Denver at Seattle
When: 8:15 PM ET, Monday, September 12, 2022
Where: Lumen Field, Seattle, Washington
Line: Americas Bookie Denver (-6.5) O/U (44) ML: Denver -280
The NFL’s schedule-makers like drama. How else to explain quarterback Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle falling on the first Monday night of the season?
Wilson, who guided the Seahawks to their lone Super Bowl title, will play his first game for the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field, where he spent his first 10 seasons before an offseason trade.
“Hopefully, it’ll be positive,” Wilson said when asked what kind of greeting he might get from the 69,000-plus fans. “Listen, I gave my heart and soul every day. … I know they’ll be rowdy. I know they’ll be excited.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise will be who is starting at quarterback for the Seahawks. After failing to make another offseason move or draft someone, they’ll open with Geno Smith, who served the past two seasons as Wilson’s backup.
Smith started three games when Wilson was out with a hand injury last year, going 1-2. He hasn’t been a regular starter since his first two NFL seasons with the New York Jets in 2013-14.
“The reality is it’s just step one,” Smith said. “I’ve got to make sure that I’m ready to go out there, win and play 17 games and more. … I’m grateful. I’m thankful. I’m forever indebted to the Seattle Seahawks organization. But it’s time to get to work.”
Wilson isn’t the only veteran the Seahawks let go in the offseason, as middle linebacker Bobby Wagner has moved on to the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.
Always-upbeat Seahawks coach Pete Carroll isn’t ready to write off his team, though most predict they’ll finish last in the NFC West and might challenge for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.
“I’m really excited about this team,” Carroll said. “I love the makeup. I love the way that they’ve come together from way back when. I love the leadership. I love the speed. I love our style in all aspects. And now we need to go out and show it and live up to that. My expectations are very high.”
As for facing Wilson in the opener, Carroll suggested there wouldn’t be many surprises.
“I do have as much information as you can have,” Carroll said. “I’ve probably never known a player any closer than knowing Russ, his quarterbacking, and his playing and his mentality and all of that. He knows me, too. He knows us. So, we’ll see what happens.”
With the addition of Wilson, who recently signed a five-year extension worth $245 million, the Broncos expect to contend not only in the stacked AFC West but also for trophies.
“For me, it wasn’t really about how much (money), necessarily,” Wilson said. “It was about how many — how many Super Bowls we win. And that was really the focus.”
Broncos right tackle Billy Turner missed most of the preseason while recuperating from knee surgery and it’s likely Calvin Anderson starts in his place. Turner was limited in practice this week, as was outside linebacker Randy Gregory (shoulder/knee), inside linebacker Josey Jewell (calf) and wide receiver KJ Hamler (knee, hip).
Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker III isn’t expected to play after hernia surgery last month. Cornerback Artie Burns has been slowed by a groin injury and might not be ready after sitting out practice on Thursday. Linebacker Alton Robinson (knee) and long snapper Tyler Ott (shoulder) also have missed practice time this week.
Denver are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Denver’s last 11 games.
Denver are 1-5 SU in their last 6 games.
Denver are 13-5 SU in their last 18 games against Seattle.
Denver are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on the road.
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Denver’s last 14 games when playing on the road against Seattle.
Denver are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against an opponent in the National Football Conference conference.
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Denver’s last 16 games against an opponent in the National Football Conference West division.
Denver are 3-8 SU in their last 11 games played in September.
Seattle are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games.
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle’s last 6 games.
Seattle are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Seattle’s last 5 games against Denver.
Seattle are 3-6 SU in their last 9 games at home.
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Seattle’s last 14 games when playing at home against Denver.
Seattle are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against an opponent in the American Football Conference conference.
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Seattle’s last 10 games against an opponent in the American Football Conference West division.
Seattle are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games played in September.
Seattle are 13-7 ATS in their last 20 games when playing as the underdog.
Russell Wilson is back to prove he’s got plenty of football left in him and but this time around he will be sporting a broncos jersey looking to make a statement on his old stomping grounds.
Seattle struggled over the off season trying to find what will work under center this year with the Smith/Lock duo.
Seattle will struggle to score points this season and on the other side of the ball they’ve lost plenty of high profile players from that most teams should be able to pick apart in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle was one of the worst teams in the NFL last season against the pass and face a QB with some pretty talented receivers tonight.
We usually don’t like giving away a sack of points as a road team but in the case lay the number here as we fell the white horse rides of out town with a convincing win tonight.
Prediction: Denver (-6.5)