Broncos vs. Seahawks: Monday Night Football Features Russell Wilson’s Return to Seattle on Week 1

Russell Wilson Denver Broncos Minnesota Vikings
Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field before a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/AFP.

The NFL is back and the schedule makers have given us a nice story for Week 1 as Russell Wilson travels back to Seattle with his new team the Denver Broncos.

These teams seem to be headed in opposite directions but the game is not played on paper. Seattle is known for having one of the best atmospheres in the league and you can bet it will be rocking on Monday.

Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks

Monday, September 12, 2022 – 08:15 PM EDT at Lumen Field

Denver Broncos: Team Analysis

Russell Wilson Gets Fresh Start

The first person to believe in Russell Wilson as an NFL starter was Pete Carroll. It’s important to acknowledge that because in the last few years, it appears that they were involved in a power struggle in Seattle.

Offensively, Carroll does like to take too many risks and is committed to the run game. Wilson for his part is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league who can throw the ball deep with the best of them.

In the end, Wilson decided to take his talents to Denver, officially marking the end of an era in Seattle. We will not get to see what kind of numbers Wilson can put up now that the so called shackles have been removed. In Denver, he has something that he hasn’t had in several seasons: a good offensive line.

Are the Broncos Contenders?

With protection as well as very good wide receivers to go along with a solid running game, it appears that the Denver Broncos have a chance to be legit Super Bowl contenders. It won’t be that simple of course considering they probably play in the best division in football.

There are also question marks with this defense but Denver finally has their quarterback and he will be eager to show his old team what he’s made of on Monday night.

Denver Broncos: Team Analysis

A Team in Transition

While they aren’t calling it a rebuild, effectively that’s what is going on in Seattle. Let’s start with the quarterback room which as of right now is quite thin. Drew Lock has shown flashes and is a talented player but his inconsistency is why Wilson is a Bronco.

It appears that he will have to settle for a place on the bench as Geno Smith has been named the Week 1 starter. That decision has more to do with Pete Carroll’s conservative nature than Lock’s ability.

Smith already knows the playbook having had the chance to play last year when Wilson was injured. He’s also not a risk taker which is something that is part of Lock’s game. Of course, Pete Carroll chose the guy who knows the playbook and doesn’t take risks. It’s how he does business.

Concerning Offensive Line

Aside from the quarterback room, the Seahawks have a ton of other issues. Let’s start with their offensive line which is one of the worst in football, especially when it comes to pass protection.

If people thought Carroll’s offense was too run-heavy with Wilson at quarterback, I can only imagine how conservative it will be now.

Broncos vs. Seahawks: Betting Odds and Pick

Eyes Off the Spread

The spread for this game opened at Broncos -4 and has been steamed up to -6.5. That’s a big number on the road and Week 1 of the NFL schedule has not been kind to road favorites on Monday Night Football. I do think Denver wins here but I don’t feel comfortable laying a touchdown in this type of atmosphere.

This will be an emotional game and there’s something to be said with familiarity. Carroll knows Wilson’s tendencies and his ability to come up with a game plan to at least bother Wilson is not out of the question.

The Best Bet

For me, the value here is on the total which opened at 41 but has been steamed up to 44.5 by the best sportsbooks. At the opening number, my lean was to the Over as I do think Denver will put up points in this game.

Seattle’s defense is not good on any level and Wilson will have time to throw in this game. I think Denver puts up no less than 24 points in this game. The question then becomes, can the Seahawks score at least 20 points to push the total over 44.5?

I don’t see how they do that because I firmly believe that Carroll will look to keep the ball out of Wilson’s hands and his defense off the field by running the ball. For this reason, I’m taking the Under 44.5 as my official NFL pick for this game.

NFL Pick: Under 44.5 (-110) at FanDuel