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Horse Tracks: Denver Broncos defense is totally legit

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

That Denver Broncos defense you saw on Friday was totally legit. Most of the starters that night were backups, so what we saw was a bunch of backups lighting up a team that just came off losing the Super Bowl in January. Russell Wilson was running for his life until he smartly found his way to bench, then Tarvaris Jackson was simply knocked out of the game.

Final stat-line? 7 sacks. 4 forced fumbles. 2 fumble recoveries. Those are the sexy stats. The Broncos defense also held the Seattle Seahawks to just 3.7 yards per carry on the ground and forced a sub-50% completion percentage through the air with just a laughable 2.7 yards per pass attempt. Like a late night infomercial, Wait! There's more! The Broncos held the Seahawks to 5/14 on third down and 0/2 on fourth down. This defense does look every bit like the elite defense many think it is.

If the starters who sat out the game are indeed better than the backups we saw light it up all game long, then this team may be a Super Bowl contender with or without Peyton Manning. Indeed, John Elway is in it to win from now on as well as right now.

We gave out our Game Balls yesterday, but its worth mentioning that no player had 2 of any sack, forced fumble or fumble recovery on the night. That wealth of dominance was spread around equally. Let's show those playmakers some love this morning, before getting on with our daily links.

Player Sacks FF FR
Von Miller 1 1 0
Kenny Anunike 1 1 0
Gerald Rivers 1 1 0
Malik Jackson 1 0 0
Shaquil Barrett 1 0 0
Darius Kilgo 1 0 0
Josh Furman 1 0 0
Shane Ray 0 1 0
Todd Davis 0 0 1
Josh Bush 0 0 1

Horse Tracks

Defense establishes aggression in first preseason game |
With seven sacks against Seattle, the words of a more aggressive defense rang true during the first game of the Broncos' preseason slate.

Postgame victory speech |
Head Coach Gary Kubiak addresses the team following the Broncos 22-20 victory over the Seahawks on Friday night.

Barrett's dominant series, Hillman's rushing attack |
Shaq Barrett had a dominant series, Ronnie Hillman ran well, Shane Ray reflects on his first game and Antonio Smith gets up to speed.

Can't-Miss Play: Bennie Fowler outstanding 41-yard diving catch - NFL Videos
Watch the longest pass play of the game. The catch would lead to the game-clinching field goal midway through the fourth quarter.

Broncos get a good look at offensive line youth movement - ESPN
Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has consistently said that when it came to how the team would divide playing time in its preseason games, not all starters would be reviewed equally.

Broncos' Brock Osweiler passed like a wizard vs. Seahawks - Denver Post
If one half of an opening exhibition in Seattle was a true litmus test for the sorcerer's apprentice, then Brock Osweiler passed — 15-for-20, 151 yards, one touchdown.

Shaquil Barrett's, Kenny Anunike's physical changes showed for Broncos - Denver Post
Von Miller set the tone, early and forcefully. But a pair of second-year players carried out the game plan Friday, relentlessly attacking the Seahawks' offense and holding it to only 181 net yards in the Broncos' preseason-opening win in Seattle.

Broncos Film Room: Youth Brigade Dominates - Mile High Huddle
On the heels of the Broncos 22-20 preseason victory over Seattle, MHH Publisher Chad Jensen goes to the film room to reveal how the youth of the roster dominated the game.

Kenny Anunike: 'You Can't Block Us All' - Mile High Huddle
In his first football game since last August, Broncos defensive end Kenny Anunike was explosive in his team's 22-20 preseason victory over the Seahawks. Today, he talked about how Wade Phillips system and the Broncos outside linebackers, make him a better player.

3 stars from win over Seahawks | Predominantly Orange
The Denver Broncos pretty much controlled the entire game against the Seattle Seahawks defensively, but a slip-up on special teams and one drive late in the game made it a close one.

4 Important Preseason Questions For The Broncos - TPS
The Denver Broncos have new coaches and new identities on their offense and defense this season. There are plenty of season-long questions the Broncos are eager to find answers to: can Manning play well throughout the entire season, will the Broncos wilt in big games, can they beat the Patriots at home?

Denver Broncos position preview: offensive line | isportsweb
The Denver Broncos had a rough off-season on the offensive line. They lost Orlando Franklin, Manuel Ramirez, and Will Montgomery, all of which played a considerable role on the team last year. Then they lost Ryan Clady for the season with a torn ACL in OTA’s.

Klint Kubiak can lean on his dad, the Broncos’ coach, for advice | Kansas City Star
Everyday, it seems, people tell KU receivers coach Klint Kubiak to go home. Sometimes it will be Kansas football coach David Beaty. On many nights, Beaty says, he has to buzz Kubiak, a 28-year-old assistant coach, and implore him to leave the office and go home to his wife and five dogs.

Ryan Mallet leads 2015's list of NFL players down to their last chance -
For players like Ryan Mallett and Montee Ball, 2015 could be a now-or-never season.

Injuries: Julius Thomas out for rest of preseason -
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas suffered a stable fracture in his left hand during Friday's 23-21 preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.