ReFo: Seahawks @ Broncos, Preseason Wk 1

Michael Mountford looks at a rematch of last years Superbowl, with much lower stakes, as the Seahawks and Brocos faced each other in week one of the preseason.

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Seahawks @ Broncos, Preseason Wk 1

REFO-PREWK1-SEA@DENIn the first week of preseason we get to see a rematch of last season’s Superbowl. Even though it is preseason it gives us a good look to see how strong the depth of both the Seahawks and Broncos is. While most teams will pull their starting offense out after ten to twelve plays, both teams managed to get in 24 snaps for them.

Even though we had an extended look at the starting offenses for both teams, preseason for the Broncos has turned into a look at the development of Brock Osweiler. He played the remainder of the game after Peyton Manning took his seat on the bench.

Seattle – Three Performances of Note

Back Up Offensive Line

J.R. Sweezy was the only offensive lineman playing that was a starter for the Seahawks last season. The Seahawks look like they will have to hope that no starter ends up missing time. Against the Broncos the offensive line gave up a fair bit of pressure, but even when the pass was released quickly multiple defenders beat their man consistently. The issue at right tackle looks to be a troubling development if Justin Britt (-2.0) or Eric Winston (-1.6) do not show considerable improvement going forward.

If Caylin Hauptmann is able to improve slightly over the course of the preseason in pass protection, he could be in line to at least spilt snaps with James Carpenter over the season. Since we know that Carpenter has his own issues, Hauptmann’s development over the coming weeks is something to keep a close eye on.

Giant Regret

In the offseason the New York Giants signed and then medically failed O’Brien Schofield and the Seahawks resigned him. Over Schofield’s four year career he has shown himself to be nothing more than a backup. However, against the Broncos backup offensive line, he created consistent pressure, ending with 4 hurries on 17 pass rushing snaps. The best of these came against Chris Clark, 2nd quarter 6:41, Schofield set Clark inside and spun outside leaving Clark in a crumbled heap, unfortunately for Schofield, Osweiler passed the ball in the flat. If Schofield can stay healthy, which has been a problem in the past, the Seahawks might have another edge rusher to rotate in more frequently.

High Expectations Come Down to Earth

When Marshawn Lynch was absent at the start of training camp the buzz over Christine Michael was strong. Even though four-fifths of the starting offensive line did not play, Michael had his own issues to worry about. Michael had 16 yards on seven carries, along with three catches on three targets, he had issues making any defender miss and only had 1.4 yards after contact. For a back who was supposed to be the heir apparent to Lynch, he is looking more like a guy afraid of using his size, unlike lynch.

Michael graded at -5.0 not only due to his lack of burst in the running game, he also fumbled a short pass. Bradley Roby managed to get his helmet on the ball and knock it free. Also, in his one pass blocking snap (that was not ruled out by a penalty) he allowed a pressure on an attempted cut block, against Quanterus Smith. On another negated pass blocking play, Michael was flagged for a chop block. On the only two passing plays he stayed in to block he gave up a pressure and a 15 yard penalty. All that hype might be staying quiet for a while longer now.

Denver – Three Performances of Note

2013 Rookie Starting To Show Promise

In the 2013 draft the Broncos drafted Quanterus Smith as a developmental edge rusher. In last years preseason Smith played on 93 snaps and looked out of his depth. One year later Smith is showing the Broncos brass that he might be a factor as a pass rusher. Smith produced four QB Hurries on 17 oppurtinies, ending with a 17.6 PRP. He showed that he was able to win with inside and outside moves and he isn’t just a speed rusher on the outside. The Broncos used Smith mostly on the left side, it will be an interesting development to see if this is a trend going forward, especially if Smith is used at the same time as Demarcus Ware and Von Miller.

Broncos Keep Finding Running Backs

The Broncos might have found another two undrafted running backs who could go on to play in the NFL, Juwan Thompson and Kapri Bibbs. Thompson had 59 yards on six carries, with another 22 yards called back on a holding call. Thompson looked the exact opposite of Michael, Thompson gaining 3 yards after contact, while still having the ability to get on the edge and make a substantial gain. Like Thompson, Bibbs also had his longest run of the day negated by a holding call (back to back plays). It is highly likely that the Broncos will have to cut one of these two backs on cut down day due to Monte Ball and Ronnie Hillman and the trust C.J. Anderson has seemingly built up over last season. This looks like it will be a battle to the wire and another team could get an interesting pick up if one of them is cut.

Development of Osweiler

Since Brock Osweiler entered the league in 2012 he has played 84 snaps in mop up duties. So just like all of other Peyton Manning’s backups, the only chance to evaluate Osweiler is during preseason. Last year Osweiler showed he has the ability to play well, especially in passes over ten yards. Against the Seahawks Osweiler was a little inconsistent on his deep ball, 1-4, 34 yards a touchdown and one interception. The one completion he made was the go ahead touchdown to Jordan Norwood, the pass was a perfectly placed drop over the cornerback and arrived before the safety could make a play on the ball. However, the other three passes showed some issues, on the interceptions Osweiler failed to see A.J. Jefferson underneath the tight end, which gave Jefferson an easy pick. With three more games to go Osweiler will get more significant playing time to see where he stands as the future quarterback of the Broncos.

Game Notes

– A.J. Jefferson out performed every defensive back with a +2.1 grade. He was targeted three times for zero catches, one pass deflection and an interception.

– Kenny Anunike finished with a 37.5 PRP, thanks to 5 hurries on ten pass rushing snaps, however he finished with only +0.2.

– Rookie Free Agent Brock Coyle had four stops on five tackles. Coyle looks like he might be a useful player against the run.

PFF Game Ball

Both team’s defenses had the edge as is typical in early preseason games and the biggest standout was O’Brien Schofield. Schofield showed the ability to make a decent player in Chris Clark look foolish at times. Though Schofield has not shown the ability to do this consistently throughout the season, he showed impressive form and with that, earned the PFF Game Ball.

  • Guy Incognito

    Michael showed no burst in the running game? That’s simply not true. He had an 8 yard run early in the game in which he had to sidestep a defender immediately after taking the hand off and still blasted through the hole. For a player with so much hype you’d think it this would be mentioned, considering it was the highlight of the game for him.

    • [email protected]

      My take is that its untrue that he lacked a burst, what he lacked was blocking. The criticisms of him in pass blocking, the fumble, and dropping a pass are valid.

    • Donald Johnson

      Real Grass Vs Dome And Turf…ITS REAL FOOTBALL MAN ON GRASS!!!

  • Kevin Smithz

    Some somewhat valid points… others lack perspective. Winston had been with the team for 8 days.. + a zone blocking is reliant on the entire line. So they fail as a group. RB’s would have had better days if the line wasn’t sooo sooo bad.

  • Darnell

    Terrible field conditions. Hard to grade Michael when every time he went to cut the turf gave out from under him, saw the same thing happen to edge rushers turning the corner. Glad Pete decided to sit the number of guys he did and avoided them having to play on that slop.

    • Brian Bigger

      … And it only affected the Seattle RB’s? Denver’s RB’s ran pretty well. Lame excuse for power rushers.

  • SFsteve

    lol @ butthurt seattle fans with no logic.
    Respect Beastmode.

  • Donald Johnson

    Ummm Seattle’s Starting Line Is Garbage OUTSIDE Of Okung…44 Sacks 3rd Worst? If Russell Was A Pocket Passer Who Couldnt Scramble Like He Can Quanterus Smith Would Have Had 3-4 Sacks…I Dont Remember Pressure On Manning At All And Brock Can Move Better Than We Know As Of Yet…McCray Had Good TFL…, Knighton Killed A Michael 3rd And 2 Run Short…Roby Gave Up 2 Short Catches Otherwise Ok On Richardson…Q.Smith Was Game Ball Guy To Me…T.J. Ward Corralled Wilson For Sack NOT EASY TO DO…Talib Took Away His Guy In Coverage 0 Catches…Welcome Back Ryan Clady POCKET WAS CLEAN FOR PEYTON UNLIKE SB…Juwan Thompson Had 7-81 And Bibbs 5-43-1 Without Penalties…What Happened To Mebane And Bryant Edge Setting Seahawk D? DeNVeR RBs Got The Edge Easily On Many Carries Consistently…E.Sanders And Juluis Where Never Targeted Surprisingly…Guess Cause Peyton Knew D.T. STILL CANT BE CHECKED BY MAXWELL…Seattle Fans Lost A Lot In Brandon Browner HE WAS REALLY LOB KINGPIN…Maxwell Did Pretty Good Last Year Yet Im Not Sold He Will Holdup Or Can Make Plays Like Browner Could…T.Carter Got Beat Too Many Times Again Label Him The “Knowshon Moreno” Of BRoNCoS CBs…They Know What Carter Brings Good And Bad…G.Robinson Didnt Make A Catch Surprised…B.Clay Got Bad Blocking On His One Carry…B.Fowler Came Back After A Drop To Make Catch On 3rd Down…Brock Went Back To Him And TE Morrah And Both Redeemed Just Before Missed Balls…Norwood Caught 2 And Nice Hand Eye On TD, One Good Shifty PR…Hillman Had An 8 Or 9 Carry Negated To Penalty…Thank God He Didnt Fumble This Year VS Seattle…Pancake Block By Julius On K.J. Wright Hillman TD…Expect Julius’ Grades In Blocking To Be Better This Year And Him To Make More Plays 2nd Year Development Playing…GO BRONCOS!!!

    • [email protected]

      You do realize that the only starter who played was Jr Sweezy and he got pulled before Russell? The main reason the offensive line was so bad in 2013 was injuries. Its far from world beaters, but they are solid when healthy.

      • Donald Johnson

        And Your Style Of Logic Is Terrible…Line Sucked Dude 44 Sacks Is 44 Sacks Injuries Or Not…For A Team Who Supposedly Has Great Depth Your Being A Punk With This Injury Talk…We Lost Our Best Player And Still Where Best In NFL Or Do You Think Chris Clark Is Same As Clady? Get The F Outta Here Dude Your Line Is Below Average Man

  • RJames

    I’m curious why Alvin Bailey’s name wasn’t mentioned. After rewatching the game a couple times I didn’t notice a single missed block from him; in both pass pro and run blocking. Maybe he can get in on that RT competition?


    Hawks D in preseason is vanilla, and without Irvin at DE, 2/3 starting LBs and starting SS, I don’t wory about Maxwell getting “burned”.
    Sweezy seemed to be a lot better at pass blocking before being pulled.
    The most effective pass rush combo against the Broncos was Schofield/Bennett, Mebane/McDaniel. Scruggs looked a lot better as a 2 gap run stuffer than as any sort of outside or inside pass rusher.
    Schilling did a decent job blocking, notwithstanding the blown pass prot, along with Britt, from the center. I hope Winston starts at RT for the year, allowing Britt to learn from him.
    I sincerely give credit to the Broncos for winning, as I’m a huge Peyton fan, and will be catching their games on Sunday ticket. Just hope they realize the game that counts will be played here in Seattle, in several weeks 😉

  • Anicra

    Watching the game and scoring it the way PFF does, I can usually score it very close to PFF final value(s) ( usually +/- 1 to 2.5 points).

    This week I came up with PFF score almost 13 points different. Certainly not a team score of -32.

    NM my sheet appears to have the original score and not the revised score. Because as noted above, Michael had -5.0 now it is re-scored -3.5