Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle headlines storylines to watch

NFL: Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills
Aug 20, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) speaks with Denver Broncos wide receiver Seth Williams (19) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson makes his highly anticipated return to Seattle after being traded away this offseason.

As the Denver Broncos prepare to kick off their season on Monday Night Football, Wilson’s return is one of several major storylines to watch for.

Russell Wilson’s highly anticipated return to Seattle

Russell Wilson will take his first snap under center as a member of the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.

However, Wilson faces the wrinkle of playing his former team in the season opener.

After 10 seasons as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Wilson enters a new chapter.

To finally close the book on his previous chapter, he’ll have to lead the Broncos to a win in hostile territory.

The former franchise quarterback for the Seahawks led them to two Super Bowls, winning one.

He threw for an astoudning 292 touchdowns and 87 interceptions in his 10-year run in Seattle.

Wilson was a Pro Bowl quarterback for the Seahawks in nine of his 10 years, but the next ten years of Wilson’s career could be even more fulfilling.

This is where Third Eye Blind’s “How It’s Going To Be” should be played endlessly to preview the Broncos-Seahawks Monday Night opener.

How will Wilson be embraced by the Seattle fanbase? Will he be cheered as arguably the best player in franchise history or will he be booed for moving on from a toxic relationship?

Will the emotion of Wilson’s return to Seattle serve as fuel for the Broncos to get off to a hot start or will it impact them out of the gates?

Patrick Surtain’s rising star faces DK Metcalf

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf presents the Broncos secondary and second-year cornerback Patrick Surtain with arguably his biggest challenge yet.

The 6’4 superstar receiver will also face the tough challenge of Patrick Surtain II who comes in at 6’1.

Denver’s star cornerback held opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of 61.3 when targeting him.

Will Surtain follow Metcalf all over the field if the Seahawks move him around or will he stay to one side of the field?

New Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero will make the final determination.

Denver’s secondary will also need to focus their attention on Tyler Lockett, Russell Wilson’s former favorite receiver.

Lockett’s ability to track the football in the air is unprecedented and if he somehow manages to get behind the Broncos defense, he can hurt them.

Can Denver take advantage of Seahawks rookie tackles?

When the Seahawks roll out their revamped offense with Geno Smith under center, they’ll also be throwing out two rookie offensive tackles.

Can Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Baron Browning, and Nik Bonitto take advantage of the Seattle’s offense by attacking Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas?

A healthy Chubb is a good thing for the Broncos and a fully healthy Gregory gives the Broncos a diverse skillset from the edge rusher position.

Chubb’s strength combined with the size and athleticism of Gregory could allow the Broncos to exploit a young offensive line in Seattle.

Then Ejiro Evero could sprinkle in Browning and Bonitto as Denver hopes to send pass rushers in waves according to Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

In the preseason, the Broncos played a mostly vanilla scheme to reduce giving away tendencies and schematic looks to the Seahawks.

One thing to expect is that the Broncos will dial up a lot of pressure with stunts to get after Smith and the Seattle offense.

Old friends in new places

Wilson’s return to Seattle isn’t the only reunion that will accompany this game.

Shelby Harris, Noah Fant, and Drew Lock will be facing their former team from last year. They were packaged in the trade that sent Wilson to Denver and sent them to Seattle.

Lock lost the Seahawks QB competition with Smith during the preseason, so he won’t likely have an on-field impact on Monday Night.

However, Harris will start at defensive end for the Seattle defense and Fant will be heavily involved in the rotation at tight end.

These former Broncos will have a chip on their shoulder against their former team in the same light Wilson will against the Seahawks.

The Denver Broncos will kick off their season on Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks at 6:15 PM MT on ESPN.

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