For some matchups there just isn't any such thing as a preseason friendly. After the Seahawks thrashed the Broncos in last season's Super Bowl it is safe to say that Seattle v Denver is now one of those matches. Despite the non-competitive nature of the match Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lance still managed to earn a penalty for taunting.
Ahead of the 2014 season the Broncos have been training to the mantra “35” for motiation. “35” is of course the number of points by which the Seahawks beat the Broncos in New York last season. Given this history it is fair to say that Denver came into the game against Seattle looking to set the record straight and make a statement of intent.
In the first quarter and a bit in which the Broncos first choice starters were on the field they brought an intensity to proceedings that is typically lacking from preseason matches.
This intensity was particularly obvious on the defense. Last season the Broncos defense wasn't up to the high standards that the offense was. Whilst the Peyton Manning led offense was the best in the NFL the defense, according to ESPN, was only the 19th best.
Investing in defense
With this in mind the Broncos invested heavily in improving defense during this offseason. Cornerback Bradley Roby was drafted in the first round and found himself
immediately featured in the first string's nickel packages. The rookie even managed to force a fumble with a crunching tackle.
As well as strengthening in the draft though the the Broncos also invested heavily in defense during free agency. The Superbowl runners up brought in star veteran free agents
DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward and Aqil Talib.
Early signs of improvement
This trio of new stars along with a once again fully fit Von Miller Should give the Broncos defense now has a pass rush to be feared. This new found defensive strength was hinted at against Seattle on Thursday night.
Talib's best moment came when he unleashed a crunching hit on wide receiver Phil Bates. On an end around play in which Bates' motion and reverse had opened up the
backfield Talib read the game well to put in a touchdown saving hit.
The star of the show however was Ware. In his brief time on the field the ex-Cowboy stuffed a run at the line of scrimmage, grabbed a sack and pressured Russell Wilson on two more occasions.
If the Broncos defense can keep this up and the offense anything like as good as it was last season then you wouldn't bet against the Broncos going one better this time round and lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.