Broncos vs. Seahawks NFL Week 1 Monday Night Football: Russell Wilson Returns to Seattle

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Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos warms up before a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/AFP.

Russell Wilson is the greatest quarterback in Seahawks’ history but was traded to Denver this off-season. Wilson returns to Seattle in the first Monday night game of the 2022 NFL season. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks 

Monday, September 12, 2022 – 08:15 PM EDT at Lumen Field

What You Should Know

Homecoming Story

Week 1 of the 2022 NFL regular season comes to a close on Monday night as Russell Wilson returns to Seattle with his new team, the Denver Broncos.

It’s arguably the biggest “homecoming” game of the season and surely not a coincidence that it was chosen for prime time even though the Seahawks probably will be terrible this year without Wilson. 

Who Has the Telecast?

Both ABC and ESPN will have the telecast Monday and it’s the ESPN debut of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, both given huge money to leave Fox in the offseason. 

Is It a Doubleheader?

There had been doubleheaders on Monday in Week 1 in previous years, but that’s not the case in 2022. Instead, there is one in Week 2: Titans vs. Bills and Vikings vs. Eagles.

Last Time They Met...

It’s the first regular-season meeting between the Broncos and Seahawks since Week 1 of the 2018 season in Denver with the Broncos winning 27-24 behind 329 yards passing and three scores from Case Keenum, who is now a backup with Buffalo.

Wilson threw for 298 yards and 3 scores but was picked twice. Obviously, he has never faced Seattle. The Seahawks are 3-1-1 ATS on the NFL odds in the past five in the series. 

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Denver Broncos Analysis

Welcome Back, Russell 

Wilson will be Denver’s 12th starting quarterback since Peyton Manning retired after winning Super Bowl 50, and most of the previous 11 were pretty darn bad.

The Broncos gave Wilson a five-year, $245 million extension with $165 guaranteed last week. It was the third-most lucrative contract in NFL history in terms of guaranteed money, behind only Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's $230 million and Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's $189.5 million.  

Wilson’s 113 wins are the most through 10 seasons including playoffs by any QB in history. His 29-11-1 prime-time record is the second-best by a starting QB this century (minimum 25 starts). Wilson is one of four quarterbacks with a career passer rating of at least 100 along with Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, and Watson. 

Monday will also be the debut of the new Denver ownership group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton – that group’s $4.65 billion purchase of the Broncos was formally approved on Aug. 9 by the NFL owners. 

Injured Players to Keep In Mind

Denver did suffer one semi-important injury early in training camp as receiver Tim Patrick tore his ACL and is done for the year. He had 53 catches for 734 yards and five scores last season. 

New No. 1 tight end Albert Okwuegbunam expects to be ready for Week 1 despite dealing with a lower-body injury. 

Receiver Jalen Virgil has become the 18th undrafted rookie to make Denver’s initial roster in the last 19 years. The rookie out of Appalachian State looked good in the preseason, catching 9 passes for 180 yards. Patrick’s injury may have opened that spot for Virgil

Seattle Seahawks Analysis

The Russell Wilson Deal

Seattle got tight end Noah Fant, defensive end Shelby Harris, quarterback Drew Lock, two first-round picks (2022 and 2023), two second-round picks (2022 and 2023) and a 2022 fifth-round selection from Denver for Wilson and a 2022 fourth-round pick.  

With that No. 9 overall pick this year, Seattle took Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross and he’ll start at left tackle. With the No. 40 overall pick, the Seahawks selected Minnesota defensive end Boye Mafe. He’s no sure thing for Week 1 with a shoulder issue. 

With their other second-round pick this year (No. 41), Seattle grabbed Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III and he looked excellent early in camp before suffering a hernia injury. Not clear if he will play Monday. If not, Rashaad Penny would serve as the team's clear lead back, while Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas likely would compete for touches in reserve roles.

Cornerback Sidney Jones missed the entire preseason with a concussion but is expected to play.  

Smith Beat Out Lock In Seattle 

Veteran journeyman Geno Smith beat out Lock for the starting QB job – Smith is 13-21 career as a starter and hasn't been a full-time starter since 2014.

It’s a 100% lock (pun intended) the Seahawks will take a QB very high in the 2023 draft. 

Team Trends

If uniforms matter to you, the Seahawks will wear their Action Green colors. Dating to their 2016 win over their Rams in their first game in Action Green, the Seahawks are 7-1 when wearing their green jersey.

Seattle is 11-1 in home openers under Coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider but obviously had Wilson for most of those. 

Broncos vs. Seahawks: Picks and Prediction 

I really struggle to see Smith leading Seattle to many points on Monday as Denver’s defense ranked third in the NFL last year in allowing 18.9 ppg and should be very good again.

The Seahawks' defense was last in NFL in time on field per game last season (34:44), 31st in first downs allowed per game (23.5), and 28th in yards (379.1 ypg). That unit lost a future Hall of Famer in the offseason in linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is now with the Rams.  

Score Prediction: Broncos 24 - Seahawks 17 

NFL Pick: Denver -6.5 (-108) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Denver -6.5 (-108)
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NFL Pick: Under 44.5 (-105) at BetOnline

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Under 44.5 (-105)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.