Do Russell Wilson and his band of merry receivers have the advantage over their foes on the Broncos? Let’s hope so!
During the season, I have to admit, if the Seahawks run into a secondary that is far superior to Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin and his pals, then Seattle is doomed in that game. I am not saying there isn’t a chance this will happen, but the Seahawks absolutely have to have Wilson be better than the competition to win.
Seattle hasn’t yet proven it can run the ball well when games begin to count. So it’s still up to Wilson to prove he can win Seattle football games nearly on his own until shown to be different.
But while the Broncos have excellent pass rushers that will impact how long Wilson has to throw, he should still be able to create some Wilson-type chaos when he does have time. Chris Harris and Bradley Roby are decent corners. And Justin Simmons is an impressive young safety. But the Seattle receivers are simply better than the rest of Denver’s secondary.
One big question is how healthy Baldwin will be. He will not start the game at 100 percent. But according to him, he hasn’t been fully healthy “since (he) was born.”
However, an 80-85 percent Baldwin is still better than zero and that is what Seattle has gotten this preseason. Baldwin missed the entire preseason with a knee injury.
Wilson, however, has looked pretty good under new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. He is still learning what Schottenheimer wants to do, but Wilson has the athletic ability to do nearly anything. And the fact that Wilson has been good without Baldwin is a positive thing going up against the Broncos.
Because the biggest question mark for Wilson heading into Sunday’s game is how much time he will have to throw. Denver, with Von Miller and rookie Bradley Chubb, can chase down opposing quarterbacks. Wilson will need to get the ball out quickly and accurately.
If he can do that, Baldwin and Lockett should be able to create open spaces underneath the safeties. And if they are eating space in the middle of the field, veteran Brandon Marshall should be able to use his size and high football IQ to get open on the sidelines.
Let’s not forget, of course, the tight ends who will be held in tight more often in this game due to the edge rushers of the Broncos. But a slip out by Nick Vannett could easily go for a big gain.
The Seahawks can win on Sunday. They haven’t been good in the Pete Carroll-era in first road games of season (Seattle is 1-7 in those games), but this is a different team with new key players. And it may simply come down to whether Wilson has time to throw. If he does, Seattle will score enough points to win.