One of my favorite weekly features on this site is the Q&A with the editor of the Fansided site that covers the opposing team. We’ll be bringing that back again this season, and thought it would be fun to give you a bit of a preview this week as the Seahawks take on the Broncos.
It’s still preseason, and the questions asked reflect that. We’ll get more in depth when the teams actually take shape and the games actually matter.
I’d like to thank Kim Constantinesco from Predominantly Orange for graciously agreeing to participate.
1) How has Manning looked in camp? Any signs of lingering effects of the injury that kept him out of all of the 2011 season?
Manning has looked like the Manning of old in camp. People have been questioning his arm strength coming off of the injury. The funny thing is if you look back to the ’09-’10 season when he threw for 4,500 yards, he had a 30% completion rate for passes over 21 yards. What that tells us is that he can still be very effective even if only in the short game.
Manning’s passes have had good zip on them all over the field. The only question remains is how he will bounce back after taking his first NFL hit in over a year.
2) Which Bronco defense should we expect to see in this game, the one that gave up all those points early in 2011, or the one that was oh-so-dominant down the stretch, or perhaps something completely different?
This Broncos defense has improved greatly because of the changes made to the secondary. Now that the team has the pass rush up front and the great coverage in back, look for a defense that won’t give up many points. The starters are expected to play into the second quarter, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they held the Seahawks to zero points in the first half. After that, who knows.
3) Are there any young players that have really surprised so far in camp and the first preseason game that we should be watching for?
Keep an eye on our first draft selection in 2012, defensive tackle Derek Wolfe. Wolfe’s success this early on has come as a bit of a surprise considering he missed most of the team’s off season program. He stepped up big in the team’s first preseason game with 2 sacks against the Bears. With an season-ending injury to starting DE Jason Hunter, Wolfe is the top candidate to take over his job.
4) The Seahawks have played the Broncos more than any other team throughout their history. Do you have a favorite memory you’d like to share of the rivalry before the Seahawks were exiled to the NFC?
I have to go with the December 19 game at Mile High Stadium. The Broncos had been leading the entire game up until the final minutes of the fourth quarter when Seahawks kicker Todd Peterson nailed a 45-yard field goal to tie the game 30-30 and force overtime. It was then that Ray Crockett sacked Jon Kitna, forcing him to fumble. Glen Cadrez returned the fumble 37 yards for the touchdown. A 36-30 score in overtime against the longtime rival Seahawks doesn’t get much better for a Bronco fan, especially when the team was 4-9 at that point in the season.