Seahawks, Broncos a contrast in offensive styles

Jan 23, 2014, 3:04 PM | Updated: 3:18 pm

By Danny O’Neil

RENTON – Opportunities.

It’s what Seattle’s receivers could expect more of if they played in a different-type of offense. It’s also what free safety Earl Thomas is looking forward to in the Super Bowl against Denver.

72933316-1ab5-46a1-99ed-56b77fe7feee
Peyton Manning’s Broncos averaged 42.2 passes per game this season, 16 more than Russell Wilson’s Seahawks. (AP)

“Well, I’m just happy it’s a pass attack,” Thomas said. “The 49ers want to run the ball, run the ball. It’s hard when you’re the free safety. You want to get involved, get around the ball so this is definitely a great game.”

The Broncos averaged 42.2 passes per game in the regular season, second-most in the NFL. Quarterback Peyton Manning has passed for more than 400 yards in each of the Broncos’ two playoff games this season.

Compare that to Seattle, which averaged 26.2 pass attempts in the regular season, fewest of any team in the league other than San Francisco.

The Seahawks never attempted more than 33 passes in any game during the regular season while Manning had more attempts than that in every single game he played up until the regular-season finale against Oakland when he was 25-for-28 passing.

Those numbers are a big part of why Denver had four different players with 10 or more scoring receptions. At least that’s the case from the perspective of one Seahawks receiver.

“I honestly feel like if we were in an offense that slung it 30, 40 times a game,” receiver Golden Tate said, “I feel like we would all be well over 1,000 yards with 10 touchdowns. That’s just how I feel. But that’s not the case. The situation is this is a run-heavy offense. In order to be a starting receiver on this team, you’ve got to be smart, run the right routes, be dependable. You’ve got to know how to block.”

You’ve also got to be patient and understand how to wait for opportunities.

The nerve of him

A victory in the Super Bowl would give Russell Wilson more overall victories in his first two years than any NFL quarterback in history.

That doesn’t mean he’s perfect, though, and as well as Wilson played in the second and third quarters of last week’s NFC Championship Game, he was erratic over the final period.

There was a botched handoff to Marshawn Lynch on fourth-and-1 that period, resulting in a turnover. Wilson also dropped another snap and turned the wrong way on a handoff.

Was it a case of nerves?

“There was definitely something,” said Darrell Bevell, Seattle’s offensive coordinator. “I don’t know if it was nerves, but obviously we didn’t function very well in those situations … I’m not putting it all on him because there were other things going on. We’re still talking about a second-year player and it was the first time he has been in that situation.”

It would be a stretch to say Wilson was rattled by it, though.

“He never flinched,” Bevell said. “He came to the sideline. I was able to talk to him. He knew what was going on. He had a handle on the situation and sometimes things happen.”

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Russell Wilson Ryan Tannehill...
The Associated Press

QB wristbands trending NFL topic after comments by Seahawks’ Carroll

Whether Pete Carroll meant it as a barb for Russell Wilson or a bouquet for Geno Smith, the Seahawks coach made play-calling wristbands a hot topic.
1 day ago
Seahawks Boye Mafe...
Joe Fann

Fann: 3 Seahawks X-factors for the remainder of the season

Getting contributions from three players on defense would give the Seahawks a big boost in the quest for the NFC West title down the stretch.
2 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Brandon Gustafson

Former agent breaks down Seahawks QB Geno Smith’s market, potential contract

Former agent and current CBS contributor Joel Corry breaks down what a deal for Seahawks QB Geno Smith looks like as well as his market.
3 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Brent Stecker

Moyer: One way Seahawks can open pass game up more for Geno

Seahawks analyst and former NFL safety Paul Moyer sees a small issue QB Geno Smith is minimizing for Seattle but could be big if shored up.
4 days ago
Seahawks Broncos Russell Wilson...
Stacy Rost

A Denver perspective of Seahawks’ trade of Russell Wilson to Broncos

Orlando Franklin, host at 104.3 The Fan discussed what's gone wrong for Russell Wilson and the Broncos since the trade with the Seahawks.
4 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smitjh...
Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: What Seahawks must get back to on offense, defense vs Raiders

After a tough loss ahead of the bye week, Michael Bumpus is looking for the Seahawks to do a few specific things against the Raiders.
5 days ago
Seahawks, Broncos a contrast in offensive styles