Friday night’s preseason game between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos had what one would expect from two quality franchises playing their first preseason game of a long season, big name players resting, highlights and lowlight plays. There were some jaw dropping plays, some head scratchers and some and good old fashioned high fivers as the Broncos prevailed 22 to 20 at Century Link Field.
While some of the big names did not participate, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor for the Seahawks, Peyton Manning, Emmanuel Sanders and Brandon Marshal for the Broncos, both team did have some big game players on the field.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson started the game for the Seahawks, but was sacked and fumbled the ball on the games second offensive play.The play had 68,677 Seahawks fans scratching their heads as Denver’s Todd Davis recovered the fumble at the Seattle 10 yard line and Denver’s Connor Barth made good on a 28 yard field attempt to give the Broncos a quick 3-0 lead.
The jaw dropping began on the ensuing kickoff as Seattle’s Rookie Tyler Lockett returned the kickoff 46 yards to the Denver 43rd yard. Lockett was just a whisker away from hitting pay-dirt when Denver’s Bradley Roby brought him to the ground.
Russell Wilson engineered a seven play drive that ended with a 33 yard Steven Hauschka field goal to tie the game at three a apiece. The field goal converting drive was the last work for Wilson as he finished the game with just one pass attempt that was completed for 12 yards to new comer Jimmy Graham go with his 25 yards rushing.
Denver took a 9-3 lead after converting two consecutive field goals from Brandon McManus (52 yards) and Conor Barth(23yards) and the 12th man was beginning to get restless and down right impatient. Enter Lockett for act II. The heralded rookie was not be denied a second time as he took the Denver kick off 103 yard to the house and left Denver tacklers in his wake while the 12th man was jubilantly giving each other high fives once again.
Click here to see Lockett’s returns
Seattle was ranked 30th in average yards per kickoff return and 31st in kick return yards last season. ” He did everything we thought he could when he drafted him” Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll said after the game .
After Lockett’s second jaw dropping play, Brandon McManus booted a 44 yard field goal and Brock Osweiler hit Virgil Green deep in the left side of the Seattle end zone for a 17 yard touchdown to complete the Denver 10 point run and give the Broncos a 19-10 lead to close out the first half.
Steven Hauschka kicked a 24 yard field early in the 3rd quarter to cut the Denver lead to a touchdown at 19 to 13 but Denver quickly answered when Brandon McManus booted his third field goal from 23 yards out to close out Denver’s scoring for the evening at 22. Seattle made the game interesting when third string quarterback R.J Archer connected with Thomas Rawls on a 19 yard Touchdown pass to make it 22 to 20 with 2:56 to play but that as close as Seattle would get.
The Seahawks did receive a visit from the injury bug on Friday, Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson hurt his ankle, and should be out two weeks. Wide receiver Chris Matthews, the Super Bowl XLIX standout, suffered a shoulder setback in the second quarter and is expected to be out 10 days to two weeks. Cornerback Mohammed Seisay, who the Seahawks acquired in a recent trade with the Detroit Lions, injured his groin in the first half and his injury status will be determined next week.