If early-season chatter is any indicator, the Super Bowl very well could end up as Denver vs, Seattle. With that in mind, the preseason matchup between the Broncos and the Seahawks as a nice intro to the football season. Both teams are coming off of wins in the first week with the Broncos necking out a 10-6 win over the 49ers and the Seahawks trouncing the Chargers, 31-10.
The Broncos began preseason with a tough few games, going against two NFC West favorites in as many weeks -- both times on the road. With Peyton Manning leading the passing game, the running attack still could use a couple tune-ups and the Seahawks provide a perfect test.
Meet the Seahawks
At this time last year, quarterback Russell Wilson was busy lighting up the preseason as he convincingly won the starting job. This time around, it didn't matter. Wilson didn't score in the Seahawks win over the Chargers, but both Tarvaris Jackson and Brady Quinn performed quite well. Jackson threw particularly well, connecting on 8 of 9 passes with two touchdowns to boot.
Running back Christine Michael, a second-round pick in the 2013 draft, made a statement to be Marshawn Lynch's backup in the regular season with 16 carries for 89 yards. That early momentum came to a halt, however, as he has been out with back spasms since the weekend, opening the door for Robert Turbin to make his case.
Meet the Broncos
The Broncos defense was all over the field against the 49ers last week, forcing four turnovers and holding San Francisco to 288 yards. Safety Duke Ihenacho came out of nowhere, notching seven tackles and a forced fumble in one half of play. In his short two-year career, Ihenacho has one tackle total in the regular season, coming in a win against the Bengals last year.
The offense sputtered a bit, only netting 220 yards. The run game struggled against the 49ers defense, averaging 3.2 yards a carry. Rookie running back Montee Ball was limited the most, getting just nine yards on five carries. Mile High Report pointed out that, at Tuesday's practice, Ball split the workload with starter Ronnie Hillman.
Local Takes: Seahawks
The folks at Field Gulls pointed out that one of the Seahawks' less obvious strengths this year is their team chemistry.
Each scoring player would be met with an onslaught of teammates from the sideline, and they would exchange plenty of mid-air hip bumps, high fives, fist pounds, and helmet slaps. Every score was like this, but easily the guy who got the most congratulations was Spencer Ware. I believe this was because his score was closest to the Seahawks' sideline, but the guys seemed genuinely happy that he ran one in.
Local Takes: Broncos
I'm guessing we will see Ball with the ones for at least a few snaps. I'm excited to see more from our rookie running back. I'm hoping our offensive line helps him out a bit too. If Ball wants to get the week one start he will need to start performing sooner rather then later.
Follow the Fun
Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:
lol at the woman holding a tiny "NieceMode' jersey on the new Real Rob - that's brilliant— Danny Kelly (@FieldGulls) August 13, 2013
Coaches need practice too. Throw that red flag Foxy.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) August 9, 2013
@BCondotta - Seahawks beat writer
Carroll said Michael could be a little while before he gets back on the field. Said he was "pretty stoved up today.''— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) August 11, 2013
@PostBroncos - Broncos beat writers
The Seahawks are favored anywhere from four to five points over the Broncos, according to Oddsshark.com.