Going into the night as 6.5 point favorites, to call Seattle’s win an upset would be an understatement. The hype for the game was built the day the trade was announced. Russell seemed to complete a Denver offense that has been lacking as of recent with a carousel at the QB position. Then with the addition of a 5-year $249 million contract extension, Broncos Country was set, and expectations were through the roof.
All the hype train, however, ran into a brick wall in week one on Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks. Fans watched in agony as the Broncos gave up two fumbles on the goal line, coupled with questionable decision-making at the end of the game. New coach Nathaniel Hackett would get his fair share of scrutiny over his decision to try and kick a game-winning field goal from 64 yards out instead of trying a 4th and 5 with over a minute on the clock.
The game left an all too familiar taste in fans’ mouths as the time ticked down on another opening week loss, a common occurrence as of late. But do not despair, Broncos fans; not all is lost. This was a much-improved football team than can and will get better as the season progresses. Playoff aspirations are never severed in week one. Here are some reasons for you to maintain hope.
Javonte Williams started his second year in the league with a fantastic game, even though coach Hackett wasn’t giving him the rock as much as fans would like. Williams only got seven carries but played a huge role in the passing game being Russell Wilson’s favorite target getting eleven receptions.
Williams showed the heart, grit, and determination that fans grew to know and love last season. He was very hard to take down all night. I expect him to only become more involved in the run game and become a pivotal piece of the Broncos’ offense. As Denver fans know, every good QB needs a good reliable RB. I expect Williams to become that piece as he further proves on the field that he deserves more of the responsibilities rather than running through a committee. Can Williams become as good as Terrell Davis or possibly be Wilson’s next Lynch? Only time can tell, but one thing I can tell you now is that he is a darn good ball player and is only going to get better.
Going into the season, it was a reasonable concern that the stellar defensive performances of the Broncos in the past couple of years were largely contributed to by Vic Fangio. Fans wondered how Fangio’s departure was going to affect this defensive unit. They got their answer in the second half. After an underwhelming first half where Seattle seemingly had their way, the defense stepped up and made huge improvements that should have Denver fans excited.
Bradley Chubb looked like the guy the Broncos were excited about drafting, recording two sacks and a forced fumble. Randy Gregory forced a fumble as well, proving to be a worthy addition to the defense. The Broncos’ defense took a shakey start and turned it around, showing the same prowess as in recency. However, the recent news of Justin Simmons being put on the IR may have some fans concerned, and that’s reasonable. I think Sterns will step up in big ways for Denver, but who wouldn’t miss having an all-pro safety in the secondary? Ultimately though, Denver fans need not be alarmed. The Broncos will show that they are a better team than they showed against the Seahawks, and fans like the players should leave this game in the rearview mirror.