Three weeks of pre-season football remains until the real thing starts up on September 5th, but Saturday nights brings NFL fanatics an intriguing match-up as Seattle travels to Mile High to do battle with Peyton Manning and his new team, the Denver Broncos.
Both squads are coming off of impressive Week 1 victories, but as the pre-season progresses John Fox and Pete Carroll seem to have different mind-sets as both sides prepare for September. The Seahawks are mired in a tight first-string quarterback battle between former Green Bay backup Matt Flynn, and the promising rookie Russell Wilson out of Wisconsin. Both players looked crisp in their debuts last week, and with Flynn playing the first half, and Wilson taking the second, the Seahakws are guaranteed to have talent under center all game.
Meanwhile for the Broncos, Manning and the majority of their starters are expected to play into the second quarter on Saturday evening. However, how deep into the second quarter remains to be seen. Coach John Fox’s priority in these remaining pre-season games is surely to keep Manning off his back and get him fully prepared for the beginning of the regular season. Brock Osweiler, an untested rookie from Arizona State is expected to fill in for the Broncos when Manning departs.
Seahawks vs. Broncos Spread and Betting Odds:
Seattle Seahawks +1 (-110)
@ Denver Broncos -1 (-110)
Over 38 (-110)
Under 38 (-110)
Seahawks vs. Broncos Pick:
The key to betting the NFL pre-season is assessing overall team depth and quarterback rotations. Both Seattle play-callers in Flynn and Wilson are fighting desperately for that starting position, whereas Manning will likely ease himself into game-shape to be ready for September. Look for the former Colts quarterback to be effective, but the Broncos’ depth beyond Manning is highly questionable. For Seattle, Flynn is expected to play all of the first half, with Wilson taking over for the remainder of the game. Though it’s rare for a team to adopt that rotation in just Week 2 of the NFL Pre-Season, it gives the Seahawks a great shot at emerging victorious in Denver. Flynn has looked great in his limited NFL action, while Wilson was a standout at college and big things are expected of him at the professional level. Though the Seahawks do lack an elite starting quarterback, Coach Carroll has accumulated a wealth of depth at the QB position and that will help against the Broncos.
Add in the fact that the Seahawks are loaded with hungry veterans highly motivated to crack this line-up, and Seattle should be raring to go on Saturday evening. Both Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens are expected to suit up at wide-receiver for the Seahawks, and should be able to exploit the back-ups in the Denver secondary as the game progresses. Look for Sidney Rice to also potentially make his long-awaited debut to the Seattle line-up in this one.
Look for the Seahawks to be the hungrier side Saturday evening, entering Mile High with much more to prove and way more jobs still to be decided. Their depth in the second half will exceed that of Denver’s and that should be the difference after a relatively even first half. Manning will be effective in front of his home crowd, but don’t expect it to be for very long as Coach Fox will monitor his snaps very closely. Expect the Seahawks to take charge in the second half, as the exciting Russell Wilson should capitalize on the Broncos’ back-ups en route to a road victory.