BRONCOS

Three keys to the Broncos beating the Seahawks in Week 1

Sep 8, 2022, 6:51 AM | Updated: 6:54 am
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 14: Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (33) rushes during a game be...
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos travel to play against the Seattle Seahawks on “Monday Night Football” in Week 1. The 2022 season is an exciting one for the Broncos, and it feels like this team could make a postseason run for the first time since winning Super Bowl 50 in 2015.

The Seahawks are not a good team, so the Broncos are heavy favorites in this contest. They need to get the win, and that’s all that matters in the end, but I think the optics of how they achieve victory do matter.

Here are three keys to victory in Week 1.

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Protect Russell Wilson

Honestly, this could be all three keys just repeated. In order to win against the Seahawks, the Broncos must protect their new starting quarterback. Wilson was one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league with the Seahawks, and those hits can take a toll. Denver needs to make sure to do what the Seahawks could not – and I imagine that will happen in Week 1.

This is the best offensive line Wilson has ever played behind. No, the Broncos offensive line is not perfect, but this unit is much better than the rag tag group of linemen the Seahawks trotted out in front of the star passer. The Broncos should be able to protect Wilson because their line is better than he’s used to, but also because the Seahawks don’t have much of a pass rush.

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Run the Ball

It sounds simple, but it’s true; the Broncos need to run the ball with great success in order to win. As the season goes on, I have high expectations for this passing attack. However, to begin the season I think some rust will have to be shaken off by Wilson and his receivers. The starters did not play in the preseason, so the first time we see Wilson play in a game with the Broncos will be on Monday night. He’s spent multiple hours this offseason building chemistry with his receivers, but it should take time for that to come through on the field.

In order to win, the Broncos must run the ball effectively. This is good news for starting running back Javonte Williams as the team could lean on him as their featured back. Williams is a power back who led the NFL in broken tackles last year, one season after he led the NCAA in broken tackles during his final season with the North Carolina Tar Heels. He’s tough to bring down, and in a league where live tackling doesn’t exist until the regular season, Williams should be able to run roughshod over Seattle’s defense.

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No Big Plays

Seattle is not a team that is going to threaten you much offensively, especially with Geno Smith as their starting quarterback. The offense is going to try and run the ball early and often. First, that’s the way Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll wants to run the show. Second, the Seahawks are going to try to play keep away from Wilson and the Broncos offense. Their best bet is to try and keep this thing close.

That doesn’t mean they won’t take a big shot here and there. The Broncos defense struggled to stop the run in the preseason. Expect Seahawks starter Rashaad Penny to test this front seven to see if it was just a backup problem in the preseason or if the design just isn’t there to stop the run. If Seattle runs with even a modest amount of success, expect a play-action deep pass to soon follow. Again, Smith won’t be filling the air with footballs. Instead, the team will selectively choose when to attack deep. Denver’s defense, and especially cornerback Ronald Darby, had better not give up a big play to D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, or a speedy receiver like Dee Eskridge.

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