Unlike last week's game against a rebuilding Chargers team with questionable depth, tonight's matchup pits the Seahawks against the Broncos, a team that made the playoffs last year thanks to a stellar defense and some guy named Peyton Manning. Denver's roster is stuffed with talent, so we should get a much better idea of what the young guys are capable of doing. Here's what I'm watching for tonight:
1) Will the pass rush show up?
We still won't be getting a look at the new-look first team defensive line tonight (Cliff Avril is sitting this one out), but that just opens up more opportunities for other players to cement roster spots. Last week UFA rookie Benson Mayowa, ex-Cardinal O'Brien Schofield, and second year player Jaye Howard spent a lot of time in San Diego's backfield, and I'd love to see them perform the same feat against Denver's much more talented o-linemen.
2) Will the Russell Wilson connect with his receivers, whomever they might be?
Last week, Wilson seemed to be trying to force the ball to rookie tight end Luke Willson, but it's hard to fault him for that as nobody else ever seemed to get open. I'll be feeling much better tonight If someone -- anyone, really -- can manage to consistently flash open and show Wilson their numbers (Stephen Williams, maybe?), but the Broncos' pass defense isn't going to make that easy.
3) Guards, guards, guards . . . and maybe some other o-linemen, too.
Nobody really seemed to distance themselves from the pack at the offensive guard position versus San Diego, and I'm hoping that will change tonight. On the bright side, rookies Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie really distinguished themselves last week at the non-guard positions with their fundamentally sound play. Can they do it again tonight?