Who to Watch For: Broncos vs Seahawks

Nathan Fordyce@natefordyceContributor IIIAugust 18, 2012

Who to Watch For: Broncos vs Seahawks

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    It's only the second game of the preseason, but the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks are each sitting at 1-0. 

    The Broncos pummeled the Chicago Bears, 31-3, despite the first-team offense lead by Peyton Manning.

    The Seahawks defeated the Tennessee Titans, 27-17, behind rookie quarterback Russell Wilson's stellar performance.

    Each team will look to build on its victory, but, more importantly, get the first team offense and defense more repetitions against live action. Each first team should play all of the first, and possibly some of the second, depending on what coaches see.

    There are always people to watch, even if it is only the preseason. Here are a few to keep your eye on.  

Seattle Quarterbacks

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    "If you have two quarterbacks, you have none," sports commentator Skip Bayless once said. The old adage seems to suit the Seattle Seahawks.

    Seattle had the incumbent Tarvaris Jackson before it brought in Matt Flynn from Green Bay Packers to be its starter. To top off the trio, it drafted the University of Wisconsin's Russell Wilson, who has been the most impressive thus far.

    Jackson might not play against the Broncos, which will hurt him in the quarterback battle.

    Flynn, on the other hand, will get the start. Flynn was on-point but with minimal results last week. He went 11-of-13 for 71 yards and had one interception. He moved the offense, just as head coach Pete Carroll wanted. The more action Flynn gets, the more results should follow. He's the team's highest-paid quarterback and expected to start, but it's not a sure thing.

    Wilson remains Flynn's main competition. He dazzled everyone with his performance in first week of the preseason. He went 12-of-16 for 124 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He added 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Wilson is hoping to prove that his height, just 5-foot-11, is not a problem.

    Flynn appears to be the starter. But, if he continues to have minimal results and Wilson continues to excel, it is going to be really tough for Carroll not to start Wilson despite Flynn's contract.

    It's possible that one of the two could separate themselves in the game against Denver.

Robert Ayers

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    Robert Ayers has gotten something that few NFL players get: a second chance. 

    With the injury to Jason Hunter—a torn pectoral that could cause him to miss the entire season—Ayers finds himself back in the starting lineup. 

    The former first-round pick out of the University of Tennessee has been a bust so far in his three years in Denver. He's tallied only 4.5 sacks, which isn't first-round production. He did seem to come into his zone last season, but still found himself behind Hunter in the depth chart.

    Ayers had a solid first week against the Chicago Bears. He managed to get a sack and actually seemed as if he were comfortable in his position.

    Ayers will have to continue to improve if he wants to find himself opposite Elvis Dumervil on the Broncos' defensive line.

Brock Osweiler

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    It's odd to look for a quarterback to move from a third string to a second-string position, but Brock Osweiler was highly drafted by the Broncos.

    The second-round draft pick from Arizona State University found himself with minimal pressure, especially since Peyton Manning is running the show. 

    But the growth of Osweiler is important, especially since he is the heir apparent to Peyton Manning. He is competing with Caleb Hanie for the back-up job. 

    Osweiler looked really comfortable behind center against the Bears. He went 4-of-7 for 38 yards and had a touchdown pass to Jason Hill.

    Though he is still behind Hanie, another strong performance could elevate him to take over as Manning's backup.

Terrell Owens

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    Receiver Terrell Owens will look to regain his old form with a new team in what will be his first NFL action in more than a year. 

    The Seahawks brought in Owens, who will turn 39 this year, on Aug. 6 and he will be ready to go against the Broncos. There are not a lot of expectations for Owens, but if he comes out with a big game, the expectations will come forth.

    He's a freak of an athlete and if his knee is 100 percent—there is no reason to believe it isn't—he could be a huge signing for Seattle. 

    Owens could be a changed man, humble and with less diva-like demands. He's been through a rough patch, but this is his second and probably last chance to prove he can play in the NFL.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Owens had five or six catches with a touchdown just so he can prove Carroll was right about signing him.  

Peyton Manning

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    The General looked good, didn't he? Yes, he threw an interception off a deflection in the redzone. But as he did not see live action in more than a year because of a neck injury, I'd say he did great.

    There's still a lot of work to be done, but week one has to give Broncos' fans, players, coaches and management a huge smile.

    Peyton Manning went 4-of-7 for 44 yards along with the interception, but Manning's preseason is not about statistics. Instead, it's about rhythm, timing and getting used to his new teammates. Yes, the Broncos would love to see points come from Manning at the helm, but as long as he looks good, they won't care as much.

    His arm strength appears to be very close to 100 percent and he is comfortable in the pocket. The game against the Seahawks will give him his greatest test to date. He is expected to play the whole first quarter and part of the second quarter.

    He'll be looking to get more in sync with his receivers, especially Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. Those two will also be watched closely in the upcoming game.