August 21st was a momentous day at Lumen field, as it marked 601 days since fans had filled the stadium and made life for opposing quarterbacks a waking nightmare. The Seahawks faithful once again took the stands and cheered as a mixture of some starters/fringe-starters and (mostly) backups and roster hopefuls took on the Broncos. Russell Wilson, Jamal Adams, Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, and basically every other starter were spotted in warmups but didn’t play a snap. The Broncos sent out mostly starters and — as should be expected — beat up handily on squads comprised primarily of backups and roster bubble players early on. Seattle continued to look rough in their second preseason performance, a 30-3 loss, though their conservative approach of resting nearly every starter is obviously contributing to this.
Rashad Penny got in the game early, taking the opening handoff for a couple yards and picking up a nice 3rd down conversion a couple plays later on a pass from Alex McGough. A facemask backed the Hawks up, and Justin Simmons picked off a poor pass from McGough on the ensuing third down. On defense, Cody Barton continued his preseason hotstreak, making a nice tackle on the Broncos opening drive. Ahkello Witherspoon kept tight coverage on KJ Hamler on third down, but but then got beat by Jerry Jeudy on the next play for a 35 yard pickup on 4th down. The defense got a couple goaline stops but Teddy Bridgewater found Hamler for the touchdown. Broncos 7, Seahawks 0.
Deejay Dallas outrun everybody except the kicker on a big return to give the Hawks great field position. John Ursua took a first down sweep for nine yards, but tight end Dom Wood-Anderson commited his second penalty of the game, and a quick Bradley Chubb sack backed them up even further. An off target incompletion from McGough capped off a disappointing three and out. The Broncos picked up another 4th down conversion, but Jordyn Brooks continued to show up with back to back to back tackles (no, that is not a typo), including a nice stuff on Royce Freeman and a good read on a screen pass (also to Freeman). He finished the first quarter with 4 total tackles, all of them solo. Ryan Neal was also busy, picking up three tackles. The offense did little to impress, accumulating one singular first down and a measly 29 yards of total offense.
The Broncos converted yet another 4th and short on a sneak from Bridgewater. Brooks got beat by tight end Eric Saubert to set up a first and goal on the 1. A bizarre goal line run somehow was ruled a touchdown, and it’s preseason so nobody other than Bobby Wagner seemed to be too bothered when the play stood as called. Dallas flashed once again as a returner with a nice 31-yarder to set up the Hawks first drive of the second quarter. Waldron went up-tempo and McGough regained some composure and hit Aaron Fuller for a quick first down, immediately followed by finding Ursua for thirteen yards and his third catch of the game. The offense kept the tempo moving, going no huddle as McGough ran for another first down, with the team approaching the red zone for the first time of the night. Rashad Penny ran three consecutive times for a total of six yards, and Seattle went for it on fourth down, with surprisingly terrible results; McGough ran straight into a sack, lost the ball, and Denver recovered at the Seattle 48. Drew Lock stepped in for the Broncos at QB, replacing Teddy Bridgewater. Jarrod Hewitt picked up a sack on Lock, with Rasheem Green continuing his strong preseason with a sack on the next play, with a solid assist from Alton Robinson. The Seattle offense showed a few signs of life, stringing together a few first downs to get within reaching distance of the red zone by the two minute warning. Denver’s pass rush forced another wild pass from McGough on third and long, this time landing in the hands of defensive tackle Deshawn Williams. Alex McGough would finish the first half with three turnovers on four possessions, with the only non-turnover drive being a three and out. The Broncos went on to kick a field goal, going up 17-0 heading into halftime.
McGough throws it to DeShawn Williams. Broncos get the ball! pic.twitter.com/8C4uIg4jVT— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) August 22, 2021
Denver opened the second half with a field goal, going up 20-0. Sean Mannion stepped in at quarterback, replacing Alex McGough. The former Oregon State Beaver looked poised and composed, putting together the best drive of the night for Seattle, resulting in a field goal and Seattle’s first points of the night. 20-3. The defense followed this up with a nice stop and a Deejay Dallas tipped punt, giving Seattle the ball back with decent field position.
Big kick returns— NFL (@NFL) August 22, 2021
Blocked punt@dallasdeejay doing it ALL out there tonight. #DENvsSEA | @Seahawks pic.twitter.com/su2dVyoltx
The drive stalled out and they failed to convert on 4th and 5, however. Also of interest, Nick Bellore got to display some of his defensive prowess, as the versatile player got in at linebacker and recorded a few tackles, including this gem.
Nick Bellore is the new Will Tukuafu pic.twitter.com/xZSMm2TBbc— John Fraley (@johndavidfraley) August 22, 2021
Denver opened the final period of play with a field goal to extend their lead to 23-3. Seattle tried and once again failed to convert on fourth down, and Denver took advantage with former Spokane product Brett Rypien hitting tight end Shaun Beyer for a touchdown that would end up being the final score of the game. Seattle managed to get something resembling a drive going, but — as was the story all night — penalties put the offense in a rough spot and a Sean Mannion sack gave the Hawks yet another failed fourth down conversion. Denver ran the clock out on the following possession and left Lumen field with a 30-3 victory over the Hawks.
Seattle will finish off their preseason with one more home game next Saturday at 7:00 against the Lo Angeles Chargers.
- Ben Burr-Kirven injured on the opening kickoff, and the network declined to show the replay. Reportedly, it looked like a severe leg injury as he was carted off the field moments later. Best wishes, BBK.
- Another very unfortunate injury, as John Ursua went down late in the second quarter and was also carted off. Both him and BBK have “severe” knee injuries, per Carroll.
- Ryan Neal left the game with an injury and went to the locker room. He was diagnosed with an oblique strain. Timetable unknown.