Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls an audible in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos took the field for their first pre-season game against the Seattle Seahawks, and came away victorious. In a game that was filled with penalty flags and interrupted by a lightning delay, it was all in all a pretty good night for the Broncos and their fans, who got their first look at a team they hope will win this year’s Super Bowl.
Peyton Manning and the starting offense only played a couple of series, but Manning was razor sharp completing 10-of-13 passes for 78 yards and orchestrating a touchdown drive for the Broncos, who took a 7-0 lead into Manning’s departure.
The Broncos’ starting defense looked really good, allowing one touchdown on a drive that was kept alive large in part to the officials’ constantly reaching for flags, even when they probably shouldn’t have.
There were so many observations I had from this game, I need to get my thoughts organized, but a couple of things really stood out to me in this pre-season matchup that I want to discuss.
Pass Rush Depth is Insane
The Broncos’ pass rush depth is ridiculous up and down the board. We didn’t even see Von Miller, but the front seven of the Broncos was relentless in pursuit of Seattle quarterbacks.
Malik Jackson had a huge hit on Russell Wilson that was called back. DeMarcus Ware flashed his explosive ability. Derek Wolfe looks back and badder than ever. Marvin Austin and Quanterus Smith both stood out in terms of their explosive ability off the snap. Shaq Barrett and Kenny Anunike also were frequently in the backfield.
We’ll discuss this more in-depth later.
Brock Bounces Back
Brock Osweiler, faced with 95 yards of field in front of him, telegraphed a pass and had it picked off. He came back on the next drive and had probably the most impressive drive I’ve seen from him in his Broncos career. He completed three bullet passes, had a huge scramble on 3rd-and-14, and fired a touchdown to Jordan Norwood in what would be the game-winning touchdown for Denver.
Osweiler showed good awareness of the pass rush, but struggled until his INT to get in a rhythm. He found his stride, and really impressed me on that last drive.
Rookie Running Backs Shine
Specifically, Juwan Thompson, who left the game with what was believed to be concussion symptoms (and came back), finished with six carries for 60 yards and had another carry or two that was called back for penalty where he looked particularly explosive. He flashed quickness to the edge and finishing power. Kapri Bibbs, a former Colorado State Ram, had his first NFL touchdown and also flashed at times. He runs really hard.
Those two guys might be battling it out for one roster spot, and they’re going to be fun to watch this pre-season.
Rahim Moore left the game with concussion concerns. He did not return, but wasn’t mentioned in the injury report after the game.. Aqib Talib appeared to injure his wrist but the Broncos determined there was no injury. Running back C.J. Anderson left the game with concussion symptoms and didn’t return.