It is the week NFL fans across the globe have been waiting for: Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks, the rematch (Sunday, 4:25pm EST).
Ever since the last time these two teams met, this game has been anticipated all around the league. Should we expect the same outcome or will this time the victory, both literal and moral, belong to Peyton Manning and his teammates? Let’s start by asking the most important question of all: What is on the line for the (2-0) Denver Broncos?
The last time these two teams met, Brock Osweiler led the Broncos to a comeback 21-16 victory over the (1-1) Seattle Seahawks. Manning finished the game with 78 passing yards and Russell Wilson finished with 37 passing yards.
It was week one of the NFL preseason, the first game both of these teams played since the real ‘last time we met’ occurred.
That time of course was the 2014 Super Bowl, the one that ended with the Broncos losing in debilitating fashion, 43-8, to the Seahawks. That game, not an unimportant preseason opener, is the reason why week three has been circled on head coach John Fox’s calendar since well before the year began.
No one wanted that Super Bowl win more than Manning and the Broncos and no one expected the best offense in NFL history to go down in such a demoralizing and frankly embarrassing fashion. But it did and as much as Manning will say otherwise, has been on the mind of him and his teammates ever since.
So what is on the line for Denver?
Revenge of course is going to be a motivating factor, along with the sheer factor of pride and just general relief. If Denver can pull off beating the Seahawks in Seattle, there’s also going to be a feeling of accomplishment.
But most importantly, Denver needs to win this matchup if for no other reason than to prove to themselves that they can.
You won’t find a guy like Manning have his confidence shaken often but after that Super Bowl, even the NFL’s version of Superman must have had nightmares. His NFL best offense was only able to manage a measly eight points. Any QB would have taken that hard and Manning isn’t just any QB. He took that loss personal and no one would have worked harder this offseason to make sure nothing like that ever happened again.
So far, it hasn’t. The Broncos have won their first two games by scores of 31 and 24. Unlike last year, Denver has not won games in blowout fashion as both victories were by just one touchdown. But in the end, a win is still a win and both came against playoff teams from last season.
Denver is a different team this year. They picked up Emmanuel Sanders to fill the void Eric Decker left, bolstering an already record-breaking receiving core. Montee Ball has been strong running the ball despite the absence of Knowshon Moreno and rookie contributions on all sides of the ball have been felt. Most importantly Denver added former Dallas Cowboy great, defensive end DeMarcus Ware (pictured).
Ware has already made his impact known and felt. In his first two games, Ware has totaled 1.5 sacks and four tackles. He was brought in to shore up the pass rush as he did in Dallas and so far it has worked wonders. He has been dominant in his short time on the field and despite being 32, shows no signs of slowing down.
Unfortunately, Ware won’t be able to stop the Seahawks defense from shutting down Manning and all of his options. As the team learned last year, Seattle and the Legion of Boom is a whole different animal in that department.
Over the past few seasons, the Seahawks have been one of the most proficient defensive teams in the NFL and that is just how head coach Pete Carroll likes it. From day one, Carroll has stressed a defense built on physicality and tenacity. His players are strong and use their strength to bully opposing receivers and backs.
This year, Seattle is (1-1), a fact that has been surprising to most. The week two loss to the (1-1) San Diego Chargers exposed a weakness for the Seahawks on both offense and defense.
Wilson was limited to just 202 yards and runningback Marshawn Lynch to just 36 on a mere six carries. In fact, the entire night, San Diego clogged the box, limiting the Seahawks to just 108 yards on the ground on 13 carries.
Defensively, the Seahawks did not do much better. They allowed San Diego 24 first downs and 377 yards. The Chargers ran more plays than the Seahawks, 35 more to be exact, and scored 30 total points. The last time Seattle allowed a team 30 or more points was almost a year ago in week six, a loss to the (0-2) Indianapolis Colts.
So Denver has a challenge on their hands. Not only do they have to play the defending Super Bowl champions but they have to play them after an eye-opening loss and the coup d’etat? They’ve got to play them at home, a place when the Seahawks haven’t lost to an AFC team since 2011.
Broncos vs Seahawks Betting Picks
This game is the first time since 1993 that a Super Bowl rematch will occur in the regular season and boy, should it be a treat.
Riding home field advantage and probably a little bit of carry-over from the 35-point Super Bowl victory, Seattle enters this game as -4.5 points favorites on the spread.
You can make a case both ways. You’ve got a Denver team who wants nothing more than to win this game. They certainly will leave it all out on the field. But then you have a Seattle team who wants to get back into the W column after last week and a team that has the advantage of playing in the most hostile road environment in the league.
What I can tell you is that Denver will not lose in blowout fashion. That offense is way too good to be held to less than double-digit points even if they are on the road. So with a 4.5pts margin, you should feel pretty confident in my advice to bet that regardless of the outcome.
- Bet on Denver +4.5pts at betting odds of -110 with BetOnline or 5Dimes. You can get the +5pts with Bovada, but for slightly shorter odds.
- The spread is at 48.5 for the total points. Considering that the last time these two teams met Seattle alone almost scored that much, it is a pretty safe bet to pick the over on this one at -110 with Bovada, BetOnline or 5Dimes online sportsbooks.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.