The oddsmakers have the Denver Broncos as a 6.5-point favourite over the Seattle Seahawks, and lots of anticipate them to win by a fair wider margin. A big cause for that’s the distinction at quarterback for every crew.
The Seahawks are going from Russell Wilson to Geno Smith and the Broncos from a mix of Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock to a nine-time Professional Bowler. This has led to almost everybody in Broncos Nation anticipating a large win.
That begs the query, although: is Broncos Nation wildly underrating the Seahawks? Let’s attempt to reply that query by analyzing these two groups outdoors of the quarterback place.
Trying on the Seahawks final 12 months, right here is the place they stood on offense and protection.
- Passing yards per sport: 201.9 (twenty third)
- Speeding yards per sport: 122.0 (eleventh)
- Factors per sport: 23.2 (sixteenth)
- Third Down Share: 37.3 (twenty third)
- Passing yards per sport: 265.5 (thirty first)
- Speeding yards per sport: 113.6 (seventeenth)
- Factors per sport: 21.5 (twelfth)
- Third Down Share: 39.3 (14th)
- Strain Share: 22.1% (twenty sixth)
- Sacks: 34 (Tied twenty fourth)
The Seahawks ended up having a superb speeding sport, averaging 5 yards per try, the third-highest within the NFL. Rashaad Penny had some large video games to spice up the speeding numbers for the Seahawks.
Penny was be the man at working again for the ultimate 5 weeks, the place he picked up not less than 135 yards in 4 of the video games. Nonetheless, these video games got here in opposition to the thirty first, twenty third, twenty eighth, and twentieth ranked run defenses in yards allowed per sport, respectively.
Regardless of their points final season, the Broncos allowed a median of 111.3 yards per sport, which was fifteenth within the NFL. Denver bolstered its run protection by including D.J. Jones and getting Josey Jewell again and wholesome. Having Bradley Chubb can also be going to assist in opposition to the run.
Seattle has a strong working sport, however can Penny reproduce these numbers? Will Seattle’s reshaped offensive line maintain up? Can Smith do sufficient to assist out the run sport?
The Seahawks have three new items on their offensive line, together with each offensive tackles. The truth is, each tackles are rookies, and whereas they confirmed promise within the preseason, most of their time got here in opposition to second and third-stringers. Can these rookies maintain up in opposition to NFL starters?
On the within, Austin Blythe is Seattle’s new middle, who has been strong in his time as a starter. The Seahawks’ guards, Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis, have been straight-up horrible final season. However, Denver ought to do properly within the trenches in opposition to the run with Jones in the course of the defensive position.
Dre’Mont Jones, DeShawn Williams, and D.J. Jones ought to muster sufficient inner strain on Smith, who was below strain over 38% of the time on account of his two guards. As for the tackles, Smith was pressured 46.1% of the time. Including the rookies, Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, ought to assist drive that quantity down.
Nonetheless, they’re rookies, and Chubb’s strengths can be utilized to assault the areas of concern round Cross. As for Lucas, quite a bit will rely upon whether or not Randy Gregory performs. Gregory could be a nasty matchup for Lucas, but when it is Baron Browning, the matchup could be extra favorable for the rookie.
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Defensively, the Seahawks had a largely good season, particularly with their entrance seven. Nonetheless, their secondary was problematic, so that they drafted Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant. The 2 rookie corners are very similar to the 2 rookie tackles; they’d a promising preseason and coaching camp however did not go in opposition to NFL starters typically.
Courtland Sutton may very well be a big downside for them. Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler may be problematic, relying on the latter’s well being. Plus, that is the place the development at quarterback actually goes in opposition to the Seahawks.
As for his or her entrance seven, the Seattle had a superb unit final 12 months however suffered super losses. Carlos Dunlap, Rasheem Inexperienced, Kerry Hyder, and Bobby Wagner are some headline Seattle’s front-seven exodus. That is a lack of 102 complete pressures and 191 tackles.
To exchange that, the Seahawks received Shelby Harris within the commerce for Wilson and introduced in Uchenna Nwosu. That brings 73 complete pressures and 55 complete tackles to the protection. It is a super lack of manufacturing from Seattle’s defensive entrance. The Seahawks additionally added rookies in Boye Mafe and Tyreke Smith, however they’ve but to play a sport within the common season. Whereas the 2 rookies can lower into the lack of manufacturing, it is secure to anticipate a drop-off of their efficiency.
So is Broncos Nation extensively underrating the Seahawks?
Seattle is extensively seen as one of many worst rosters within the NFL as a result of it suffered some important losses and at crucial positions. The Seahawks are turning to a number of rookies for substantial roles, which shall be good for getting expertise for future years, however not a lot for the current.
The Seahawks appear to be making ready to go after a quarterback within the 2023 class, and in a 12 months or two, they might have a superb crew. This 12 months, nonetheless, Seattle appears to be aiming for a better draft choose. Denver might help them out within the season opener.
With it being the primary sport of the season, there shall be points on the Broncos’ facet of the soccer, however having a bonafide quarterback is such a difference-maker. However, even outdoors of that, the Broncos nonetheless have the higher roster all-around.
Whereas this sport will not be simple, Denver is more and more prone to win by greater than a landing.
Comply with Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.
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