Game Plan and Match-Ups v. Seahawks

Seattle leaned heavily on the pass in defeating San Francisco in the opener, and if Denver's front seven can pressure Matt Hasselbeck -- a question mark after the Jacksonville loss -- that will be the key

SERIES HISTORY: 52nd regular-season meeting. Broncos lead series, 33-18. The Broncos have a 20-5 home record vs. its former AFC West rival. The Seahawks have faced Denver more than any other team in their franchise history. The two teams last opened Denver's home schedule in 1988, with Seattle winning, 21-14.

GAME PLAN: The Broncos should have a good beat on what Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates will try to accomplish with a quick-strike passing game and a running attack fashioned from his days as an offensive assistant in Denver.

Seattle will rotate RBs Justin Forsett, Julius Jones and Leon Washington. The Broncos' 3-4 front must guard against being too aggressive and expose cutback lanes that the Seahawks running game will try to exploit, particularly on the backside of plays.

Seattle leaned heavily on the pass in defeating San Francisco in the opener, and if the front seven can pressure Matt Hasselbeck -- a question mark after the Jacksonville loss -- that will be the key, since none of the Seahawks WRs is a matchup nightmare. Champ Bailey likely will see a lot of Mike Williams, who has finally emerged as a legit No. 1 threat for Seattle.

On offense, Denver pushed the field and spread the ball around vs. the Jaguars and will continue to take that approach. The biggest issues heading into Sunday are cleaning up a running attack that still isn't clicking fully behind an inexperienced line and finishing drives. The Broncos have been a between-the-20s offense before and have to find playmakers and eliminate mistakes within the more confined red-zone area.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Broncos ROLB Robert Ayers, who notched his first NFL sack in the opener, vs. Seahawks LT Tyler Polumbus, who started eight games last season in Denver at right tackle as a reserve. Polumbus has had some issues with players with a quick burst off the snap and while Ayers isn't a classic speed rusher, he's finally been flashing the power-speed combination that the Broncos saw during Ayers' breakout senior season at Tennessee.

Seahawks KR Leon Washington vs. Denver's kickoff coverage unit. Of the 24 points Denver surrendered in the opener, 10 can be attributed to the work of Tiquan Underwood on returns. He ran back the opening kickoff the second half 46 yards, setting up a TD. Another third-quarter KO return went 53 yards and Josh Scobee nailed a 45-yard field goal. On both plays, Denver kicked to one side then lost containment on the edge as Underwood took the ball crossfield. Washington had a 41-yard runback against San Francisco and showed he's moved past a horrific leg injury that ended his final year with the Jets.

INJURY IMPACT: Safety Darcel McBath has been out since injuring his forearm in the opening preseason game. He hasn't practiced since. He had been a key component on special teams before the injury.

--Ryan Harris is walking without the aid of a boot and continues to rehab from an ankle injury sustained in the preseason finale. His target return may be the Sept. 26 Indianapolis game.

--LB Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) missed Wednesday's practice. That would be another key element taken off Denver's coverage teams and could necessitate the game-day activation of CB Syd'Quan Thompson if his condition doesn't improve to help in that area.

--WR Demaryius Thomas (foot) continues to practice fully as he works his way back from a setback on his surgically repaired left foot.



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