4. Patrick Kerney beat Ryan Clady to force an incompletion. It was the play after the jail break screen. Kerney didn't bite on play-action and with most of Seattle's front seven knocked back or chasing the runner, his pressure alone allowed the Seahawks to escape a long completion.
3. Correll Buckhalter is a career backup and soon to be 31. He isn't bad; He's Maurice Morris east. Lofa Tatupu isn't one of Seattle's best tacklers. Tackle, the stat, isn't equivalent to tackle, the ability. Tatupu is great at tracking the play and can hit with the best of the NFL. His stocky, cylindrical build, typically good angles, technique to bury a shoulder on the run, and ability to both shed blockers and avoid blockers allow him to get a lot of tackles, get a lot of meaningful tackles and occasionally blow up his opponent. From a strictly square and wrap perspective, he's unreliable. See, his arms are short and as he's bulked up they looked to have retreated into his torso. So when Buckhalter put a move on Tatupu, putting Tatupu out of position, and then stiff armed him into the dirt, it wasn't too surprising. But it was embarrassing and less than I expect from Seattle's middle linebacker.
2. And then Seattle committed the cardinal sin of defensive play calling: the seven man blitz. Even as a show-me call, it fails. Done on third down, it's akin to suicide. The best outcome is too often an incompletion and with nearly two thirds of the defense committed to the first five yards of the field, the worst outcome is too often a touchdown. Seattle's rush never arrived and Kyle Orton found an uncovered Brandon Stokely for five and the first. Ken Lucas limited the damage with a solid open-field tackle.
If you thought the Three Stooges blitzes left with John Marshall, think again.
1. The Broncos were driving. Maybe the Seahawks rush defense could force a field goal. Enter Craig Terrill. Terrill does one thing well: he gets off the snap and into the backfield. This can be disruptive; it can open gashes in the defensive line. If a giant hole appears center, right guard or right tackle it's become instinctive for me to look for Terrill's milky guitar-arm, barely visible, stabbing out from under a surge of opponent jerseys. But on this play, incompetent becomes outright strange.
Terrill knifes into the backfield, turns left and then chases a ghost. Is he pursuing the fullback? Is Chris Kuper blocking him in the back? Why did he turn left in the first place? The result is a defensive line breach and little remaining between Buckhalter and the second level but Cory Redding's arm. Redding pushes off Ryan Harris' block and wraps Buckhalters legs. Funny enough, Redding's momentum, Harris' block and Buckhalter's momentum cause Redding to slide on his back for about a yard. It's a saving play by Redding, but Buckhalter still gets eight.
Eight plays in, Denver is second and two on the Seattle 12.