Just as many experts and analysts are stumped by the Seahawks' opener as their overall prospects for the season. Good? Bad? What we do know: It will be different.
Four of 10 panelists pick the Seahawks straight up.
Brady Henderson: Broncos 21, Seahawks 20
“The Broncos are 17-1 in their past 18 home openers, but there’s more than history working against the Seahawks in this one. Dion Jordan might not be ready to help a pass rush that is already a major question mark, and it’s not certain if All-Pro Earl Thomas will play after returning from his holdout this week.”
Jeff Legwold: Broncos 23, Seahawks 20
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“The Broncos hope to unveil their improvements on offense — featuring new starting QB Case Keenum — and hope their rookie class, with 10 on the current roster, fuels a rebound from 2017’s 5-11 finish.”
Benjamin Hoffman: Picks the Broncos (-3) against the spread.
“No Richard Sherman. No Kam Chancellor. And if not for a last-second change of heart they would have been without Earl Thomas, who had been in an extended contract holdout. The Legion of Boom is officially a thing of the past, and even with Thomas in tow, Seattle will be searching for its new identity as the Broncos begin their quest to figure out if Case Keenum was a one-year fluke in Minnesota or if he can be the replacement for Peyton Manning that Denver has been searching for over the last two seasons.”
Mike Florio: Seahawks 30, Broncos 20
“A Super Bowl XLVIII could end up being as lopsided.”
Michael David Smith: Broncos 28, Seahawks 27
“The Seahawks’ new-look defense is going to be better than a lot of people think. New Broncos quarterback Case Keenum is also going to be better than a lot of people think. This is one of my favorite matchups of Week One. I’ll take the Broncos in a close one.”
All three panelists pick the Seahawks (+3) against the spread.
Score prediction: Seahawks 26, Broncos 23
“Remember that legendary defense that helped the Seattle Seahawks get to back-to-back Super Bowls earlier this decade? It’s dead. Gutted. Swimming with the fishes. But all three of our experts are still on board with the Seahawks in their opener against the favored Denver Broncos on the road.
“With Case Keenum starting at quarterback alongside rookie running back Royce Freeman on one side of the ball and Defensive Rookie of the Year favorite Bradley Chubb debuting on the other side of the ball, new-look Denver is giving Seattle three points.
“That’s at least three too many in Gagnon’s eyes.”
Elliot Harrison: Broncos 28, Seahawks 14
“Putting much faith in the Broncos bouncing back, with little faith in the visiting Seahawks. Case Keenum should bolster the home team’s chances this year after the poor quarterback play Denver produced, and received, last season. Too often the defense was asked to mitigate the negative impacts of a thoroughly compromised offense. Funny, whenever I think of Case Keenum, I think of those Case Logic CD binders for all my Faith No More LPs back in the ’90s. Logic dictates Russell Wilson might have to pull a rabbit out of a hat, unless Chris Carson jump-cuts and squirts his way through the front seven.”
Two of eight panelists pick the Seahawks straight up.
Two of eight panelists pick the Seahawks (+3) against the spread.
Pete Prisco: Broncos 28, Seahawks 21
“The new-look Seahawks face a big challenge to open the season at a tough venue against a good defense. Case Keenum makes his first start for Denver after signing as a free agent and will have a good day against a Seattle defense that is far from what it used to be. Broncos take it.”