Seahawks vs. Broncos: Behind Enemy Lines for Week 1

·1 min read

The Seahawks are lucky enough to play their Super Bowl in Week 1 this year – or at least the game fans care about winning the most. Monday night’s game against Russell Wilson and the Broncos is the most-expensive ticket in the NFL this week and should make for a genuine spectacle.

To learn more about the enemy, we spoke with Broncos Wire managing editor Jon Heath. Here are a few questions he answered about his team.

I think we both agree Denver got the upper hand, but what grade did you initially give the Russell Wilson trade for the Broncos? Has that changed at all?

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I definitely initially gave tham an A-grade and it hasn’t changed since then. It was a bummer to lose a really underrated DL in Shelby Harris and a promising young TE in Noah Fant, but it’s worth it for a franchise quarterback. As the Rams showed last season, trading away picks is also worth it in order to get a QB. There’s no guarantee the Broncos will win the Super Bowl, but with a franchise QB, they have a chance now. The QBs they had post-Peyton Manning and pre-Wilson didn’t give them a realistic chance.

Are you tired of Wilson's jokes yet?

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Ha! There’s no doubt that he’s corny. I think if the Broncos struggle, fans might grow tired of Wilson’s hokiness. But if he helps Denver’s franchise turn around and get back into playoff contention, fans won’t care that their QB is corny. Winning cures all ails.

Have any receivers emerged as Wilson's No. 1 guy or is it too early to tell?

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Honestly, I think it was going to be Tim Patrick before he suffered a season-ending injury. Patrick had the best hands on the team and he was great at going up and securing a contested pass, and I think Wilson would have had a lot of confidence in him. Patrick is out for the season, though, and Courtland Sutton is the team’s No. 1 receiver. Wilson has formed a good connection with Sutton at practice and he’ll probably be his go-to target this year.

I know you wanted the Broncos to bring back Von Miller but he wound up going to the Bills. Did they do enough to add to that edge group without him?

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Amazingly, Denver’s outside linebacker depth chart is one of the deepest positions on the roster even after Miller’s departure. Bradley Chubb is a capable starter when healthy and Randy Gregory totaled 52 QB hits in 50 games with the Cowboys. And if Chubb and/or Gregory are ever unavailable, the Broncos now have second-round draft pick Nik Bonitto ready to enter the rotation. Also, a huge sleeper to watch for in Denver this year is second-year defender Baron Browning. The Broncos played him as an inside linebacker last year due to injuries at the position, but he moved back to OLB this spring and he looked fantastic in preseason as an edge rusher.

Prediction for Monday night?

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I think this game could be closer than some fans in Denver are expecting. It remains to be seen how Wilson will handle the emotion of returning to Seattle, and nearly all of the Broncos’ full-time starters were held out of preseason. As a result, the offense might get off to a slow start. And Denver struggled to stop the run last year, and running the ball is obviously a priority for the Seahawks. The Broncos did sign nose tackle D.J. Jones this offseason, so he should help against the run, but it still remains to be seen how Denver’s defense will look this year. After saying all that, I am picking the Broncos to win — I just think Seattle could make it harder than some people think. Broncos 24, Seahawks 17.

Story originally appeared on Seahawks Wire