The Broncos and Seahawks will face off in Week One of the 2022 season. What should you watch for this Monday Night?
On Monday Night Football, Russell Wilson and first-time head coach Nathaniel Hackett look to cook the Seahawks on national TV. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider need a win badly if they want the Seahawk fans not to absolutely lose their minds on where the trajectory of the franchise is heading. There are so many things for Broncos Country to watch for during the Broncos’ first regular season game against Seattle.
How Will The Broncos Offense Fare Against The Seahawks?
There are a lot of matchups to watch during this game but the matchup I’m looking the most forward to is Denver’s offensive line against the Seattle defensive line. Hackett’s training camp was full of light practices and nearly all of the starters haven’t tackled or hit all offseason. For the most physical part of football at the line of scrimmage, it should be interesting to see how the Broncos’ offensive line looks during that first quarter and throughout the game.
Seattle’s defense is solid, that’s what you expect from a Pete Carroll-coached team. The cornerbacks aren’t particularly strong, but the two safeties — Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs — are a strong duo that can cover the ground for the corner depth. Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy should have a field day in man coverage against Seattle’s cornerbacks. Albert Okwuegbunam will be the starting tight end, and will most likely get some early short targets as a big body in the middle of the field. Expect him to get some special downfield plays as the game progresses with the speed he brings at the tight end position.
The run game may struggle early on, but as long as that spell doesn’t last all game Denver should be okay. Javonte Williams will be the starting running back with Melvin Gordon at two and Mike Boone at three. Williams and Gordon will get a majority of the workload. Whether it will be 60% and 40% or 70% and 30% is still up in the air. We will find out Monday night, but the duo should be fresh and ready to go. Just like many of the starters; they both did not play in the preseason.
Russell Wilson will have to control his emotions early returning to most likely a hostile crowd at Lumen Field, his old home. Being a pro’s pro throughout his career, it shouldn’t be a concern for Broncos Country. If anything, it should be exciting that Seattle will most likely boo Wilson to add more fuel to his already bright fire.
There will be struggles for a new offense under a new head coach, but this thing could pop if the pieces fall into the right place while preparing the game plan. Depending on how the game is going, it will be interesting to see how Nathaniel Hackett handles in-game adjustments and communicates with his new quarterback.
How Will The Broncos Defense Fare Against Seattle In Week One?
While Broncos Country won’t see Drew Lock go up against them, Wilson will see a familiar face at QB in Geno Smith. Smith was Wilson’s former backup that stepped in for him last year when he was sidelined with a hand injury. Smith is arguably one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL. However, he is a solid backup who doesn’t turn the ball over much. That is what Carroll has been looking for to get back to mainly running the ball and not turning the ball over in the passing game.
Pat Surtain II going up against wide receiver DK Metcalf should be an entertaining match-up. It is uncertain whether they will move Surtain II around to stay on Metcalf or if he will be assigned to one side of the field. Either way, fans will be absolutely pumped to see how the young star looks against a solid WR room.
Randy Gregory will make his debut in orange coming off the edge with Bradley Chubb. Those two will give rookie tackles Abraham Lucas and Charles Cross a run for their money. They should give those two a warm welcome to the NFL coming into the season 100% healthy.
This Justin Simmons-led defense will have something to prove. The national media has been all over the offense, rightfully so after adding a hall of fame quarterback. The back end of the defense is strong with Simmons and hard-hitting Kareem Jackson. Ronald Darby at CB2 will need as much support from those safeties on Monday.
It sounds like Jonas Griffith will be back at ILB after his elbow injury in week one of the preseason. He was one of the few starters to play this preseason and was injured on the second play of the game against the Cowboys. ILB is a weak spot on this defense, but Griffith is the best option for them at that spot so it will be nice to see him on the field. The question with Griffith is if it is too early for him to be back. Hopefully not.
I expect the Broncos to struggle on offense in the first half, but luckily the strong defense should hold down the fort. I believe the offense picks up steam and makes the adjustments that they need to take control of the game and I see Denver picking up the win — 30-17 — to start the season 1-0.
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