The Super Bowl rematch is upon us. Everyone knows that the last time these two team met, it wasn’t pretty for the Broncos. However, that should change. In that Super Bowl blow out, the Broncos were missing five starters on defense and one on offense. Now they are missing only one for the whole team. Danny Trevathan.
That’s not the only change though. Heading to Seattle, there are nine new starters on defense, and five on offense. That is counting players starting at a new position as well. So, it is safe to say, this is not the same Broncos team. Everyone in the Broncos secondary are new, Rahim Moore and Chris Harris missed the Super Bowl being on IR. Their counterparts, T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib are new to the team.
The linebacker corps is all new as well. Nate Irving did play in the Super Bowl, but he was starting at the “Sam” linebacker position for a hurt Von Miller. Now he takes over the “Mike” position with Miller taking his spot at “Sam” back. Finally, Danny Trevathan is hurt, so Brandon Marshall has stepped up to take over the “Will” position.
The changes can go on and on. DeMarcus Ware is new to the team and starting at RDE, Derek Wolfe is healthy and starting at LDE. Only two players on defense, who started in the Super Bowl at the same position, will take the field this time. They are Terrance Knighton and Sylvester Williams. That’s just the defensive starters. Down the depth chart the Broncos have Marvin Austin, Quanterus Smith, Lamin Barrow, Lerentee McCray, Corey Nelson, Bradley Roby, and Quinton Carter. All are new to the team or returning from injury. That is a whole new look on the defensive side.
On the offensive side of the ball, it isn’t as revamped, but they have new pieces, both new to the team and returning from injury. Ryan Clady is the big man back at LT. He missed almost all of last season. Chris Clark, who stepped in for Clady, now takes over at RT, which kicks former RT Orlando Franklin to LG. So, three new aspects to the five man offensive line. Then, there's the big offensive free agent, Emmanuel Sanders. He takes over for a departed Eric Decker.
Knowshon Moreno is gone. In his place is Montee Ball, who did see some snaps in the Super Bowl. After that, the additions to the team include, Cody Latimer, Juwan Thompson, Will Montgomery, Paul Cornick, Ben Garland, and Michael Schofield.
Even Special Teams has changed. There's a new punt returner in Isaiah Burse and a new kicker in Brandon McManus. So, obviously, this is far from the same team that played in the Super Bowl. Which leads to the first prediction,
this game will not be a blow out by the Seahawks
Now, onto the other predictions.
Peyton Manning will play a mistake free game
That’s right, not a single mistake from the quarterback. By mistakes, I mean no turnovers. He won’t throw an interception, he won’t fumble, and he won’t let a snap fly by his head for a safety.
Broncos rush for over 150 yards
If you want to beat Seattle, you've got to run the ball. Over the first two weeks of the season, the run game has been somewhat ineffective. Most of that is on the offensive line, but part on the running backs as well. Now, they get things going. Ball and Anderson will get their share of carries and be effective. Also, Sanders gets a rush in a jet sweep.
Julius Thomas catches 2 touchdowns
Julius Thomas has started off hot this season, catching three touchdowns in the first game, then adding another this last Sunday. By the time the game ends, Julius sits at six.
The defense holds Seattle’s running backs to under 100 yards
The focal point for the Seahawks offense is running the ball and controlling the tempo. They are incredibly effective when they are able to do that, because they mix in the big play every so often. If you can shut down their run game and making them one dimensional, you have your best shot to come away with the win.
The Broncos defense gets off the field on 3rd-down
In their victory over the Chiefs, the Broncos were unable to get off the field on third down, allowing 14 of 19. Great defenses get off the field on third down, and the Broncos make the adjustment. The Broncos hold the Seahawks to under 40% conversion percentage on 3rd-down.
Bold Prediction: Cody Latimer and Juwan Thompson see action on offense
Cody Latimer was active against the Colts, but saw no offensive snaps. Then he found himself inactive vs the Chiefs. Heading into Seattle, there is not much known about him by other teams. That gives the Broncos a slight edge. As for Juwan Thompson, he has been used on special teams, but he will see some carries on offense. He burst onto the scene against the Seahawks in the preseason, and they will test him out again. He won’t see a lot of carries, at most five, but he could be a change to Ball and Anderson that sparks the offense.
Bold Prediction: The Broncos Defense sacks Russell Wilson 5 times
Sacking Russell Wilson is not an easy task to do. He is so mobile that if you get near him, he just takes off. However, the Broncos put a plan in place to keep him from escaping, which will lead to the sacks.
Bold Prediction: Wes Welker gets rewarded on his return
With Wes Welker back with the team, after what ended up being a two game suspension, he sees a lot of action. Peyton Manning will bring Welker into the fold right away and all game long. Welker ends up with 8 catches for over 75 yards and two touchdowns, leading the receivers.
The Broncos eliminate crowd noise factor
Going on the road means having to deal with the home crowd noise. There is, arguably, no place tougher to play than Century Link Field in Seattle. There is a reason why the fans have been dubbed the 12th man. They are loud and rowdy, often causing multiple penalties and miscues for opposing teams. Instead, the Broncos deal with it. No penalties that stem from crowd noise, no miscues either. So no offsides on the defense, or false starts on the offense. Not an easy task.
There is nothing harder than going to Seattle and coming away with the win. They are an incredibly hard team to beat at home. There is talent flooding the roster and they get so much energy from the fans. However, the Broncos hand them a home loss.
Broncos 31 Seahawks 24.
The Broncos show up ready to make a statement. They have been talking about being a tougher team all around, well they show it. They make a statement to the NFL and fans around the world. They are the Denver Broncos, a team to be reckoned with.