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Broncos vs. Seahawks preview: Running game crucial to Denver’s season opener

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Here are the MHR staff’s keys to the Week One game. High on the list is running the ball and stopping the run on defense.

MHR Radio Podcast

The Case Keenum Era is upon us.

After much hypothesis and speculation, we’ll get our first indication if the Denver Broncos are, in fact, on the right path. It is just the season opener but it feels so much bigger than that. After the last two seasons, fans are excited about the prospects of the 2018 season. What they saw in the third preseason game added fuel to the fire of what they heard throughout training camp.

Yet the doubt remains. The excitement is tempered ... at least for now.

Come Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Broncos Stadium at Mile High we’ll know how we should feel and think.

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to getting the season off on the right note. On the latest MHR Radio Podcast, Adam Malnati and I add to the excitement of the Broncos season opener.

Run the ball, stop the run

In the third preseason game against the Washington Redskins, we saw our first glimpse of what Denver’s offense can look like when it runs the ball. We also saw how hard it is to stop. For the Broncos to start the season 1-0, they need to do the same against Seattle.

On the flip side, the defense needs to make sure the Seahawks are one dimensional. Russell Wilson is tough enough to stop, if his offense effectively runs the ball that makes it more difficult. — Ian St. Clair

Protect the QB

The Seahawks’ secondary is a barren wasteland compared to its former glory, but they’ve got some talent on their front 7. If we can neutralize those guys & keep Keenum’s jersey clean, there’s no reason our offense shouldn’t get off to a great start. — Taylor Kothe

No turnovers

On offense, stay on schedule and limit mistakes. After having nearly the worst turnover margin in the NFL last year, the team needs to show they can play clean football. Additionally, this offense will be successful by getting small chunks of yardage every play and not getting behind the sticks, so limiting penalties and negative plays is also key. — Jeff Essary

Stay calm

One of the most annoying things I saw last season was the team on both sides of the ball just falling apart when games started going sideways. The players need to focus on their personal responsibilities executing the next play. Trust your teammates and trust the coaches no matter what happens. — Sadaraine

Just show up

The Broncos are 19-1 at home in the first two weeks of the regular season since 2001 and have an 85% home win percentage in the first two weeks at home since the merger. It’s virtually guaranteed they win on Sunday ... provided they show up. — Tim Lynch

Control the line of scrimmage

The defense needs to contain Wilson with pressure. Maintain inside containment. Wrap up on tackles. On Offense, just relax. The Broncos need to breathe deep and just do what their talents will allow them to do. Rotate the running backs heavily. All boils down to what the offensive line can do, and minimally, it needs to be the ones to make first contact, and get some push. Even minimal push will open up everything. — Casey Barrett

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