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Seahawks welcoming Russell Wilson back in season opener

The Seahawks will immediately welcome their former QB Russell Wilson back to Lumen Field this year, as the Broncos will travel to Seattle for the season debut of “MNF,” according to Larry Stone of the SEATTLE TIMES. This will mark the Seahawks’ "first prime-time opener" since they played the Packers in '14 and "just the second in team history." Rather than having the intrigue of Wilson’s pending return "linger for potentially weeks or even months," it will be "resolved immediately." Stone: "Of course, we now have precisely four months before the season to stoke the hype." It was an "astute move by the league to get the game out of the way early, beyond just being a compelling matchup that will draw millions of eyes to the broadcast." Stone: "After all, everyone loves the storyline of 'franchise icon who left town returns for the first time'" (SEATTLE TIMES, 5/13). ESPN’s Tedy Bruschi noted the NFL “didn’t wait long” to schedule the Broncos-Seahawks. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said opening night on “MNF" is “always incredible as it is.” Schefter: “You bring in the Russ factor to Seattle, and that place will be electric” (“NFL Schedule Release,” ESPN, 5/12). ESPN’s Booger McFarland said the timing helps the Broncos as “we know the emotion is going to be high” and it “does them a very good service to get that game early and out of the way” (“Get Up,” ESPN, 5/13).

ONE REASON FOR BRONCOS' RESURGENCE: In Colorado Springs, George Stoia notes the Broncos' schedule features five primetime games “after only having two in 2021 and not having a Monday night game a year ago.” This of course is the “effect of Wilson, as the Broncos are now expected to be a playoff team for the first time since winning Super Bowl 50” (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 5/13). In Denver, Ryan O'Halloran notes four of those primetime games are within the first six weeks of the year. O’Halloran: “The Wilson Effect is clear when looking at the number of high-profile national television games the Broncos got" (DENVER POST, 5/13).

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