For some people there are four seasons. Most people, even. Winter, spring, summer, fall… right? But for fans of the NFL things are a little more simple: there’s football season, and there’s the offseason. It’s only now, when the preseason begins, that the line between the two distinct times of year begins to blur. And for the Seattle Seahawks, the line between offseason and regular season will get real fuzzy around 7:00pm tomorrow.
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The Seattle Seahawks will take on the Denver Broncos in the Emerald City tomorrow night. It’s more than just the first CenturyLink Field action of the season – it’s the first action of the season. Yeah, it won’t be a game played to be won, but who cares? It’s the Seahawks, in their stadium, in front of their fans. The Super Bowl was six and a half months ago. It’s been a while.
So about that whole Super Bowl thing… the Seahawks’ most recent trip to The Big Game might not have ended the way they liked it, but the trip before that was hardly anything short of a dream come to life. The ‘Hawks won in blowout fashion, riding a dominant all-around performance to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history? And who did they do that against, again? Oh, right, it was the Denver Broncos! Who will be in town tomorrow to remind us of how awesome that game was.
These aren’t the exact same teams that met in the Super Bowl, and they might spend most of the game not looking like top-flight teams at all. You want to see four quarters from the starters? You’re going to have to wait. Even a full half is pushing it, though some guys might get more time on the field than others. There isn’t even much reason to start some guys – you think this team needs to use this game to find out what Marshawn Lynch is made of? There will be scrubs, is what I’m saying. Backups and scrubs.
Teams usually like to start preseason games with some/most of their first-stringers on the field, then start bringing in the subs after they’ve seen enough from the guys who are most likely to take the field to start the regular season. But it’s more complicated than this, of course – considerations must be made for things like injury prevention and getting guys into good matchup situations.
If you’re expecting the Seahawks to play the familiar faces, you might be a little bit disappointed. Russell Wilson might not start, and he might not play at all. We already know the Broncos are going to be employing a similar approach with their starting quarterback:
So there you have it – this won’t be a Peyton Manning day in Seattle, and DangerRuss might sit the whole time, too. Expect to see a lot of Tarvaris Jackson and R.J. Archer, which is a fine way to approach this game. Jackson has experience and can throw up passes so that the receivers can be better evaluated. And Archer needs a shot to show the team what he can do during a game.
The most exciting players to watch will be the rookies. These dudes are coming in looking at their first-ever chance to impress in an NFL game, even if it’s just the preseason. How hyped are you to watch Kasen Williams and Tyler Lockett? Gonna be a blast to see Frank Clark lined up, right? That’s what makes these games an event. It’s our first look at the team’s future, and this is a team that’s specialized in bright, young futures as of late.
There are positions on the active roster yet to be decided. Center, for one, and it’ll be interesting to see how the team uses Drew Nowak and Lemuel Jeanpierre in this game. We’ll surely be getting clues as to who has the leg up in competitions for this and other roster spots. That’s why they play these games!
Friday night in Seattle the Seahawks will take the field for the first time this season. They’ll face off against the Denver Broncos, whom they famously dismantled in the Super Bowl a year and a half ago. It’d be fun if they win, but mostly we just want to watch the kids go nuts. And if they’re anything like the kids John Schneider usually brings in, then that’s what they’re likely to do.