Denver travelled to Seattle on Saturday night to take on the Seahawks in their second preseason game. After Kyle Orten's abysmal showing in San Fransicso (3 possesions...3 INT's) I tried to be realistic and not worry too much about Orten's debut as a Bronco. Thankfully he rewarded me with a much better effort in Seattle going 18-26 for 182 yards and a TD. The TD came against Seattle's defensive starters who should be a pretty good group this year. McDaniels is never going to ask Orten to play outside his comfort zone. Maybe Orten's smarts and accuracy can see him through this season. If he keeps playing like he did Saturday night, sans the left handed throw for an INT on 4th down, this offense might be able to score 17-24 points regularly. Jabbar Gaffney looks like he might be a good fit in this scheme and could emerge as the #2 WR in this offense if the Brandon Marshall situation doesn't remedy itself. With Gaffney and Royal gaining a combined 99 yards in limited action it looks like they can handle the load and with Stokley in the slot this should be a good group with or without Marshall. I would like to see more out of the running game but don't see anyone emerging as the go to guy in the backfield.
This brings us to the defense. We always knew this was the question mark this season. McDaniels has done what he could to patch the holes on this side of the ball but Hasselbeck had 171 yards and 2 TD's. Our secondary looked confused much of the night. The pressure on the QB looked good at times but the sack totals have to go up. Even Champ Bailey can't cover his receiver forever. Without more pressure on the QB this defense will be just as bad as it was last year. Ultimately, those 17-24 points I feel comfortable giving to the offense may not be enough against many of the teams we face this season.
I think the LB's are improving and many of them, displaced from their normal positions on the line, are adjusting well. Again, I worry about them in coverage. Too many of these guys have never had to back pedal into coverage.
Overall the D played the run well but the pass coverage is going to be our Achille's Heel. With the likes of Romo, Brady, Rivers, Rothlisberger, McNabb abd the Manning brothers on the schedule it's going to be tough if we can't fix the problems we have against the pass.
I'll give the offense a B- and the defense a C.