The NFL has proved once again that they are a sucker for drama like the rest of us as Monday Night Football kicks off with the Seattle Seahawks hosting the Denver Broncos. In any other season this would seem to be an interesting choice for a primetime game, but not this year. In a homecoming like no other, Russell Wilson is headed back to Seattle, but this time, in orange and blue.
Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks Betting Odds
The Broncos are a heavy -285 moneyline and 6.5-point favorite this week. The over/under for the game is 45 points.
It’s unsurprising to see the Broncos as an almost touchdown favorite over the Seahawks given their hole under center. Not to mention, Denver’s pass rush got a makeover this offseason which won’t make Geno Smith’s job any easier. Seattle’s secondary got a boost also now that Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams are both healthy, so Russell Wilson’s job might not be as easy either.
It’s hard to compare anything about this game to last year’s results when we are essentially looking at two completely different teams. But, neither defense averaged a ton of points against them per game last year despite both posting a losing record.
While Seattle’s offense likely can’t keep up with a much more well rounded Denver offense, they have a weird tendency to play well when it counts; and against Russell Wilson, it definitely counts. They’ve also got home field advantage with the 12’s in support which should give them some spark. I’m calling Denver to win, but Seattle to cover.
My predictions: Broncos win 21-17, Seahawks cover, under 45 points
Denver Broncos Analysis
Wilson will have two competitors this week: the Seahawks defense, and the 12’s fanbase. One might be harder than the other. Considered the loudest fans in the league, you can bet the 12’s won’t make it an easy homecoming for Wilson in his Bronco debut.
Denver has loads of talent coming into this game, on both sides of the ball. A solid receiving corps among Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and KJ Hamler will allow Wilson to get back to throwing the deep ball he knows and loves. Seattle defense was near dead last in passing yards allowed last season which sets up Wilson’s famous deep ball almost too perfectly. Javonte Williams will return to his regularly scheduled program as the workhorse who makes defenses miss, likely seeing snaps this week to help Wilson tire out the defense.
Denver signed Randy Gregory to a five-year deal this offseason which will elevate their mediocre pass rush to an elite level when combined with Bradley Chubb. Together, they will cause problems for Geno Smith who doesn’t have the ability to scramble under pressure.
The secondary is staying relatively the same as last year’s unit which allowed the eighth-fewest passing yards per game. Patrick Surtain III is a bright spot in this secondary with loads of potential to be a Pro Bowl candidate this year. He is backed by Ronald Darby, Kareem Jackson, and Justin Simmons, to round out a very talented secondary. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf will certainly make this group work though.
Seattle Seahawks Analysis
Seahawks fans are on edge heading into this game. For the last ten years, the 12’s have watched Russell Wilson play under center only this game, it’s for the other team. Despite the struggling quarterback situation, Seattle does have some bright spots:
The run game in Seattle is strong and the offensive dependency on the run game is actually part of the reason why Wilson left Seattle. They’ve got good depth at the running back position with Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Walker, Travis Homer, and DeeJay Dallas. Denver was less successful at stopping the run game than the pass last year which bodes well for Seattle’s strong running back crew.
The defense and secondary could be strong enough to keep them in this game if Smith can be a solid game manager and the run game does their job. Shelby Harris and Jordyn Brooks will hold down the front seven while a healthy Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams will lead this secondary.
Adams played through several different injuries last year that took him far from the player we saw in 2020 where he recorded a defensive-back record 9.5 sacks. With health on his side and a newfound responsibility of leading the defense without Bobby Wagner, Adams could return to 2020 form. Diggs suffered a broken fibula and dislocated ankle at the end of last season, but is cleared for play.
Will Seahawks receivers see the ball? Of course Seattle has seen huge success in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf over the years but it’s hard to tell if we will see the same production without Russell Wilson’s accuracy. This game will be a good indicator of how the connection between Smith and his receivers will look going forward. This is the biggest question going into the season. That, and if the Seattle offensive line will look any better this year.
Long has Russell Wilson been plagued by horrible pass protection in Seattle and until they prove otherwise, Smith will suffer the same fate. The Seahawks are clearly aware of this problem as their first round pick was OT Charles Cross which was followed by OT Abraham Lucas in later rounds. Both are expected to start but have their work cut out for them against the Gregory-Chubb pass rushing duo.