Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos
Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos: Start-time: Sunday, 21:30
Despite the hype that this is a revenge mission for Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos, the reality is a lot more prosaic. Week Three of the regular season doesn’t sniff the Super Bowl for credibility, while both outfits are much-changed from last year.
A slice of redemption, then, is the best Denver can hope for. Before last week, most would’ve doubted it – especially against the in-form Hawks at their CenturyLink stronghold.
However, last week the Legion of Boom sounded more like the Legion of Whom? Cut open by the enigmatic Philip Rivers (three touchdowns) and his ageing receiver Antonio Gates (who got wide open more times than any 34-year-old athlete should), it was a tale from the cautionary vaults.
Seattle’s tall dreams of an undefeated season may have bitten the dust, but their Championship chances have endured. Remember that the heat was stifling in San Diego and the Bolts – for all their detractors – might actually be in for a decent postseason run of their own.
It could be Rivers and Gates’ combined retirement tour but they’re going to try and make it a glorious one. Denver, of course, must also slay San Diego if they are to retain the AFC West title. But Manning is a patient man who knows this is just a significant battle in a wider war.
The serial MVP hasn’t set the world alight yet this term, but still tops the ratings with six TDs for no interceptions. His receiving crew need to step it up in Seattle, but there can be no doubting the Thomases of Julius and Demaryius.
Improving on that Super Bowl season-low of eight points shouldn’t be hard. Still, when all’s said and done, it’s difficult to argue with the Vegas line on this one.
Hawks quarterback Russell Wilson appears to be following Manning’s lead (seldom a bad idea) in choosing discretion as the better part of valour this year, so this week’s headliner could prove a cagey affair. It’ll have to go some, though, to rival the mother of all climaxes that was Super Bowl XLVIII.