Seahawks, a man by the name Jake Plummer took a seat on the wood while Jay Cutler made his NFL debut. There’s no reason to believe that Kyle Orton will need to be replaced unless of course Tim Tebow jumps behind center for a play or two. The Broncos have won 10 consecutive home openers, and my crystal ball tells me that an 11th win is on the way. My Prediction: Broncos 27 Seahawks 21
Broncos – A brief story for you: Once upon a time, high up in the Rocky Mountains, lived a man by the name of John. John loved the #7 and he loved scoring touchdowns. Ever since John helped the the local football team to two Super Bowl titles, every quarterback that has come through the Dove Valley doors has been compared to him. It’s that need to fill those big shoes that has put more pressure on the Broncos QB than on NASA safely returning a shuttle from outer space. Kyle Orton looked good in week 1. He threw for nearly 300 yards and had 1 TD. He had his receivers on auto-lock all while dealing with the oncoming pressure of the Jags defense. They got to Orton 3 times for a loss of 21 yards. They also deflected 6 of his passes. The bottom line is the Broncos’ QB needs more time along with a consistent rushing attack. Once the RBs break away for some big gains, the play-action pass will be much more effective for Orton, particularly in the redzone.
Seahawks- In their first game of the ’10 season, the Seahawks’ offense was as cool as the California surfer dude that Pete Carroll used to see on the USC campus. Matt Hasselbeck limited the team to just one turnover while throwing for 170 yards and 2 TDs, and also running in for a TD himself. Seattle’s offensive line could see two former Broncos starting at left tackle and left guard. However, neither Tyler Polumbus nor Ben Hamilton have played against the Broncos new and improved defensive line. The Seahawks running game accounted for just 77 yards last week, but it was Justin Forsett who averaged 6.1 yards per carry with a long run of 32 yards. This can be an explosive offense, but it doesn’t have the rushing threat that the Jags had in Maurice Jones-Drew.
Broncos – The Broncos will need to have one thing on their mind: Attack the passer. With just one sack on David Garrard last week, the Broncos allowed him to have a career high passer rating. The dreams of Elvis Dumervil need to leave the building. He’s not coming back for a long time, so the remaining defensive ends need to step up. Hasselbeck is a more polished QB than Garrard, so getting to him is imperative. Last week, D.J. Williams led the team in tackles with 11, but there were no forced turnovers. Now that the Broncos don’t have to be as concerned with a powerful runner like Jones-Drew, the team can focus a little more on Hasselbeck. Next to points, forcing him to turn the ball over is the most important piece to the Broncos winning puzzle.
Seahawks- They held the 49ers to just 6 points on two field goals last week. Talk about a stout defense. That was the fewest number of points an NFL team allowed last week. Their run defense held Frank Gore to 38 yards on 17 carries, and they picked off Alex Smith twice. This is another 4-3 defensive team that the Broncos will face. Last year, they were ranked 30th in pass defense, but their first game of the season has washed away those bad memories like the memory eraser in Men In Black made Tommy Lee Jones forget about the aliens. If the Seahawks can throw Orton off of his game, they’ve got a real good shot at winning on Sunday.
Broncos – Kick coverage needs work. The Broncos gave up a 53-yard kickoff return and a 17-yard punt return to the Jags. Perrish Cox is just waiting to take one to the house, and I believe he will do it in the next couple of weeks.
Seahawks- Leon Washington is dangerous when he’s back receiving. He had a 41-yard kickoff return last week. Coverage by the Seahawks was solid as was Olindo Mare making all 4 extra points and a field goal from 35 yards out.
Broncos – Josh McDaniels is ready to get this team on the win train. He has probably worked out basic scheme mistakes that gave the Broncos penalties last week. Headsets should be working fine as well. The level of intensity that coach shows on the sidelines is what the players need to show on the field.
Seahawks- Pete Carroll was understandably excited after his first win as a head coach in Seattle. He will need to tame the excitement, however, now that he’s on the road and in unfamiliar territory. The former USC coach can run from N.C.A.A. violations, but he can’t run from Rocky Mountain Thunder.
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