Seahawks vs Broncos, Week 1 MNF: Every matchup on offense, defense, & special teams
Seaside Joe 1284, 9/10/22: Get to know the names before the games
The Seattle Seahawks will host the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. I would recommend not reading too much into the matchups, this is my way of getting to know the teams a little bit better, but if you feel that I should adjust a name or move somebody around I’m open to hearing your corrections. My intention is to get this right, not to believe that I’m right!
QB Russell Wilson vs S Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams
A little explanation: This idea of “matchups” is always a little misleading anyway and at the end of such an exercise we’re usually left with the quarterback vs. the entire defense. So since safeties have nowhere else to go, I’m just placing them here and anyway, how well a QB manipulates the safeties is a huge part of offensive passing success.
Diggs signed a new contract in the offseason and was clear that he didn’t believe the Seahawks were in a rebuild after trading Wilson. Monday night will be a direct opportunity to prove himself correct.
Of course, Wilson and Adams also have things to prove this season. Which version of Adams are we going to get under Clint Hurtt? Which version of Wilson are we going to see in his first season with the Broncos and head coach Nathaniel Hackett? Wilson wants to hear cheers from the crowd at Lumen Field…I expect to hear a mixed reaction that results in no satisfying answer for those who keep asking that question.
RB Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon vs LB Jordyn Brooks
Very possible that we will have a starting Pro Bowl running back in the AFC against a starting Pro Bowl inside linebacker in the NFC. As a rookie, Williams led the NFL in 6.5 rushing attempts per broken tackle, the best rate by good measure. In his second year, Brooks led the NFL in tackles and had one of the best rate of completed tackles in the league.
Underrated huge matchup here. Last preseason, Williams had a highlight block against Brooks.
WR Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler vs CB Sidney Jones IV, Tariq Woolen, Justin Coleman
On Thursday night, we saw Cooper Kupp do Cooper Kupp things, but the Bills’ inexperienced cornerbacks had no problems shutting down Allen Robinson and the rest of Matthew Stafford’s weapons. Will a short-handed Seattle secondary be able to do the same against Jeudy and Hamler?
Hamler is questionable, meaning that Tyrie Cleveland or rookie preseason standout Montrell Washington could step up.
One thing we know for sure is that Wilson has no intel on Woolen at least. Nobody does. It could still be Mike Jackson starting over Woolen with Artie Burns likely ruled out.
TE Albert Okwuegbunam vs Off-Ball LB Cody Barton
Last year, the 2020 fourth round pick (athletic freak) caught 33 passes for 330 yards. But he was playing with Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. With Wilson, Albert O could have a Dawson Knox-like season.
Question of the day: What are your expectations for Cody Barton?
OT Garrett Bolles, Cam Fleming vs EDGE Darrell Taylor, Uchenna Nwosu
With starter Billy Turner probably OUT this week, that means the Broncos may have to turn to a backup right tackle against Taylor, Nwosu, and/or Boye Mafe. Bolles has been fairly good at left tackle but maybe there’s an opportunity there on the other side.
iOL Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry, Quinn Meinerz vs DL Al Woods, Poona Ford, Shelby Harris
This may be the weakness of Denver’s offense, if not the entire team. However, Cushenberry and Meinerz are young players and maybe we haven’t seen their best yet. On the contrary, the Seahawks have one of the most experienced 3-4 defensive lines in the league and Woods, Ford, Harris, Quinton Jefferson, Myles Adams could control the line of scrimmage and shutdown Williams, Gordon before Brooks even has a chance to get there. No running up the middle?
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QB Geno Smith vs S Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson
Simmons is one of Denver’s team captains this season and he’s one of the top safeties in the league in pay, production, and accolades: Simmons has 14 interceptions and two second-team All-Pro selections in the last three years alone. Jackson is a former first round pick at cornerback who has converted to safety in his 30’s and this will be his fourth season next to Simmons.
Geno Smith throwing deep on Monday night would be something.
RB Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer vs LB Alex Singleton
The kind-of-good news is the Kenneth Walker III is only questionable instead of doubtful or OUT. That will change soon, I do not expect him to play this week, but we might get to see him in Week 2 against the 49ers.
The Broncos have a new defensive coordinator, former Rams assistant Ejiro Evero, so who knows exactly what to expect. But Denver ranked 15th in rushing yards allowed and first in rushing touchdowns allowed in 2021.
However, with starter Josey Jewell almost certainly out this week, the Broncos will turn to former Seahawk Alex Singleton. After signing as a UDFA in 2015, Singleton bounced around the league a bit and then played three years in the CFL before making it back to the league and recording 257 tackles over the past two years in Philadelphia. But why so many tackles? He could be abused in coverage.
WR Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Marquise Goodwin vs CB Pat Surtain II, Ronald Darby, K’Waun Williams
I’m not going to put any pressure on Dee Eskridge and with as much time as he’s missed, it seems like this is a better opportunity for Goodwin to prove his worth as a veteran signee. I wouldn’t be that shocked to see Dareke Young get some snaps, but will he even be active? That should depend on how valuable he’s proven to be on special teams, which he’s always had an affinity for anyway.
Whether we will get Patrick Surtain II, a top-10 pick in 2021, against DK Metcalf remains to be seen.
TE Noah Fant, Will Dissly vs Off-Ball LB Jonas Griffith
Maybe I’ve got Griffith and Singleton in the wrong spots. We’ll find out!
This is Noah Fant against his old team, will Seattle be able to take advantage of whatever knowledge he has about Denver’s defense? Will Fant step up and start executing the plays that he hasn’t consistently executed?
OT Charles Cross, Abraham Lucas vs EDGE Randy Gregory, Bradley Chubb
This is a good test for the rookie tackles because the Broncos have somewhere between a very good or a below-average pass rush coming off the edges this season. Gregory is not guaranteed to play on Monday, which could mean more playing time for second-year pro Baron Browning or rookie Nik Bonitto.
iOL Phil Haynes, Austin Blythe, Gabe Jackson vs DL D.J. Jones, Dre’Mont Jones, DeShawn Hand
I might be more concerned with the interior of the offensive line than the rookie tackles, if I’m Shane Waldron. Dre’Mont Jones is a guy who could make his first Pro Bowl in 2022.
Denver - K Brandon McManus, P Corliss Waitman, LS Jacob Bobenmoyer, R Montrell Washington
McManus has a big leg but is inconsistent at 50+. Waitman is Denver’s new punter after playing two games with the Steelers in 2021. Washington balled out in the preseason as a fifth round pick and he could turn into a weapon this year.
Seattle - K Jason Myers, P Michael Dickson, LS Carson Tinker, PR Dee Eskridge, KR DeeJay Dallas
The Seahawks will be without long snapper Tyler Ott, likely giving practice squad signee Carson Tinker his opportunity. The return game might unveil itself on Monday night and be different than these players.
Got thoughts? Say ‘em down below. Got friends who like the Seahawks? Tell them to read Seaside Joe.