Denver Bronco football makes its highly anticipated return tonight, in a rematch of the embarrassing Super Bowl loss this past February. It is a meaningless preseason game, but it is not meaningless to some Bronco fans, and certainly will not be meaningless for players fighting for a roster spot. In this article, I will make 5 bold predictions about what will happen throughout the game so lets dive in.
What will we see out of the starters on offense?
This will be the first time the new look Broncos offense will take on the Seahawks, the only team to hold the historic 2013 offense under 20 points. The past 2 seasons, the Broncos and Seahawks have met in the 2nd game of the preseason, meeting in the 1st game this season will mean the offense will get in a drive, maybe 2 before retiring for the night. In the 2012 preseason meeting, the Broncos starting unit turned the ball over 3 times, with a Lance Ball fumble and 2 Manning interceptions. During last years preseason matchup, the starting unit had 2 turnovers against Seattle’s starters, a Julius Thomas fumble, and a Ronnie Hillman fumble returned 106 yards for a TD, although they were able to move the ball against Seattle’s starters. This year, the offseason focus has been ball security. The starters may only get a drive or 2 in, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come to play because Seattle definitely will. For the first time in 3 meetings, I predict the Broncos offense will finish 2 drives without turning the ball over, while scoring touchdowns on both drives.
Hillman vs. Anderson, who steps up?
If you follow any of the Predominantly Orange writers on Twitter, including myself, you have probably noticed that there is great dissent in regards to the curious Case of Ronnie Hillman. Hillman will be starting tonight, and I believe he will seize the opportunity by finding the endzone, while gaining 60+ yards on the ground and through the air. On the other end, I predict CJ Anderson will have a rough game. He will put the ball and the ground, and average less than 3 YPC.
Will there be a defense sighting today?
This past Saturday, the Broncos offense used and abused the “New Look” Bronco defense on every level. I don’t see the Seahawks mediocre offense doing anything of the sort tonight. The defensive line will shut down the Seattle run game, and the best pass rush duo in the league will get to Russell Wilson for 2 sacks. To cap their day off, the Broncos will force a fumble, imposing the new toughness that was brought in this offseason.
The secondary battle, who makes a statement?
There are a couple players in the Bronco secondary that infuriate Bronco fans, Tony Carter and Omar Bolden. Both looked awful most of the time last season, and coincidentally enough, the two are likely fighting for the last CB spot. I predict Bolden will be very active, recording 2 PDs and intercepting a pass while displaying solid coverage throughout. Carter will look good as well, be will be beat a few times, and fall behind Bolden for the final CB spot. Elsewhere, it has been rumored that Duke Ihenacho is on the chopping block, as he has looked bad in coverage and doesn’t seem as driven as he was this past season when he seized the starting SS job. This year the Broncos have depth at the position, with John Boyett in the fold, Quentin Carter healthy and David Bruton remaining a roster mainstay. Iheanacho’s main competition will be from Boyett, who, if he can cut down on his mental errors can pose a real threat to Duke for the backup SS position. I expect to see Boyett take advantage of his playing time and make a few big plays.
The fourth RB spot, who pulls ahead?
Kapri Bibbs is the fan favorite. Juwan Thompson is the current leader. Brennan Clay is the change of pace option. Jerodis Williams is the after thought. Who of these 4 men will pull ahead today to claim the final RB spot that is perceived to be accompanied with a roster spot as well? I think each will look good today, but it is the fan favorite who shows up big. It is well known that Kapri Bibbs is a player who does not seem to perform well in practice, but is a game day performer, evidenced by his huge season with CSU. I believe Bibbs will have a huge day, with over 100 yards on the ground, a couple receptions out of the background to go along with a TD.
That’s all I have for you, what are your thoughts? Will Hillman seize his opportunity? Will the Starters step up with a complete performance? Will Bolden stand out? Is Kapri Bibbs the man for the 4th RB job? Tune in tonight, and join the Predominantly Orange staff during the game on the Broncos vs. Seahawks open thread that will go live shortly before game time to talk Bronco football.