Russell Wilson facing his old team in the Broncos at Seahawks matchup puts the bow on week one of the NFL season on Monday night. Denver is expected to contend even in a tough AFC West, but they have a tough opener on the road in Seattle.
Seattle can go a game up in the NFC West with a win, with the Rams, 49ers, and Cardinals already losing this weekend. The Seahawks are still +6.5 underdogs, but Wilson will find out the wrath of “the 12th Man” from the other sidelines for once. 75% of public wagers are on Denver.
How Will Fans Respond to Wilson?
Wilson threw for over 40,000 yards with the Seahawks and led them to the win in Super Bowl XLVIII. Wilson was also the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2020 so the vibes should overall be solid in his return to Seattle, but after a 7-10 record in 2021 it was time for a change.
Wilson has a tough task ahead of him playing in the AFC West this season, and he’ll undoubtedly miss the WR duo of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. That being said the Broncos have some weapons on the outside too with Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, both of whom will benefit from the stability of Wilson after the Teddy Bridgewater / Drew Lock carousel last year.
The Broncos also have a solid RB duo in Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III. The area to exploit in Monday’s Broncos at Seahawks matchup might be through the passing game, as the Seahawks ranked 31st defensively last season giving up 285.5 ypg.
New Era Begins in Seattle
Denver has a new coach this season in former Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Seattle on the other hand has Pete Carroll on the sidelines as they have since 2010. That stability could be a big advantage for Seattle, especially with Hackett making his head coaching debut on the road and with the intensity of a Monday night game.
Of course while Carroll remains, Wilson does not and in his place Geno Smith gets the start. Smith did make three starts last season and enters his third season with the Seahawks, and he did have 5 TDs to 1 INT a season ago. The Broncos were 8th defensively vs. the pass last season though.
Smith has a couple great targets in Metcalf and Lockett, and they picked up Noah Fant to start at TE in the Wilson trade. One of their first round picks in the trade was used to take LT Charles Cross at #9 and they picked up Kenneth Walker III (questionable – abdomen) in the second after he ran for over 1,600 yards last year at Michigan State.
Free Monday Night Broncos at Seahawks Betting Pick
Carroll has been in this situation a million times, and there’s got to be a lot of emotions from Wilson in his return to his former home. Lockett and Metcalf can make any QBs job easier and with a new LT and a new RB in the backfield to join Rashaad Penny the Seahawks have some offensive potential.
Free Pick: Seahawks +6.5