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2014 Game-by-Game: Week 3

Posted Jun 23, 2014

Yet another early-season litmus test will come in the form of a Week 3 trip to Seattle to face the defending world champion Seahawks.

  • WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 21; 1:25 p.m. PDT.
  • WHERE: CenturyLink Field, Seattle.
  • TV: CBS.
  • SERIES RECORD: Broncos lead, 34-18 (Seahawks lead 2-0 in the postseason).
  • JOHN FOX'S RECORD: 1-2 (0-2 in the postseason).
  • PEYTON MANNING'S RECORD: 2-2 (0-1 in the postseason).
  • SERIES STREAK: The Broncos have won six of the last nine games between the teams.
  • LAST TIME: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8; Feb. 2, 2014. The Seahawks' team speed on offense and defense stymied the Broncos, allowing them to pull away for a rout in the first open-air Super Bowl to be played in a cold-weather city. Seattle dismantled the Broncos' record-setting offense with aggressive safety play and speed from outside pass rushers, which discombobulated the Broncos' offense and led to a pair of first-half interceptions and another turnover on downs. The mobility of Russell Wilson and the breakaway threat of Percy Harvin kept the battered Denver defense off-balance. After bending but holding up in the red zone early, Denver's defense finally buckled and collapsed in the second half, allowing back-to-back touchdowns that finished the scoring. Harvin's speed was decisive on special teams, as well; his 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half effectively ended Denver's hopes of a world championship.
  • LAST TIME IN THE REGULAR SEASON: Broncos 31, Seahawks 14; Sept. 19, 2010. Eddie Royal's 13-yard touchdown catch from Kyle Orton in the first quarter put the Broncos in front for good. They sprinted to a 17-0 lead before Seattle finally answered, and then drove to two more touchdowns, including a 21-yard Demaryius Thomas touchdown catch that was the first of his pro career. The Broncos intercepted three Matt Hasselbeck passes, including one each by Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins, and finished with a plus-four turnover margin.
  • LAST TIME IN SEATTLE: Broncos 31, Seahawks 9; Nov. 17, 2002. Steve Beuerlein stepped in for an injured Brian Griese and threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes as the Broncos pulled away late for their most lopsided win in 26 trips to Seattle. Defenses dominated most of the game; the Broncos led 3-0 at halftime, and the teams had combined for as many turnovers as points. After knotting the game at 3-apiece via Rian Lindell's 52-yard field goal early in the third quarter, Clinton Portis roused Denver's offense from its slumber, galloping 34 yards on the next play from scrimmage. Three plays later, Mike Anderson's 9-yard touchdown sprint pushed the Broncos in front, 10-3. The Broncos didn't pull away until the fourth quarter, when Beuerlein hit Patrick Hape for a 1-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal. After Seattle's subsequent possession stalled in the red zone and led to another Lindell field goal, Beuerlein capped a 7-play, 60-yard drive with a 14-yard, third-and-10 touchdown pass to Rod Smith. Deltha O'Neal later iced the game with a 22-yard interception return.
NOTING THE GAME:
  • This will be the Broncos' 10th game against a defending Super Bowl champion in the last 15 seasons, and third in the last four. The Broncos are 13-10 all-time -- including 5-7 on the road -- in this scenario, which most recently occurred when the Broncos beat the Baltimore Ravens 49-27 to open the 2013 season.
  • The Seahawks head into the season having won 17 of their last 18 home games, including the postseason. They haven't lost a home game to a foe outside of the NFC West since Nov. 27, 2011, when they were defeated by Washington, 23-17, and have won 12 consecutive home games against teams from other divisions since then.
  • In the last two seasons, covering 18 home games, just two visiting teams have surpassed 20 points in Seattle: the Patriots (23 points, on Oct. 14, 2012) and the Buccaneers (24 points, on Nov. 3, 2013). In that span, the Seahawks have held incoming foes to 13.17 points per game -- 9.85 points and 42.8 percent below those teams' average outputs. At that rate, the Broncos would be expected to score 22 points in Seattle (21.68, rounded up).
  • After playing in Seattle every season from 1977 to 2002, this is the Broncos' first regular-season trip to the Pacific Northwest in a dozen years.
  • Denver has scored at least 20 points in each of its last eight games against the Seahawks and has averaged 28.5 points per game against them in that span. 
  • The Broncos are one of just six teams to defeat the Seahawks at least once in each of their three home stadia (Kingdome, Husky Stadium, CenturyLink Field). The others are Buffalo, Kansas City, San Diego, Philadelphia and St. Louis.