Matchup: Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos
Site: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver Colorado
Week two of the preseason is upon us and the Seahawks will head to Denver to face off against the Broncos on Saturday night. The Seahawks will look to build off of a strong outing last weekend against Tennessee while the Broncos will try to continue their second-string dominance after crushing the Chicago Bears 31-3 last week thanks in large part to the play of their second-team units.
The Seahawks will roll over the same quarterback rotation from last week with Matt Flynn starting and playing the first half. Russell Wilson will again play the entire second half. With rumors swirling that Tarvaris Jackson may be traded before final roster cuts, solid play by both Flynn and Wilson this week could be the nail in the coffin for Jackson who “was never really a contender to win the starting quarterback job to begin with” according to ProFootballTalk.com. I expect to See Flynn take more chances this week, meaning actually throwing the ball down field for significant gains. I am fine with screens and checkdowns if they are effective and we can move the ball and score points, but we need to see what Flynn can really do, even with pressure and tight coverage. I want to see the Flynn that threw for six touchdowns against the Lions at the end of last season.
My main focus this week will be the wide receivers, specifically the play of Terrell Owens. I have the belief that the Seahawks will only keep one veteran receiver and that competition is between Owens and Braylon Edwards. Edwards impressed last week by hauling in a long touchdown thrown by Russell Wilson. I believe if Owens is going to make this team, he will have to impress in the opportunities he is given in these preseason games. I am not jumping right to long receptions and touchdowns, but proving he still has the ability to beat a cornerback, have steady play from his hands and feet, and proving he has a full understanding of the plays that are called. I am not expecting anything that closely resembles the T.O. from 5-10 years ago, but he will be on the field for a good chunk of time in the first half so I do hope Owens shows why the Seahawks took a chance on bringing him in.
Our starting defense looked spectacular last week and I hope to see more of the same this week in a hostile road environment. I hope the Seahawks can generate a solid pass rush this week from Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin, which is a facet that was practically nonexistent last week. I am also curious to see how the coaching staff splits plays at middle linebacker between Bobby Wagner and Barrett Ruud. Wagner started last week and did a good job. Many believe he has taken great strides to lock down the starting MLB job. Rudd however was hurt last week so he did not suit up and play. I want to see what kind of impact he has on the field because if Ruud plays really well, the starting MLB job may be closer then we the fans think. I believe Wagner will start on Saturday night but I think the plan is to see what Ruud can do with the first team for parts of the first half.
The Broncos are hosting their first game of the preseason and the Mile High faithful will be fired up to welcome Peyton Manning to Denver. Manning will only play a series or two but it will be interesting from my perspective to see him play for a couple of reasons; First, to see how Manning reads our defense and how efficient he can be against us even though he is coming off neck surgery. Secondly, to see what kind of pressure we put on Manning and how he reacts to that pressure. The talk all offseason surrounding Manning is if he is in condition to be hit. I want to see us hit Manning early and often, not to try to knock him out of the game, but to see if his neck has fully healed and if he can still execute the game plan without having to come out.
Random Thoughts: I have been to Denver to see the Seahawks play. I know what Mile High and the Broncos are all about. It is very difficult to play there. I realize it is only a preseason game but combine the heat with the altitude, it could be a long night health wise for the Seahawks… I am curious to know what uniform we wear Saturday night. My guess is we wear white.
Prediction: Last week I nailed my prediction right on the money. If I was a betting man, I do not think that will be the case again this week haha. The Broncos backups dominated the Bears on the road last week. They are at home and I expect them to be pumped up. I think Flynn will play well and the game will be close at halftime, but I think Russell Wilson will make a couple of key mistakes in the second half, which will ultimately cost the Seahawks the game.
Broncos 30, Seahawks 20
Sunday I will post my review of the Broncos game and look ahead to the next week of practice. Let go get this one guys!