Of course, I am referring to the Super Bowl embarrassment the Broncos experienced at the hands of the Seahawks last February, a game that left the sourest of tastes in the mouths of every single fan across Broncos Country.
Much has changed since that disheartening night. The Broncos have addressed many of the weaknesses that were so forcefully exposed, while the Seahawks have arguably gotten worse. Of course, when you are talking about a 43-8 slaughter in the Super Bowl, maybe this simply evens out the playing field a bit.
The Broncos have said all of the things you would typically expect of a team entering their first preseason game this week, but deep down, they have every intent on issuing a statement to the league, even if that statement is only 10-12 plays long.
Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner has stated that he felt the Broncos were intimidated by the Seahawks’ defense from the start of that game. Richard Sherman, never one to shy away from controversy, stated that the Seahawks had cracked Peyton Manning’s code, and that his audibles and hand signals weren’t sophisticated enough to fool them for long.
This Seahawks team has done nothing but talk, and backed up that talk, since last season. Although most people agree that preseason games are meaningless, don’t tell that to John Elway, who publicly berated his team following their embarrassing loss against the Seahawks during last preseason.
The Broncos’ starters will only play one to two series, but expect those series to be all-out blitzkriegs on both sides of the ball. There will be nothing exotic about the looks they give, but Broncos want to make a statement, make no mistake about it. They want no part of Elway coming into their locker room again following this year’s game.
As for the Seahawks, don’t expect much from them. They have nothing to prove in this game, and will focus solely on getting their starters a few reps and going deep into their depth charts to hunt for more of the hidden talent they have been so adept at finding.
The Broncos will offer a heavy dose of Brock Osweiler and the platoon of running backs they will be sorting through to figure out who will be their second and third stringers, once the starters have been substituted out of the game.
The Broncos have touted “35” as a slogan throughout the offseason to remind their players exactly how bad their Super Bowl defeat really was. They don’t want to hide from it. They want to use it as fuel, and Thursday marks the start of their redemption song.
It sure is great to have football back, and there really couldn’t be a better way to start the season.