NFL Game of the Week – Denver out for Revenge
- Teams: Denver Broncos (1st – AFC West) at Seattle Seahawks (2nd – NFC West)
- Field: CenturyLink Field
- Game Time: September 21st, 2014 – KICK OFF – 4:25 PM ET
|Team||Point Spread||Money Line (to win)||Total Score (over/under)|
|Denver Broncos||+4.5 points (10/11, -1.90)||19/10, 2.90||48.5 points (10/11)|
|Seattle Seahawks||-4.5 points (10/11, -1.90)||10/23, 1.43||48.5 points (10/11)|
The Denver Broncos (2-0) and the Seattle Seahawks (1-1) will do battle once again this Sunday, and it will be the tiebreaker for their head-to-head series with each team claiming three victories since 2001. The last time the two teams squared off was at Super Bowl , and Denver lost by a crushing 43-8 margin.
It’s a new year, though, and both teams made some key off-season moves. Eric Decker is no longer catching Peyton Manning’s passes, and Knowshon Moreno is now on injured reserve in Miami. Champ Bailey is also no longer a Bronco. The Broncos additionally acquired the services of Defensive End Demarcus Ware. Meanwhile, Seattle lost Wide Receiver Sidney Rice and Cornerback Marcus Trufant to retirement. The team also bolstered their offense and defense with a number off off-season acquisitions and contract extensions.
The Broncos will be graced Sunday by the return of the always versatile and crafty Wes Welker at receiver, and they will face a Seattle team that just lost to a San Diego Chargers squad that isn’t nearly as potent as Denver’s. Peyton Manning (43-62, 511 yards, 6 TDs) should be chomping at the bit for revenge Sunday, but at the same time his team is not showing the kind of dominance they did at the start of last season. Their two wins so far both came by a single touchdown.
Russell Wilson (36-53, 393 yards, 4 TDs, 9 rushes, 47 yards rushing) had a ton of help in week one from Running Back Marshawn Lynch (26 carries, 146 yards, 2 TDs, 5 receptions, 41 yards), but Lynch was humbled last week by the San Diego Charger defense, which only allowed him 36 total yards on the ground in week two. Still, prior to last week, the Seahawks had not experienced a loss since December 22, 2013 when they fell to the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 17-10.
This game has all the signs of blossoming into a new classic with both teams coming in with history on their side that points to a high potential for each squad to eke out a respectable win. Seattle went 3-0 after losses last season and 4-1 in the 2012-2013 campaign. Their last time suffering back to back defeats was in October of 2012 with both of those games coming on the road. At the same time, Denver seems to be getting all the breaks this season, thwarting late comeback attempts in the first two games. They also have one of the most dynamic and dangerous pass catchers in the NFL right now: Tight End Julius Thomas (11 receptions, 143 yards, 4 TDs), who has all but two of Manning’s six touchdowns to his credit.
This one could really go either way, but look for Seattle to get off to a quick lead that will force Denver and Manning to step it up in the passing game. The Broncos will catch up before halftime and take a one-score lead into the locker room. The second half will be the most entertaining part of the game with both teams playing excellent defense until the final whistle. Neither team will make the same mistakes that plagued them in the past two weeks, though Manning could end up throwing his first interception of the season if he gets into a desperate situation while trying to mount his comeback. The time ticks away in the fourth quarter as Manning puts together a masterful final drive to notch his team’s fourth touchdown of the game. The Seahawks give it their best, but they only muster 24 points in the game and head into week three with more questions than answers. The Broncos get revenge, remain undefeated, and keep their status as the favorite to win the AFC championship again this season.
By Rich Bergeron
Betting lines courtesy of bet365 as of 9/20/14 and are subject to change.