Broncos vs. Seahawks Preseason Review: What We Learned
The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks aged war on Saturday night, with Seattle coming away with an impressive 30-10 victory. That makes two straight preseason games where Peyton Manning didn’t pass for a single touchdown – the first time a streak like that has happened in his entire career.
All eyes were on Manning as he played the entire first half, but this game had more to it than one man. Check out the five things I took away from this preseason matchup:
1. Peyton Manning is Better Than You Think
The numbers don’t tell the whole story. If you watch the tape, you’ll see it. Yes, he’s thrown three picks and no touchdowns, but Manning is still shaking some rust off and his receivers haven’t been fantastic so far, either. It’s mostly a chemistry thing, but when it’s concerning the cerebral Manning, you can be sure it’ll get worked out before week one. Manning moved the offense extremely well and showed good accuracy overall. He just needs to get his timing down better.
The great thing is he took a big shot in this game and popped right back up. He also displayed plenty of velocity on his passes, and even over threw a target (although it was intercepted). He’s not all the way back just yet, but he’s closer than a lot of people think. I’m fine with him as a QB1 in fantasy football right now. And the beauty is you can get him for dirt cheap.
2. So is Terrell Owens
I know T.O. dropped a big touchdown pass and failed to catch a single ball on five targets, but cut the guy some slack. This was his first game with a new team, and the chemistry simply wasn’t there. Neither was Matt Flynn’s accuracy (just 6-of-13), which clearly didn’t help. Owens ran a few bad routes, but had he hauled in that 46-yard bomb from Flynn, he would have been an over night hero and Pete Carroll would have been dubbed a genius for signing the 38-year old on. Give it time. While T.O. is no lock to crack the final roster just yet, I wouldn’t be tossing out your popcorn just yet. Keep it warm.
3. Matt Flynn vs. Russell Wilson
Matt Flynn got paid and has been solid enough, but this is still a competition, whether anyone around Seattle cares to admit it. I know Flynn had has the advantage the whole way through, but there’s really no denying how well Wilson has been playing. He’s mastered the offense while offering an athletic edge that Flynn simply can’t. Wilson is shorter than most successful NFL passers are, but he plays bigger than he is and has great arm strength and accuracy. I don’t think the Seahawks can go wrong with either guy as their starter, but if you had to say which one is playing better, it’s clearly Wilson.
4. Willis McGahee Still Has Value
A lot of people thought that McGahee’s value would slip away with Peyton Manning turning Denver’s offensive into a pass-heavy attack. Insert rookie running back Ronnie Hillman, and McGahee’s days were numbered, right? Actually, Hillman hasn’t been able to stay healthy, and the 30-year old McGahee has shown up in camp and preseason play. He capped his night off with a one-yard touchdown run against the Seahawks, and is once again gearing up for feature back duties. He may have to worry about losing time on the field to Hillman or even Knowshon Moreno eventually, but when it comes to early down work and goal-line carries, he’s still the top dog in Denver.
5. Derek Wolfe Continues to Impress
Wolfe is in for a big role as a rookie in Denver. He’s such a versatile defensive lineman, and is working on a team that certainly could have used him last year. Wolfe showed he can effectively get to the quarterback last week, and helped more against the run in game two on Saturday night. If he can continue to show he can both put pressure on the quarterback and help stuff the run, he’ll easily fit into Denver’s rotation. They badly need help against the run and that’s one of the main reasons they drafted him. So far, he’s living up to the hype.