Up next: Denver Broncos

When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m. PDT, Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver

Record: 0-1, after losing their opener at Jacksonville

Where they rank: No. 9 in offense (tied for 20th rushing, 6th passing); tied for No. 15 in defense (26th rushing, tied for 12th passing)

Series: Broncos lead 33-18, but the Seahawks won the last meeting – 23-20 at Denver in 2006

Star power: Ryan Clady. The Broncos used their first-round draft choice in 2008 – the 12th pick overall – to select the left tackle from Boise State. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Clady has more than played up to expectations. He was voted second team All-Pro and finished third in offensive rookie of the year balloting his first season. Last year, he was voted to the Pro Bowl and also got first-team All-Pro recognition. This year, Sporting News ranked Clady the 20th best player in the league – and second-best offensive lineman.

Unsung hero: Eddie Royal. Overshadowed might be a better description for the Broncos’ second-round pick from the 2008 draft. He leads the team in receptions (8) and last season also led the club in punt (11.2-yard average) and kickoff (23.9) returns. The past two seasons, when Royal had 91 and 37 receptions, he did so as since-departed Brandon Marshall was catching 104 and 101 passes. Sunday, Royal’s eight-catch, 98-yard outing was good, but Brandon Lloyd’s five-catch, 117-yard effort was better.

On the spot: The Broncos’ coverage units. Sunday, the Jaguars’ first three scores – two touchdowns and a field goal – were set up by a 33-yard punt return and 46- and 53-yard kickoff returns. Those returns led to 17 of the Jaguars’ 24 points.

Burning question: Can anyone here run the football? The handwringing over the Seahawks’ running game continued after they ran for 77 yards and a 3.3-yard average in their opener against the 49ers – in large part because a large number of those yards (32) came on one run by Justin Forsett. But the Broncos ran for 89 yards and a 3.6-yard average against the Jaguars. This continues a downward spiral for the Broncos, who averaged 158.7 rushing yards in 2005 only to see that average slip in each of the past four seasons – to 134.5 in 2006; 122.3 in 2007; 116.4 in 2008; and 114.8 last season.

Familiar faces: Defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson was with the Seahawks before being released last Monday. Left guard Stanley Daniels played at the University of Washington. Secondary coach Ed Donatell was the Huskies’ defensive coordinator in 2008 and a graduate assistant in 1981-82.

The last word: “We put so much work into this season so far that whatever happened last year is so far out of our minds. But I know one thing: I want to see us respond to adversity, respond to a loss. We didn’t do that last year. We’d get a loss and let it linger for three or four weeks.” – QB Kyle Orton after Sunday’s loss, which was the Broncos’ ninth in their past 11 games going back to the middle of last season


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