Broncos vs. Seahawks: 5 questions with 12th Man Rising

Aug 27, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) warms up before a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 27, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) warms up before a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Just ahead of the Week 1 game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football, we spoke with Lee Vowell of 12th Man Rising to get his thoughts on the game. 

The Broncos will look to open the season 1-0 for the second year in a row but they will have to go to one of the most raucous stadiums in the NFL in order to do it.

This game will be filled with storylines but at the top of that list will be the return of Russell Wilson to the place he spent a decade, taking the Seahawks to two Super Bowls and winning one of them.

For Broncos fans, this will be their very first look at Wilson in orange and blue as the new franchise quarterback (and most of the starters) sat out the entire preseason. That strategy did not pay off well for the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1, so hopefully, things go much better for the Broncos.

Before the game kicks off, I interviewed Lee Vowell who covers all things Seahawks over at 12th Man Rising.

Predominantly Orange: What was the internal reaction within the Seahawks’ fanbase to Russell Wilson being traded to the Broncos?

Lee Vowell: It was an odd thing. The trade of Russell Wilson was at the same time surprising but also like, “OK, we knew this was going to happen.” There had been so much speculation about Wilson being traded for about a year now, but at the same time the Seahawks seemed to keep saying, “Russ isn’t going anywhere.” Then he was gone. Reactions to the trade basically depend on who you ask and this is especially true post-trade. Wilson seemed to want out of Seattle and has implied recently that he was having to carry the team on his shoulders. This isn’t exactly true and as a quarterback in the NFL this is a bet expected.

With less than a week before the game, I still have no idea how most 12s will react to seeing Wilson run on the field in a Broncos uniform.

Predominantly Orange: Going into the Week 1 game, what are your expectations of this Seahawks team? Is it a team in rebuild mode or will they be better than most expect?

Lee Vowell: I don’t think a team can trade the best quarterback in franchise history, not have a real option who will take his place, and honestly say, “We aren’t rebuilding.” The Seahawks are rebuilding and the question is how quickly they can get back to being a postseason-type team. The team wasn’t without talent when Wilson left, however. The receiving group is still great. The safeties are very good. The interior of the defensive line is very good. But how well this team does in 2022 depends a bunch on its rookies. If players like Coby Bryant, Tariq Woolen, Charles Cross and Abe Lucas can be very good, the team will be OK. If they can’t be, this will be a terrible year.

Predominantly Orange: What do you feel the Broncos are getting in Russell Wilson at this stage of his career?

Lee Vowell: Wilson is a complex quarterback. I in no way mean to disparage him. He was great for the Seahawks. But there is a reason he has never gotten an MVP vote and that is because most seasons his most consistently great games are in the first half of the year. He would have gotten lots of votes if the MVP vote was taken midway through a season. He is self-aware enough to know what he is good at but not truly self-aware enough to know he should be using his unique skills – evading the rush, making greatness happen at times of chaos – in the most important moments.

Wilson seems to think he is like Aaron Rodgers in that he can be a volume passer and that is what he does best. It isn’t. Wilson is nowhere close to Rodgers when it comes to purely throwing the ball. But Rodgers doesn’t have Wilson’s skills as a runner either. Wilson is going to make the offense better and make his receivers look great. He is also going to take way too many sacks when he holds on to the ball too long. The Broncos could make a deep run in the playoffs but only if Wilson makes the right decisions at the right time and he hasn’t done that in the last several years.

Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Aug 21, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) sits on the bench during the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

Predominantly Orange: Who are some Seahawks players that could make a difference in the Week 1 game and potentially across the 2022 season?

Lee Vowell: For the Seahawks to be successful, receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett need to stay healthy. The team also needs its rookies to be good. But the players that will truly make a difference are rookie left tackle Charles Cross, quarterback Geno Smith, running back Rashaad Penny and safety Jamal Adams. If all those guys can play their best, Seattle will win more than half its games this season. If any one of them is bad, the team will fail. Seattle has very little margin for error in 2022 and things have to go perfectly for them to have any chance of the postseason.

Predominantly Orange: Who begins the year 1-0, the Seahawks or the Broncos and how do you see the game playing out?

Lee Vowell: Week 1s are so weird nowadays. Nobody really plays their top-end players much in the preseason so there is a bit of rust for guys like Russell Wilson and Jordyn Brooks. Yes, a team can practice all day but until you face someone in an opposing uniform playing full out, it’s tough to truly get up to speed. That said, this Seattle team can’t be completely overlooked. They have a new defensive coordinator and there is lots of speed and young talent on defense. I do think the Broncos win this game because they have more veterans, like Wilson, but it’s closer than people think. Denver probably wins it with a late touchdown.

Next. Fresh game-by-game predictions for the Broncos. dark

You can check out the interview that I did with Lee Vowell right here.