National Football League teams that are severely challenged to win regular season games are often the same teams that take advantage of preseason opportunities when their opponents are among the NFL elite. The best teams in the league utilize the preseason to prepare for the games that count, and that can often leave them a lot less interested in an August final score than their opponent.
When a struggling franchise is also on the verge of getting good and has depth at quarterback, they can whip through the preseason like an eventual Super Bowl Champion handles the postseason.
Well, nice theory, but do I have any practical experience to illustrate this point?
Better than that, instead of telling you about when this happened in the past, we’ve got a game tonight where it is in play realtime. Which makes it superior to history given we can still bet on the outcome.
The Denver Broncos are our struggling franchise that are both on the verge of becoming very good and have depth at quarterback. Now, it is not that the Broncos have quarterbacks that match what the San Francisco 49ers or Green Bay Packers had at one time in their history. San Francisco had both Joe Montana and Steve Young on their roster while the Packers featured Brett Favre with backup Aaron Rodgers.
What the Broncos have are a trio of signal callers who have all started regular season games and create a great competition in camp. The starting spot is still unsettled, with Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater battling to win the job. Behind those two is veteran Brett Rypien.
Okay, we don’t have anyone with current credentials to be considered for Canton, but against preseason defenses, this trio can all be Johnny Unitas for a day.
Then you have the Broncos defense, which has the potential to be among the best in the league this season. Denver Head Coach Vic Fagio got the job in Denver because of the work he did in Chicago as defensive coordinator. He is also entering his third season with the Broncos, and if a coach is going to be successful with a franchise, the third season is most often the year his work begins to pay off.
The Broncos have struggled in Fagio’s first two years in the Mile High City, he is still looking for his first winning season after 7-9 and 5-11 campaigns. This is likely his season to get it, and even more likely his team will excel in the preseason while they fit the paradigm of coming off losing records and much improved.
Okay, we’ve got the Broncos on one side, how about their opponent? Do they meet the criteria of an established winner with no need to focus on the scoreboard in August?
Tonight, the Broncos travel to Seattle to meet Pete Carroll and his highly regarded Seahawks. Seattle won the NFC West last year, a division considered by many to be the best in football. In addition to Seattle, the NFC West is home to the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. All four of the NFC West teams have been to the Super Bowl over the past dozen seasons and Seattle made back-to-back appearances to complete the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
The Seattle versus Denver contest tonight is in Seattle, so how many points do we get with the Broncos?
We give points with the visitors tonight at Lumen Field, the new name for the Seahawks home stadium.
Because the books know what they are doing and in all likelihood Denver is both going to win and cover the public drawing point spread.
Qoxhi Picks: Denver Broncos (-4½) over Seattle Seahawks