Both teams have suffered some rather dramatic falls from glory in recent years, with Seattle uprooting its "Legion of Boom" core and Denver landing on Case Keenum after years of quarterback incompetence. But neither side is long removed from Super Bowl contention, either, so it's anyone's guess as to which versions of the Broncos and Seahawks we'll see on opening day.
Denver is banking on Keenum after smartly moving on from the likes of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch, a trio of failed Peyton Manning successors, but its real strength probably lies on the defense. Von Miller and Co. certainly weren't invincible in a rough 2017 campaign, but they aren't lacking for proven names. If enough things swing right (a Royce Freeman burst at running back, a Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders rebirth at receiver), it's not crazy to suggest Denver could be in the hunt late in the year. But that also depends on if Keenum can prove his 2017 emergence wasn't just an anomaly in Minnesota.
As wild as it sounds, Seattle might be favored even less than Denver entering this season depending on who you talk to. Pete Carroll spent the offseason shedding the last of the Super Bowl-era stars, after all, and even Earl Thomas could be a little rusty thanks to his delayed preseason arrival. One thing's for sure, however: As long as Russell Wilson is at quarterback, the Seahawks simply cannot be counted out. Maybe he'll be running for his life as he's done far too often in recent seasons, but there's no way to fully discount Seattle's chances as long as his dual-threat self is under center.
On Sunday, both sides will meet. Here's how to tune in:
How to watch, stream
- Kickoff: Sunday, Sept. 9, 4:25 p.m. ET
- TV: FOX (Check local listings)
- Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)
Who will win?
Russell Wilson or not, Seattle could be in for a rough year. Or at least that's what the CBS NFL experts polled on Week 1 games seem to believe, as six of eight analysts like the in-transition Broncos to claim an opening-Sunday win.the "tough venue" will be a challenge for Denver on the road, and he sees a rebuilding Seattle defense as a nice platform for Keenum to start the season.
So who should you back in Week 1 of the NFL season? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has outperformed 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com the past two seasons.