It’s a losing start to the 2018 NFL season for the Seattle Seahawks (0-1), as a controversial Demaryius Thomas touchdown gave the Denver Broncos (1-0) at 27-24 win in a wild game in the Mile High City. Russell Wilson had three touchdowns, but also two interceptions (albeit with one on the game’s limp final play), as well as two fumbles. The defense had a difficult afternoon containing Emmanuel Sanders, who had 10 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown. K.J. Wright’s presence was sorely missed, and Tre Flowers had a rough afternoon. Bradley McDougald and Earl Thomas certainly balled out, though.
Onward to next week, possibly without Doug Baldwin, but we’ll get an update on that in due time.
The Seahawks began the season on defense, and nearly intercepted Case Keenum on the third play of the game, but Bradley McDougald couldn’t hang on. No damage was done, as the Broncos only managed one first-down before punting. Seattle’s first offensive play was a coverage sack, followed by an incomplete pass, and then a give-up draw.
Denver’s next possession saw Earl Thomas make an appearance, as he picked off Case Keenum and returned the ball to the Broncos 14. One play later, Russell Wilson cashed in with a play-action touchdown to a wide open Will Dissly. A rookie gets the first TD of the Seahawks season. 7-0 Seahawks.
Denver answered back quickly, going 75 yards on 7 plays, including a 29-yard touchdown to rookie RB Phillip Lindsay. A mix-up in coverage involving Shaquem Griffin and Tre Flowers led to an easy score. 7-7.
Looked like a coverage bust between the two Seattle rookies: Shaquem Griffin and Tre Flowers. Griffin expected Flowers to pass the boundary receiver off, Flowers stuck with him, the back leaked into a bunch of grass. pic.twitter.com/N46Wqd0lVw— Ollie Connolly (@OllieConnolly) September 9, 2018
The two teams traded punts to end the quarter, but the Seahawks entered the 2nd quarter with a ridiculous two-play stretch of Chris Carson hurdling a defender for 24 yards, followed by Dissly breaking tackles like a prime Jeremy Shockey and rumbling for 66 yards to Denver’s 5.
Brandon Marshall thought he had his first touchdown as a Seahawk, except he pushed off on 3rd and goal, and Seattle wound up settling for a Sebastian Janikowski field goal. 10-7 Seahawks.
The Broncos once again carved up a poor looking Seahawks defense, as Tre Flowers got burned by Emmanuel Sanders, and Bradley McDougald took a horrible angle as Sanders scored on a 43-yard touchdown pass. 14-10 Broncos.
Chris Carson burst free for a gain of 30+ on a screen on Seattle’s next possession, but a holding penalty on JR Sweezy erased that. Germain Ifedi false started, putting the Seahawks at 1st and 25. Seattle wound up punting, unsurprisingly, and the Broncos conjured up enough yards to get a field goal away. 17-10 Broncos.
Will Dissly again came up big with a 25-yard catch over the middle, but two sacks by Von Miller killed hopes of the Seahawks advancing for a tying touchdown. The second Miller sack was a forced fumble, but Ethan Pocic recovered beyond the line of scrimmage. Sebastian Janikowsk missed from 51 yards away, wide to the left, but offsides gave him a second chance. He missed wide left again.
Tre Flowers got scorched by Emmanuel Sanders for 30+ yards, and ended up injured. Two plays later, Bradley McDougald made a diving interception to thwart another potential Broncos scoring drive. Seattle failed to take advantage, as Wilson took a horrible 22-yard sack to end the half.
Seattle began the second-half with the ball... for three plays and a punt. 3rd and inches saw Wilson roll-out and miss Nick Vannett. Luckily the Broncos didn’t capitalize, as they were backed up after a Michael Dickson bomb of a punt, and then Frank Clark eventually sacked Case Keenum on 3rd down.
Chris Carson picked up a first-down on a running play... but and Von Miller just stripped him and took the ball away. He’s good. Even better? Bradley McDougald one-upped Von by getting an interception on the next play and returning it into Broncos territory. It took only five plays for Seattle to capitalize, as Wilson found Brandon Marshall downfield for a 20-yard touchdown on 3rd down. It was the Seahawks’ first third-down conversion all game.
Russell Wilson with an absolute DIME to Brandon Marshall for the TD. pic.twitter.com/0UXdknDR1C— Ollie Connolly (@OllieConnolly) September 9, 2018
Denver got bailed out by a Tre Flowers holding penalty on 3rd down of their next drive, but the Seahawks defense (specifically Shaquill Griffin) caught a break on the next when Tim Patrick dropped a wide open pass that would’ve meant big yards. Unfortunately, Wilson gave them the ball back with an interception to Justin Simmons. This cost them 3 points, as Brandon McManus knocked one through from 53 yards. 20-17 Broncos.
Continuing a drive from the 3rd quarter, it took only 14 seconds of 4th quarter action for the Seahawks to regain the lead. Wilson went deep to Tyler Lockett off play-action, as a bust in coverage led to an easy touchdown. 24-20 Seahawks.
Once again the Broncos answered back strongly after a Seahawks score. A 1st and 20 turned into a 3rd and 13 conversion, as Case Keenum found Jake Butt to the Seahawks 10, with Shaquem Griffin in coverage. A roughing the passer put the Broncos at the 5, and Keenum threw one through Bradley McDougald’s hands and into Demaryius Thomas for a TD. It was right along the white chalk, so it went under review. Somehow it was upheld. 27-24 Broncos.
Here's the Thomas TD. Called TD on the field and "stands" after review pic.twitter.com/HvRXjlZgYn— Ben Baldwin (@benbbaldwin) September 9, 2018
Wilson was sacked on 3rd down by, you guessed it, Von Miller. His third of the game and Denver’s fifth overall. Luckily the Seahawks defense got a timely stop give the offense the ball back with 5:04 to go. Sack number six came on a Chris Harris blitz, so another three-and-out. Royce Freeman punished the Seahawks defense with two big first-down runs to burn timeouts. Faced with 3rd and 7 and 1:55 left with no timeouts, the Seahawks defense needed to make a stand in order to keep their hopes of a win alive, they held Lindsay to two yards and down at the Seahawks 39. Denver took the delay of game and punted to the 12.
First down was an 11-yard gain for Nick Vannett. Clock kept running. Wilson fumbled the snap and recovered it, but the clock kept running. Wilson spiked it, a flag was on the Seahawks and cost them 10 seconds and down to 11. Incomplete pass meant two seconds left. The final pass was picked off to end the game.
CB Tre Flowers walked off the field in pain late in the 2nd quarter. He returned in the 2nd half after hurting his ribs.
WR Doug Baldwin got his legs rolled up on by Domata Peko in the 1st quarter. He returned in the 2nd quarter, but was ruled out later on with a knee injury.
S Bradley McDougald was shaken up with an unspecified injury and missed a few snaps.
Next week’s opponent
The Seahawks go back on the road, this one on Monday night (September 17th) against the Chicago Bears at 5:15 PM PT on ESPN.