Say what you will about Josh McDaniels the head coach, he is a heck of an offensive coordinator. In this drive, he ran circles around Pete Carroll and Gus Bradley.
1-10-DEN 19 (:11) 8-K.Orton pass short left to 27-K.Moreno to DEN 23 for 4 yards (59-A.Curry, 51-L.Tatupu).
Knowshon Moreno slips from the back field and curls and catches. Aaron Curry maintains contain and closes with Lofa Tatupu for a nice open field stop. That's zone defense done right, and yet, Moreno still gains four yards.
2-6-DEN 23 (15:00) 8-K.Orton pass deep left to 84-B.Lloyd ran ob at DEN 48 for 25 yards. WATCH HIGHLIGHT
Sometimes football is about the weakest link. Often football is about the weakest link.
Seattle runs an exquisite gut blitz. Brandon Mebane stretches the left edge and draws a double team. Nose tackle Junior Siavii attacks the right "A" gap and also forces a double team. Red Bryant attacks the right edge and David Hawthorne does what he does best, blitz. He shoots the left "B" gap, throws off center J.D. Walton, jumps, shields Kyle Orton's throwing lane and forces him to throw flat footed.
Brandon Lloyd streaks up the left sideline, discards Jennings with a little perfunctory stiff arm, outruns Jennings to the spot, slows and turns and catches while Jennings staggers on, oblivious.
1-10-DEN 48 (15:00) 27-K.Moreno right tackle to SEA 43 for 9 yards (36-L.Milloy, 23-M.Trufant).
Moreno picks right. Tatupu shoots an interior gap and is lost in the pile. Moreno picks onward right. Hawthorne hits Stanley Daniels -- Daniels is pulling from left to right -- and circles around Daniels left shoulder. Moreno cuts in. Lawyer Milloy takes a bad angle and is forced to adjust and bubble up field. Earl Thomas flies down from the third level, lowers both shoulders and bounces off Moreno. Moreno continues. Finally, Seattle rallies and Milloy, Hawthorne and Marcus Trufant surround and wrap.
2-1-SEA 43 (13:57) 28-C.Buckhalter left guard to SEA 40 for 3 yards (79-R.Bryant).
Ryan Clady and a tight end double Red Bryant a little back and a lot wide left. Kentwan Balmer shoots in untouched but rather than pursue the ball carrier, he attacks an extraneous, not yet pull blocking tight end. Clady disengages and meets Hawthorne, who hits and recovers to attack inside. Tatupu shoots the rush lane. Moreno picks wide left and runs into Bryant's arms.
1-10-SEA 40 (13:18) 27-K.Moreno left end to SEA 36 for 4 yards (29-E.Thomas).
Broncos run a stretch left. Brandon Mebane and Chris Clemons combine to control and string the play wide. Moreno fidgets left. He looks to cut back right but Mebane disengages and closes the lane. Moreno fidgets left. Mebane falls. Clemons gets under Clady and trucks him back and into Moreno. Moreno gets skinny around Clady's inside shoulder, but, out of nowhere, Thomas streaks in and tackles. Kid has range if not a lot of thump.
2-6-SEA 36 (12:41) 27-K.Moreno left tackle to SEA 35 for 1 yard (90-C.Cole).
Broncos run another stretch left. This time, Colin Cole flings Walton to the turf and lunges and wraps Moreno after one.
3-5-SEA 35 (12:03) 8-K.Orton pass short left to 19-E.Royal pushed ob at SEA 1 for 34 yards (36-L.Milloy). Seattle challenged the runner was down by contact ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #2.) WATCH HIGHLIGHT
This play is simple. This play is stupid. This play worked exceptionally well, and mostly because of Eddie Royal.
Or Chris Clemons. You decide.
Broncos surge right on a what looks like a stretch right. Denver has trips right and Royal must single block Clemons, which he does, release from a defensive linemen, which he does (which Max Unger struggles to do) and streak left on a crossing pattern, which he also does, and which he does while toasting Milloy. Milloy, for what it's worth, is the classic only guy that knows what the heck's going on, so blamed for the screw up, guy.
Everything else is obvious. Moreno stretches right and then throws back to Orton on the left. No one is even spying Orton, so he has a window and time. Lloyd runs off three Seahawks right. This is a complicated play with a lot of moving parts, but it only needs one player to fail for it to fail. It only needs Royal to not be able to square up against an end, block, release and streak across the field, but he does.
1-1-SEA 1 (11:10) 27-K.Moreno right tackle to SEA 1 for no gain (90-C.Cole).
Cole gets the tackle. Someone was bound to. Tatupu blows up the play. He shoots off right end and powers through the fullback, filling Moreno's hole with busted Bronco and forcing Moreno inside. From there, one hand among a sea wraps and tackles. Cole's? Sure.
2-1-SEA 1 (10:38) 8-K.Orton pass incomplete short right to 89-D.Graham.
Had Seattle not screwed the pooch with the pooch on the next play, this might be remembered as an awesome display of discipline and situational awareness.
Broncos fake stretch right. Balmer stays at home and attacks off left end. Mebane slices through a double team and pressures up the gut. On the right, Babineaux has decent coverage on the fullback and Curry has excellent coverage on Daniel Graham. Everyone does exactly what they're supposed to, and Orton is forced to throw it away.
Execution followed by ruination, eat your heart out Robespierre.
3-1-SEA 1 (10:34) 28-C.Buckhalter up the middle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN. WATCH HIGHLIGHT
Among the many things that make this play bewildering is Raheem Brock playing nose tackle. He is swiftly doubled into the turf like a sledgehammer striking a thumbtack. Milloy attacks Walton but is walked back.
For one brief shining moment, Tatupu strikes and controls Stanley Daniels and reaches to his left and almost, kind of sort of tackles. Though he does not, his ability to stall Daniels creates a lane of attack, which Earl Thomas flies into and utilizes for a flying shoulder attack that doubles as a flying fetal flop. It doesn't work. Correll Buckhalter scores the too damn easy touchdown. Too. Damn. Easy.