Following a 46-minute delay for lightning, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos resumed play early in their preseason week one matchup on Thursday night, with the Broncos coming back in the fourth quarter to win 21-16. It was a much different outcome than the Seahawks 43-8 domination of Denver in February's Super Bowl, but that could have been due to the fact that the stakes were fairly lower this time.
The two teams meet again on September 21, and that game will be in Seattle and the outcome will mean something.
The Seahawks took a 16-14 lead in the fourth quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka, but Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler drove Denver down the field and hit Jordan Norwood for a 34-yard touchdown to take it back. Seattle quarterback Terrelle Pryor looked very interesting during his play in the second half, finishing 9-of-16 for 137 yards, but was intercepted on third-and-goal to effectively end the game. Pryor is fighting for the backup job against Tarvaris Jackson, or possibly to push coach Pete Carroll to keep a third quarterback.
He was certainly worth watching for the second half of a preseason game against backups. The athleticism is very real and at times, he can be accurate and tough to defend. At other times, he plays good defense against himself.
Russell Wilson was 4-of-6 for 37 yards with a seven-yard rush in his limited number of snaps. Running back Christine Michael had 16 yards and a touchdown on seven carries with three catches for 12 yards. Michael is fighting hard for the number two spot behind Marshawn Lynch, who did not travel with the team to Denver (none of the players who were already scheduled to be out did), and it's hard to say if he made much of a difference in that regard.
Pete doesn't seem like the type to base a ton of his decisions on play in preseason games anyway, at least not as much as he cares about how you practice and prepare.
That being said, if anyone helped themselves out tonight, it was rookie Paul Richardson, who had four catches for 37 yards in his professional debut. Richardson is going to make the team but if he shows that he's not too raw to play in real games, he could end up getting more targets than expected. The top two receivers are Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin, but there's plenty of opportunity after those two. Baldwin had one catch for 18 yards, while Jermaine Kearse had one for 11.
The Broncos took the lead with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter on a 3-yard run by Kapri Bibbs. Seattle cornerback Tharold Simon, who does not have a clean track record, was ejected after the play for throwing some pushes and punches in the aftermath. Simon, seen by many as a potential breakout player this year, had an incident with police before being drafted in the fifth round by the Seahawks last year, then missed his rookie season following foot surgery. Being ejected in a preseason game isn't a big deal, but Simon has not made this team yet either.
Another corner trying to make this team is A.J. Jefferson, who had a mix of good and bad. The good being that he recorded an interception off Osweiler, and the bad being that he left the game with an ankle injury. There did not appear to be any other injuries for Seattle.
Peyton Manning played much better on Thursday night than he did in the Super Bowl, going 10-of-13 for 78 yards, while Demaryius Thomas led all receivers with five catches fro 52 yards. The Denver player who comes out of this game with the most to boast about though is undrafted running back Juwuan Thompson, who rushed for 59 yards on just six carries against the Seattle defense. The Seahawks may have done Thompson a huge favor as he fights to make the roster behind Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, and C.J. Anderson.
One more player on offense and special team that's fighting for a spot is Ricardo Lockette, who some want to see make the team while others think he could be taking up a spot that doesn't exist. Lockette had two catches for 35 yards in this matchup.
Finally, Earl Thomas was back there for punt returns, but did not make any gains in that regard. It will be interesting to see if he's still the man fielding punts when the games count.
Like that one Seattle played back in February. Yes, remember that? Feels nice, doesn't it. You feel better now.