Denver Broncos: Earl Thomas doubtful to play on Sunday
The Seattle Seahawks that come to face off against the Denver Broncos on Sunday are going to look very different. Earl Thomas is not expected back.
The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will both look drastically different in their matchup on Sunday than they did in Super Bowl XLVIII, to be certain. Only one offensive playmaker remains for the Denver Broncos from that record-setting offense and only two players from the Legion of Boom remain.
Neither of those two players is All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, who is holding out for either a trade or a new contract with the Seahawks, and no end appears to be in sight.
So far in 2018, the Seahawks have parted ways with a number of key defensive players from their Super Bowl run in 2013, including Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor.
That core had an incredible run in Seattle of pure dominance defensively, and the Broncos were unable to beat Seattle not only in Super Bowl XLVIII but in a regular season matchup the following year.
The last time these two teams faced, Peyton Manning and the new-look Broncos defense went to Seattle and forced overtime where Marshawn Lynch capped off a thrilling game with a walk-off touchdown run.
Things will be different this time around, as both teams are merely shells of what they were in 2013 and 2014. Earl Thomas’ absence could prove to be one of the more detrimental losses for Seattle this offseason.
They have taken on so much change defensively but losing Thomas wasn’t part of the initial plan.
Even though Seattle willingly moved on from some of these big names, Thomas was a player they probably thought would come around at some point over the course of the offseason.
Thomas is one of the most instinctive safeties in the game, on par with Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs when he’s healthy.
The Broncos lead the all-time series against their former AFC West foe 34-21, but the last time they beat the Seahawks was in 2010, the year Earl Thomas was drafted by the Seahawks (with a selection that belonged to the Denver Broncos).
Perhaps without Thomas in the lineup, the Broncos will find ways to take advantage. Their passing attack looked much better this preseason than it has been in years past with Case Keenum at the helm, and Thomas’ absence along with a revamped back end of the defense in general could end up being the Broncos’ biggest advantage.