In what’s becoming a hot topic, the first half of Saturday’s game between the Broncos and the Seahawks could be a preview of Superbowl 2013. Both teams made it to the playoffs last season with high expectations only to have their hopes dashed by late game meltdowns.
The Seahawks crushed the Chargers in their last Thursday preseason opener, 31-10. Despite only 23 yards passing and going 2 for 6 in his limited playtime, Russell Wilson proved he was still one of the most elusive QBs in the league with an eight yard scramble. Rookie RB, and first round draft pick, Christine Michael, rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries. Allen Bradford, stepping in for an injured Bobby Wagner, led the defense with eight tackles. Seattle shored up their defense during the offseason with rookies, Jordan Hill,Benson Mayowa, and John Lotulelei, each of which proved they could ruin any quarterback’s day.
The Broncos beat the 49ers 10-6 last week, though the San Francisco second string did help with four turnovers. Peyton Manning was held to only 13 yards by the 49er starters in his single drive, completing 2 of 4. Ex-Charger Linebacker, Shaun Philips, scored the only touchdown in the game with a fumble recovery at the nine yard line. CJ Anderson, a rookie out of Cal-Berkeley, rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries. Tight end Julius Thomas, standing for Joel Dreesen who’s still recovering from surgery, led the Broncos receivers with four catches for 35 yards.
The key to this upcoming game, in my opinion, will be the defense on both sides, but for opposite reasons. The Seahawks are going to have to flush Peyton Manning out of the pocket and stay on him with a lot of pressure. The Broncos are going to have to contain Russell Wilson and keep him in the pocket, blocking his vision and maneuvering room. These are both great QBs that are downright dangerous if allowed too much time with the ball.
This is still just a preseason game, but we all may see this matchup again come February. And what an awesome game it would be!
David Andrew Jiles