September 13, 2022, 11:29 am
Seahawks 17, Broncos 16 (Seahawks covered +6, U 44)
Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle was a closely-fought battle, but incredibly sloppy play in the red zone by both Broncos backs was the backbreaking difference in this one. Geno Smith played excellent, mistake-free football and completed 82% of his passes while finishing with a higher QBR than Wilson. The Seahawks defense played with a chip on their shoulder all night long against their former QB, imposing their will particularly at the goal line with two fumble recoveries, forcing three field goals inside the 10 and a huge fourth down stand. Denver had a chance to win this game, but Brandon McManus missed a 64-yard field goal that would have been the second-longest field goal in regular season history.
He’s not truly cooking quite yet, but it was a moderate simmer for Russell Wilson (340-1-0) to begin his Broncos tenure. There was clearly some strong chemistry with Jerry Jeudy, and Wilson also leaned heavily on his running backs and tight ends as well. The Seahawks defensive front did a great job of collapsing the pocket for much of the game, so it’s impressive that Wilson avoided throwing any picks under such duress. All in all, it was a solid debut, but fantasy managers will be looking for a higher ceiling moving forward particularly in the red zone.
Normally when a backfield averages over 5.0 YPC in a game, it was a pretty decent day. However, Melvin Gordon III (12-58-0 rushing, 2-14-0 receiving) and Javonte Williams (7-43-0 rushing, 11-65-0 receiving) each lost goal-line fumbles that basically cost the Broncos this game. Those who have been hesitant to anoint Williams the clear-cut RB1 in Denver were validated somewhat here as Gordon out-carried him. However, the insane target share for Williams also shows the kind of PPR ceiling he can have this season.
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