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Klee: Stop-less in Seattle? Broncos defense cause for concern

By: Paul Klee
August 17, 2013 Updated: August 17, 2013 at 10:35 pm
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SEATTLE - On the list of things to worry about in the port of Seattle, bad fish ranks high.

It gives you a queasy feeling.

But worry about Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense?

Nah.

The Broncos offense should give you a warm and fuzzy feeling. When Manning was finally and thankfully removed from Saturday night's preseason game against the Seahawks, his numbers looked like this:

A quarterback rating of 122.7 to go with 163 passing yards and one touchdown.

And that was through a quarter and a half.

"Sometimes we get pissed going against him. I know I get pissed," safety Mike Adams told me last week at Dove Valley. "I'm standing right next to the receiver, right where I'm supposed to be, and he sticks a ball right in the receiver's chest.

"What am I supposed to do? He's the only one that can do that."

Here's another thing to worry about from the port of Seattle: On the local TV news, there was a report that 30 towns in the state of Washington will be underwater by the year 2100.

It figures that Manning will be retired by then, so he's in the clear, if CenturyLink Field doubles as a salmon hatchery.

But the Broncos defense?

It topped the list of reasons that Seattle was pounding Denver 33-7 at halftime.

The defense looks waterlogged, as if running through Puget Sound in Orvis waders.

That, you can worry about.

Most likely, the Broncos defense will start the season without Von Miller. Most likely, it will start the season without Derek Wolfe. Most certainly, it will start the season with Elvis Dumervil.

Those are three big, bad pieces to go without in the big, bad NFL.

Miller, who had one tackle in limited action Saturday, is appealing an NFL suspension. Dumervil plays for the Baltimore Ravens now.

Wolfe was being evaluated for a cervical spinal injury he suffered in the first quarter. It was scary and made you rethink football, but the 23-year-old could move his extremities when he was lifted into an ambulance, the team said.

To be fair, and rational, this is only the preseason, and the Broncos starters played less than a half.

To be fair, and rational, the Broncos also played without starting cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who in training camp was better than I knew and is recovering from an ankle injury.

To be fair, maybe the Broncos defense ate bad fish.

Because if you aren't worried about the Broncos defense, I might suggest another ticket to HempFest on the Seattle waterfront. It runs through Sunday.

The Broncos have questions at defensive end, defensive tackle, middle linebacker and injuries piling up. Free-agent signing Terrance Knighton would be fortunate to make the 53-man roster, linebacker Shaun Phillips will be asked to play a larger role than expected, and middle linebacker Stewart Bradley, the starter for now, isn't fast, at all.

Did I mention Champ Bailey limped off the field during the second quarter?

John Fox said during a halftime interview that Bailey's "foot was bothering him."

Do you know whose foot wasn't bothering him? Jon Ryan, the punter in Seattle.

In the first half, the Broncos never forced the Seahawks to punt.

Worried yet about the Broncos defense?

Don't worry about the offense.

When running back Ronnie Hillman fumbled, again, at the goal line, the Broncos had racked up 209 yards and nine first downs. There was still 8:54 left in the second quarter.

But it's OK, maybe even smart, to worry about the defense, and the rising sea scheduled to flood the state of Washington in 2100.

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Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

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