Posted Sat Aug 22nd by Monty
Broncos (0-1) at Seahawks (1-0)
Sat. Aug. 22, 2009 8:30pm MT
CBS4 Denver/NFL Network
Kickoff for the Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks Preseason Game 2 is on Saturday August 22, 2009 at 8:30 p.m. MT LIVE on the NFL Network, and we’ll be hosting a live blog (which now incorporates awesome twitter features). Here are some things I’ll be watching tonight:
1. FIRST TEAM RUN DEFENSE
Hawks Coach Jim Mora Jr. expects to play his starters for an entire half of football. Josh McDaniels already did that last week, so it looks like we can expect thirty minutes of first team scout-able football. Mora’s boys are banged up, especially on offense – they don’t expect to play LT Walter Jones or RB Julius Jones, among others – so there really isn’t any excuse for the defense not to step up and stop the ground game. If backup running back Justin Forsett is still able to chew up yardage behind a banged-up o-line, it’ll spell trouble for Mike Nolan‘s revamped defense. I’m looking for good disruption at the line of scrimmage and fast, crisp, accurate decisions by the linebackers. No excuses tonight, D.
2. KYLE ORTON’S ACCURACY
It’s preseason. The only reason we would worry about Kyle Orton‘s performance on Saturday is the PR. It would be great for the team to get some positive headlines in the newspapers and kill the Chris Simms controversy, but I’m looking beyond that. Orton was clearly the better quarterback at practice when I was there and reports indicate he still his, so don’t count me among those clamoring for Simms. I’m not looking at a TD-INT ratio, either – I want to see the little things from KO tonight. I want a high accuracy rating above 60%; I want to see him spread the ball around and not lock onto his targets; I want to see him look comfortable in the pocket, plant his feet, and deliver the football. If he does that I’ll be happy no matter the TD-INT ratio. It’s preseason.
3. THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
While this goes hand-in-hand with #1, I’m going to be paying extra special attention to NT Ronald Fields tonight. He received mixed reviews after the Broncos’ first preseason game at the 49ers, and “mixed” is exactly how I put my review of Fields’ performance last week. He ate up blockers some plays and got blown off the ball others. It seemed clear that when he got pushed around, he was winded or taking a break. Ron, show me a better motor. I want you to make everyone forget about fan-favorite Chris Baker. It’s just NFL history – starting a rookie at DT, let alone NT, is a recipe for disaster. It’s arguably the toughest position to play in the NFL straight out of college save quarterback.
Will the real T.J. Houshmandzadah please stand up? With Brandon Marshall dressing up as the Seahawks’ big free agent pick-up all week on the scout team, the defense doesn’t really have an excuse to miss #84 out there. Last week the Chargers held T.J. to one catch for five yards; I’d like to see the Broncos do something similar. I want to see our secondary of 30-somethings keep up with one of the game’s brightest young pass-catchers, and I want to see the pass rush get to Mass Hasselback and disrupt his game. Don’t let these two get in a rhythm, and take out the Seahawks’ premiere weapon on offense.
5. SPECIAL TEAMS
The punter battle is getting interesting – I thought Brett Kern was clearly better than Britton Colquitt in camp, but Colquitt came on strong as my visit neared its end, and I’m hearing murmurings of the rookie pulling the upset. Meanwhile, Matt Prater better continue his one-game hot streak, and can we get a Terrell Owens in Tokyo moment, people? Someone make a play!
What will you be watching for tonight? Something of interest we missed? Dish it out below and GO BRONCOS!