What approach are the Broncos going to take against the Seattle secondary?
Last season the Broncos tried to rely heavily upon the crossing routes that got them there only to be outmatched and shutdown in the middle of the field. There really wasn't a huge attempt to utilize concepts widely identified to beat Cover 3. The Broncos failed to throw wrinkles into their scheme that would exploit the tendencies Seattle knew so well. The passing game failed plain and simple.
Just how are Adam Gase and Peyton Manning going to move the ball through the air?
Did all the shuffling along the Offensive Line pay off?
I asked this last week and against the Chiefs hobbled edge pass-rush, they passed. Is Chris Clark capable of playing better protection on the edge against Cliff Avril than Orlando Franklin was? Ryan Clady was gone, but is he to a point physically where he can simply lock down that outside rusher to no impact? This rush is not like others, it can win both inside and outside. The key is to get Manning as much time as possible to throw the ball, or at least provide the resemblance of security.
Can our receivers beat a physical secondary?
The only one that did so last time was Demaryius Thomas and he still had a tough time winning down the field. Past Thomas we have a phenomenal TE that didn't figure at all in the last meeting. He should not be getting shut down by a coverage linebacker. We have to quick and speedy guys in Wes Welker and Emmanuel Standers...can the Broncos utilize that speed to get them open vertically just as they can horizontally?
Will our front 3 or 4 make things uncomfortable for Russell Wilson?
In preseason, our line had Wilson running for his life much of the night. That's preseason though and this line has not shown the ability to create consistent pressure even against a collection of misfits fielded by the Chiefs last week. If not Del Rio is going to have to dial up the blitz and that will give Wilson the opportunity to exploit some one on one matchups.
Can our run defense shut down Marshawn Lynch?
They did in the last meeting. What's past is past though. If the Seahawks establish a successful running game, it lays the foundation for a versatile attack that will move the ball and milk the clock.
Will our defense continue to bend or can they manage to get cause a series of three and outs?
The more opportunities our offense has to score the better. It's going to take four possessions to reach the magical number of 24. Normally you could expect 8-9 series to yield that output, but the Broncos will likely need an extra drive or two to attain that score. The defense needs to create some opportunities for the offense.
Will this team match the intensity of the home crowd?
It's put up or shut up time. The Broncos cannot afford to come out flat. They need to prove to themselves and to the rest of us that they can rise to the occasion and beat a championship caliber team on the road in a hostile environment. Super Bowl or Bust begins in earnest today.