(9/12/22) 8:15 PM Eastern.
Spread: Broncos -6.5 / Seahawks +6.5
Moneyline: Broncos -275 / Seahawks +235
Total: Over / Under 44
NFL week 1 wraps up with Russell Wilson and the Broncos facing off against his former team, the Seattle Seahawks. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15p.m. eastern time at Lumen Field.
Denver Broncos (0-0)
Expectations are high in Denver, the addition of Russell Wilson and HC Nathantial Hackett are poised to break this offense out of it’s slump. They ranked 19th in yards per game and 23rd in points per game in 2021. Poor QB play, injuries to the receiving room, and an offensive line that struggled in pass protection is the reason why. Wilson answers the QB problem, starting WR’s Sutton and Jeudy are healthy, but the offensive line still has questions. They return 4 starters from last year with Billy Turner the new face at Right Tackle. Despite struggling in pass-pro this group did have success running the football. The elite backfield duo of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon led them to 119.1 rushing yards per game. If they can keep Wilson upright, they have all the pieces to feature a top offense in 2022.
Their defense was elite last year, surrendering just 18.9 points per game (3rd best). They were one of the best redzone defenses, allowing TD’s on just 48.8 % of trips (3rd best). Ejiro Evero comes in as defensive coordinator, previously the Rams secondary/pass game coordinator. He oversaw a Rams back end that allowed the 2nd fewest passing touchdowns while bringing in the 3rd most interceptions. He gets a loaded back end to work with and a strong pass rush duo in Randy Gregory and Bradley Chubb. This Broncos defense did struggle against the run last year, ranking 27th by ESPN’s run stop win rate. They signed a pair of linebackers and 2 defensive linemen in FA to help sure up their front 7.
Seattle Seahawks (0-0)
The rebuild begins. Any team that’s forced to start Geno Smith at QB doesn’t have high hopes. He’s been a solid back-up for Seattle but he’s not leading any teams to the playoffs. He does have a nice trio of pass catchers in Metcalf, Lockett, and Fant but he’s unlikely to get much time to throw them the ball. They start two rookies at the Tackle position, below average LG and Center, and a declining Gabe Jackson at RG. Seattle does have a good RB room with Rashad Penny and rookie Kenneth Walker out of MSU. The Seahawks have the talent at skill position but will only go as far as the offensive line and Geno Smith can take them.
Their defense gets a makeover too. Clint Hurtt was promoted from defensive line coach to defensive coordinator. With that comes a change in philosophy, they switch from a base 4-3 defense to a 3-4. They finished in the top half in PPG at 21.5 but really struggled against the pass. Due in large part to a lack of a pass rush from their front 4. The additions of Nwosu via FA, Shelby Harris in the Wilson trade, and switch to a 3-4 should help generate some pressure. They do look to run more 2 safety high looks this season, something Russell Wilson really struggled against. Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams combine to form one of the best safety duos in football.
UNDER 44. This Broncos offense is going to be good this season but that will take some time. New HC, new offense, and a new QB with 0 dress rehearsal snaps. They didn’t play a single snap as a unit during the pre-season. The Broncos offensive line really struggled in pass protection last year too, ranking 28th in pressure percentage allowed. The Seahawks new look 3-4 defense and deep front 7 has the edge on passing downs. With Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon in the backfield the Broncos will hand it off plenty and play to their offensive line’s strength, bleeding the clock. Expect the Seahawks to do the same against a strong pass rushing duo of Chubb and Gregory with two rookie offensive tackles. The Broncos defense was also one of the worst run stopping defenses in 2021. With Geno Smith at QB going up against the 3rd best scoring defense from a season ago they’ll struggle to score points. The Under is 7-1 in the Broncos L8 games as a road favorite and 7-2 the Seahawks L9 games as an underdog. The Under’s also 8-3 in the Broncos L11 games and 5-1 in the Seahawks L6.