Play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will make up the new star-studded broadcast team for ESPN's "Monday Night Football," and the first game they call will be the Broncos' Week 1 matchup in Seattle.
The three sportscasters participated in a call with media on Wednesday, answering questions about the program and the various matchups they'll get to call throughout the season. Buck, Aikman and Salters agreed that the Broncos-Seahawks game will be one of the most exciting "Monday Night Football" contests of the year, and they look forward to kicking off a new chapter with such a great matchup.
"As far as where it ranks in other openers, I think it's pretty special," Aikman said. "For all the reasons that you already know, with Russell Wilson and all that he did, and going back to Seattle. … I think, in general, that's a really great opener for us to cap the end of what we all hope is a terrific Week 1."
Despite all the storylines that this game presents, Buck surprisingly said that during the biggest moments, they plan to be silent.
"Whenever Russell Wilson takes the field, it will be our job to not talk," Buck said. "So, I mean, that's ironic that we're going to come there, and we've got this great matchup with this player who gave them their only Super Bowl win and went to back-to-back Super Bowls and all he did was win in Seattle. … When he takes the field, it's going to be Troy and I looking at each other and Lisa down on the field and [officiating analyst] John [Parry], and we'll be quiet just like everybody at home and listen to how the crowd reacts to him taking the field as a Denver Bronco."
Salters, who had been the primary "Monday Night Football" sideline reporter for over a decade, noted that she looks forward to this game between the Broncos and the Seahawks more than any other "Monday Night Football" game she's been a part of.
"For me I would say, yes, it is probably the most highly anticipated in my 11 years," Salters said. "The game storylines speak for themselves, like you guys have already indicated. Of course, I can't wait to see how Russ is going to be just leading up to the game, just to see how he is."
In less than two weeks, Broncos Country will get to watch this new broadcast team call Denver's first game of the season — and it will be a matchup to remember.
Below the Fold
NFL.com’s Nick Shook ranked the NFL's offensive 'triplets' — otherwise known as the QB1, RB1 and WR1 — and placed the Broncos' group right in the middle of the pack at No. 15.
Denver jumped 13 places in his rankings over the last year, and a big reason for that is what Wilson brings to the offense. His only concern is whether Courtland Sutton can return to Pro Bowl form after an inconsistent 2021 season, but he underlined the wide receiver's potential.
"Wilson provides stability Denver hasn't enjoyed under center since the days of Peyton Manning, and the veteran QB has plenty of weapons to work with in 2022," Shook said. "Williams is an exciting back who should only improve with a greater workload. But Denver's ranking slides when considering where the Broncos stand at receiver. They're talented, yet no one stands out as a top option more than Sutton, who has produced some highlights but also didn't quite perform to expectations in his first season back after tearing his ACL early in the 2020 campaign. There's a ton of potential here, but there are also some questions."