Seahawks look to start off 2018 in Mile-High Fashion
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Seahawks Hope To Start 2018 In Mile-High Fashion

The Seahawks kickoff their 2018 season with a trip to the Mile High City against the gritty Broncos.

Seahawks Hope To Start 2018 In Mile-High Fashion
Twitter: @DailyBroncos

Do you smell what's in the air?

It's definitely not whatever smoke was left over from the fires which polluted the Washington air. No ladies and gentlemen, that smell is crisp, cool weather, Pumpkin Spice everything, and most importantly...sweat, gridiron, nachos, and football.

Welcome back football, I missed you so damn much!

As we welcome back football with open arms, Seahawks fans are in for a treat this year with new faces and hopefully less locker-room drama, (Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, etc.) but fans are going to need to be patient...and yes, I'm talking to the bandwagoners! The 12s are still extremely loud and proud of their Hawks, but it's been a little quiet after the gut-wrenching loss in Super Bowl XLIX, followed by brief playoff appearances, followed by a playoff-less 9-7 record last year. While I picked this team to go 10-6, expectations are not even close to where they've been over the last few years and the 2018 season could be one to forget, or surprisingly one to remember. This is Russell Wilson's team and he's going to need to rely on the Offensive Line (which looked decent in the preseason...but anything is better than last year's mess) and most to all of the 2018 Rookie class. Hence why patience is a must for this young team.

Enter the Denver Broncos as the Seahawks' first task for the 2018 season.

The Seahawks are going to get tested early by traveling to Denver in the high altitude to face the Broncos. On Defense, Denver returns the very popular Von Miller, Brandon Marshall, former Seahawk Clinton McDonald, and introduces Rookie (NC State) Bradley Chubb. Outside of Von Miller, I'm not too worried about the Broncos defense so much as I'm worried about how the O-Line protects Russell Wilson. Denver is known for having a powerhouse defense and Wilson is more than likely going to run for his life and it wouldn't surprise me to see a handful of sacks in this game. The national media are giving this game to the Broncos solely because they are unsure of how talented this Seahawks team is without the Legion of Boom, but the Hawks will have a chance if Russell has plenty of time to pass because Denver doesn't scare me too much on offense.

Sure, the Broncos have a pretty solid offense consisting of WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, RBs Devonte Booker and Royce Freeman, TE Jake Butt (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist), but most importantly...their QB is Case Keenum. Keenum's numbers were superb last year in his time with the Minnesota Vikings, throwing for 3,547 yards, 22 Touchdowns, and only 7 Interceptions. However, looking back at his previous seasons, the numbers decline and although last year he stayed healthy and played nearly every game, it's hard to trust him having another season like last year.

This article could have been changed to "Reasons Why Case Keenum Is Average", but he won't be the reason why the Broncos hang around in this game.

I've watched enough Seahawks football to know that they're going to keep this game close - way more close than it should be - and they're going to let Keenum get a few lucky shots here and there, but the deciding factor is the Seahawks defense. Preseason doesn't say a whole lot, but I watched a Seahawks O-Line look better than last year, and I especially saw a first-string Seahawks offense go down the field with ease with RB depth for days, but many questions still linger on defense. Mainly regarding depth, whose going to sack the QB, and a life without the LOB.

Key's to the Game:

1. Protect Russell Wilson at all costs! This is the first game of the year, and the Seahawks can't afford losing Russell Wilson. If that's the case, this team could win 3 games at most. When Ndamukong Suh stepped on Wilson's ankle during the first game in 2016, he was truly never the same for the rest of the season. Keep the sack totals at anything between 0-3 sacks and we'll all be happy campers, even three is pushing it for me.

2. Bend but don't break! This is a key that I'll be preaching more times than once this season. Uncertainty surrounds the Seahawks defense, but if they're able to hold Denver to just FGs, the offense should respond with a deep chuck from Wilson to Lockett or Baldwin to get the Seahawks sideline fired up.

3. Special Teams. Rookie (Texas) Punter Michael Dickson outright destroyed the kicking competition he had with Jon Ryan and continued to flex his muscles by doing his thing, punting deep into opponent territory in the preseason. The young and hungry Seahawks D should be licking their chops at the chance of pinning their opponents deep in hopes for a safety or leaving good field position for the offense. 40-year-old Sebastian Janikowski should take advantage of the high altitude, and if the offense sputters in Denver territory, he should nail every FG he attempts, something Blair Walsh couldn't do even if they quadrupled the length of the goalposts.

The Verdict:

This is going to be a great test for the young 2018 Seattle Seahawks, they're going up against a stern defense, an offense with dangerous weapons and a loud fanbase (but "loud" is not an unfamiliar term to the Seahawks). Pete Carroll has a boatload of young talent on this team, but that keyword is "young". Sure Bobby Wager and KJ Wright are still the glue thats holds this defense together, but everybody on the defense needs to completely bond to ensure they escape Denver with the win. I trust Russell to take this game into his own hands, it's the O-Line that needs to give him more time than what he got last year, which I believe was 0.72 seconds of ample time (Joking of course, but I feel like I'm not that far off). These teams look equal on paper, but I trust Wilson over Keenum as the Seahawks should upset the Broncos in a game where the offense might not look spectacular, but they'll do just enough to win.

My pick for this game: Seahawks 20 Denver 17

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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