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Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Kyle Orton was at the head of an effective Denver offense with 307 yards passing and two touchdowns as the Broncos handled Seattle, 31-14, at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Orton hit on 25-of-35 passes and developed a nice rapport with rookie receiver Demaryius Thomas, who sat out the season opener and all of the preseason with a foot injury. Denver’s top draft pick this past April, Thomas debuted with eight catches for 97 yards with a 21-yard touchdown.
A balanced rushing attack saw Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter both find the end zone, while Eddie Royal reeled in a 13-yard touchdown en route to a 65-yard, five-catch day for Denver (1-1), which bounced back from a disappointing loss to Jacksonville in Week 1.
Matt Hasselbeck was picked off three times — twice inside the Denver 10-yard line — and was held to 233 yards passing on 20-of-35 attempts.
The veteran signal-caller’s 20-yard scoring run and an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ben Obomanu provided the offense for Seattle (1-1), which got off to an impressive start in Week 1 with a sound 31-6 beating of NFC West favorite San Francisco.
The Seahawks turned it over a total of four times, with a muffed punt by rookie Walter Thurmond at his own 13-yard line leading to a quick seven points for Denver in the first quarter.
Costly turnovers and mental mistakes doomed the Seahawks today as the Denver Broncos rolled to a 31-14 win at Invesco Field.
Matt Hasselbeck threw three interceptions and Walter Thurmond fumbled a punt, opening the door for Denver to cruise to an easy victory.
Hasselbeck was 20/35 for 233 yards with one touchdown and those three interceptions. He also ran one in for a touchdown in the second half.
The Hawks look to get back on-track at home next week against the San Diego Chargers.
After three quarters, the Broncos lead the Seahawks 24-7. The Seahawks finally found the end zone in the third, with Ben Obomanu making a brilliant catch while shielding the ball from Champ Bailey.
A costly penalty on third down an a terrible display of tackling set-up the Broncos for a score on the ensuing possession. The Broncos are 14-16 on third down today, keeping the Seahawk defense on the field and sustaining drives at an impressive rate.
Three Seahawk turnovers have put the Seattle offense in reverse against Denver, leading to 17 Denver points. Matt Hasselbeck has thrown two interceptions, the first of which came inside the five yard-line on the Hawks first drive.
Seattle looks to get back on-track and limit mistakes in the second half against the Broncos.
(Sports Network) – One of the NFL’s biggest surprises of Week 1 will be seeking to prove its opening-day blowout was no fluke, as the Seattle Seahawks travel to the noisy confines of Invesco Field at Mile High to take on the Denver Broncos.
Seattle, with a new coaching staff including first-year head man Pete Carroll, and a roster equipped with more new faces than any other team in the league, whipped popular preseason NFC West favorite San Francisco by a 31-6 count at Qwest Field last Sunday.
Matt Hasselbeck was an efficient 18-of-23 passing for 170 yards, including touchdown passes to the resurgent Deion Branch and formerly anonymous Deon Butler, for a Seattle offense that committed just one turnover on the afternoon.
Defensively, the first game of the Carroll era brought a big play in the form of cornerback Marcus Trufant’s 32-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter, as Seattle made life miserable for both quarterback Alex Smith (26-of-45, 225 yards, 2 INT) and running back Frank Gore (17 carries, 38 yards).
The trick for the Seahawks will be to continue their first-rate play on the road, where Seattle was just 1-7 last year with all seven losses coming by double-digits. The Hawks were outscored, 260-117, away from Qwest Field last season, and their lone road win came at 1-15 St. Louis.
That road history has to be music to the ears of the Broncos, whose Week 1 didn’t go nearly as well as that of the Seahawks. Denver went to Jacksonville and dropped a 24-17 decision, picking up where they left off at the end of a 2009 season in which they imploded following a 6-0 start.
The Broncos outgained the Jags, 363-299, but had trouble finishing off drives and lost the turnover battle by a 2-0 margin.
Kyle Orton was 21-of-33 for 295 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss, playing the bulk of the game over celebrated rookie backup Tim Tebow. Tebow was in on a few first-half plays against Jacksonville, carrying twice for two yards and also lining up once at wide receiver.
The Denver defense, under the tutelage of new coordinator Don Martindale for the first time, allowed Jaguars quarterback David Garrard to complete 16-of-21 for 170 yards with three touchdown passes.
A unit missing top pass rusher Elvis Dumervil, who was lost for the year with a torn pectoral suffered in training camp, managed just one sack against Garrard on the afternoon.
Denver holds a 33-18 advantage in its all-time series with Seattle, but was a 23-20 home loser when the teams last met, during the 2006 season. The Broncos won the previous two meetings, a 31-9 road triumph in 2002 and a 20-7 home contest against their then-AFC West rival in 2001. Seattle, which played the Broncos twice a year as a member of the AFC West from 1978 through 2001, had a six-game losing streak in Denver prior to its 2006 win there.
In addition to the regular season series, the teams have met once in the postseason, with the Seahawks handing the Broncos a 31-7 loss in a 1983 AFC First-Round Playoff. The game marked the first postseason contest in the eventual Hall of Fame career of Denver quarterback John Elway.
Carroll is 2-2 in his career against the Broncos, including 1-0 while with the Jets (1994) and 1-2 with the Patriots (1997-99). The Broncos’ Josh McDaniels will be meeting both Carroll and the Seahawks for the first time as a head coach.
WHEN THE SEAHAWKS HAVE THE BALL
The veteran Hasselbeck was more efficient than spectacular in Week 1, missing on just five pass attempts and leading a group that turned the football over only once (an interception). Wideouts Mike Williams (4 receptions, 64 yards) and Branch (3 receptions, 11 yards, 1 TD), both of whom not so long ago seemed to have one foot out of the NFL, each contributed to Hasselbeck’s success. Tight end John Carlson (3 receptions, 36 yards) also got involved against the Niners. In the backfield, the three-headed monster of Justin Forsett (7 carries, 43 yards), Julius Jones (8 carries, 18 yards) and Leon Washington (6 carries, 12 yards) all got involved, with a 32-yard run by Forsett the team’s best run play of the day. First-round rookie left tackle Russell Okung (high ankle sprain) is questionable to make his formal NFL debut this week, and the team also placed guard Max Unger on season-ending injured reserve earlier this week with a toe problem. Former Bronco Tyler Polumbus started at left tackle last week, and was part of a group that allowed just one sack of Hasselbeck.
Questions about how the Broncos would rush the passer minus the 2009 Pro Bowler Dumervil didn’t subside to any great degree after the team’s Week 1 loss to the Jaguars. Denver had just one sack, that coming from former first-round pick Robert Ayers (5 tackles), and didn’t make life nearly difficult enough for Garrard, who posted the top passer rating of his career (138.9). Ayers and fellow pass rusher Jason Hunter (5 tackles) will need to be more consistent this week, which should in turn make life easier for a secondary led by the talented likes of cornerback Champ Bailey (2 tackles) and safety Brian Dawkins (3 tackles). Denver’s run defense wasn’t particularly stout either, as a group that struggled mightily down the stretch last season surrendered a combined 124 yards on 27 carries for Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings. Inside linebacker D.J. Williams posted a game-high 11 tackles in the win, but newcomers like nose tackle Jamal Williams (2 tackles) and end Justin Bannan (0 tackles) failed to provide enough of a presence.
WHEN THE BRONCOS HAVE THE BALL
Orton’s story in Week 1 was an all-too-familiar one for the Broncos and their fans. While the former Purdue star threw for 295 yards and had five completions of more than 25 yards, his interception to end the Broncos’ final drive prevented Denver from forcing overtime. The silver lining was the play of a questionable receiving corps, which got big efforts from the likes of Eddie Royal (8 reception, 98 yards), Brandon Lloyd (5 receptions, 117 yards) and Jabar Gaffney (3 receptions, 34 yards, 1 TD) as it attempted to turn the page on the Brandon Marshall era. McDaniels was clearly displeased with the work of running back Knowshon Moreno (15 rushes, 60 yards), who played after missing the preseason with a hamstring problem, prompting the team to trade for Patriots running back Laurence Maroney on Tuesday. Maroney, who was inactive for the New England opener, is expected to be in uniform on Sunday. Denver also needs a better effort out of an offensive line that allowed three sacks and 11 quarterback hurries last Sunday.
The manner in which the Seahawks shut down a talented 49ers offense in Week 1 was as big a surprise as the victory itself. Seattle picked off Alex Smith twice while sacking him on two occasions, also halting running back Frank Gore’s progress to the tune of 17 carries for 38 yards. Trufant (3 tackles) and safety Jordan Babineaux (7 tackles) had the picks, while Red Bryant and seventh-round rookie end Dexter Davis each broke through for sacks. The run- stopping crew was led by middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu (8 tackles) and tackle Colin Cole (4 tackles), while first-round rookie safety Earl Thomas also made his presence felt with six tackles in his formal NFL debut. Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill is expected to aide the unit this week, as he returns to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. The Seahawks allowed the fewest points in the league in Week 1, and were one of three teams that did not allow a touchdown (Ravens, Steelers).
The Seahawks had a promising week offensively in Week 1, but didn’t do much to raise the eyebrows of fantasy owners. The committee approach at running back makes Forsett, Jones, and Washington unattractive options, and it’s probably a bit too early to count on Hasselbeck, wideout Mike Williams or the Seattle defense in a starting role.
The Broncos are a bit more interesting this week. Maroney will likely get a major opportunity to shine at some point, but it’s a gamble to put him in your lineup even if you’re certain he’ll play. Orton isn’t really a fantasy starter at this stage, but Lloyd and Royal are intriguing options after the work they did last Sunday. Using either as a flex option might be prudent. Strong-legged kicker Matt Prater drilled a 54-yard field goal last week and is a good play.
The Seahawks’ blowout of the 49ers to start the Carroll era was all very touching, but it has aberration written all over it. You might remember that Seattle looked great in a Week 1 romp over the Rams last season, then promptly went out and lost seven of its next nine, including five consecutive road blowouts. That Seattle team, in its first year under Jim Mora, was supposed to have a new energy too. For their part, while the Broncos have their dysfunctional elements, they also have a little more certainty about who they are at this stage, will be playing before a boisterous home crowd, and are desperate to halt a losing streak that is now at five games dating back to last season. Look for Denver to erase the residue of last week’s disappointment and earn a decisive win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Broncos 24, Seahawks 10
The Seahawks released their inactive list ahead of today's matchup against the Denver Broncos. The Seahawks will go without Anthony McCoy and Cameron Morrah at tight end this week, leaving John Carlson to shoulder the load.
The official Seahawks twitter account has the list.
After sitting last week, Golden Tate is active today, apparently learning his lesson about working hard in practice.
SB Nation Seattle's Wendell Maxey writes that Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams is rediscovering his career in professional football.
For the past two seasons, Williams has been out of the NFL and at a point of no return as he tried to process where he's been and where he wants to go. The former 10th overall pick that lasted just three unproductive seasons playing for the Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans, Mike experienced the ups and downs of the NFL in the blink of an eye. And it came to a point where he had a choice to make: Williams could either carry the cross of being a franchise savior turned bust in Detroit, or admit he was broken and needed to be fixed.
And that is really where the road back to football began for Williams. Recovery happens on a daily basis. That goes for life on the field and life off the field. It's a little something Williams learned by rising and falling in this league.
The Seattle Seahawks released their final injury report ahead of this weekend's game against the Denver Broncos. Russell Okung (ankle) and Chester Pitts (knee) have been ruled out and Mike Williams makes an appearance on the report, listed as probable with a thigh injury.
The official Seahawks Twitter account has the full report.
By attending last Sunday's home-opener, Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill may have violated the terms of his one-game suspension.
The News Tribune's Eric Williams passed along the news on twitter.
He later clarified that the league has contacted the Seahawks, but Carroll has not talked to league representatives. There's been no word on what the punishment would be if Hill did violate his suspension by attending the game yet.
Greg Johns of the Seattle PI reports on Twitter that the Seattle Seahawks have made some minor practice squad moves.
With Max Unger out for the year and Russell Okung still recovering from a high ankle sprain, the Seahawks are continuing to shuffle the offensive line ahead of this weekends game against the Denver Broncos.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports on Twitter that the Seattle Seahawks put offensive lineman Josh Beekman through a workout on Tuesday.
Yesterday, the Seahawks placed guard Max Unger on injured reserve with a toe injury that will end his season.
The Seahawks made a few roster moves today, signing Mansfield Wrotto, activating Leroy Hill and placing Max Unger on injured reserve, ending his season.
Unger's was injured early in Sunday's opener, but played the rest of the game while nursing a left foot injury. The Hawks will again reshuffle the offensive line, with Unger out for the season and left tackle Russell Okung still recovering from a high-ankle sprain.
Carroll also expects Hill to play this week, though he won't be inserted into the starting lineup for Sunday's game.
The Seattle Seahawks rose from No. 26 to No. 21 in this week’s ESPN NFL power rankings. The team they beat on Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers, fell from No. 13 to No. 20.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com explains that offseason impressions trumped on-field results in these rankings.
One week isn’t much to go on, but it’s all we’ve got beyond the perceptions — and misperceptions — built up over the NFL offseason. The Texans, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs remained lower-ranked than teams they defeated.
The Seahawks’ performance against the San Francisco 49ers showed they could function offensively against a strong defensive front seven despite playing with a left tackle acquired about a week earlier.
There was a lot to like during Seattle’s week 1 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawk running game, however, wasn’t exactly exemplary, writes Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times.
“We can’t be misled by the fact we had 70-something yards rushing,” coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s not any great number at all, but half of it was on one run.”
Seattle certainly didn’t run its way to the lead Sunday. The Seahawks didn’t run on the third-quarter drive that culminated in Branch’s 3-yard touchdown catch five minutes into the second half. At that point, Seattle led 28-6 and had 10 yards rushing on seven carries.
The only sign of progress on the ground was the fourth-quarter field-goal drive in which Seattle ran the ball eight times, using three backs, gained 48 yards and two first downs and put Seattle in position for the final score.
The good news for Seattle: the Denver defense gave up 134 yards on 34 carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday. Maurice Jones-Drew lead the charge with 98 yards on 28 carries.
Greg Johns of the Seattle PI reports that the gimpy Seattle Seahawks offensive line just got gimpier thanks to an injury to right guard Max Unger.
An already short-handed offensive line received another blow Monday when the Seahawks learned right guard Max Unger suffered an injury to the big toe on his left foot that will likely cause him to miss this week’s game at Denver.
[Head Coach Pete] Carroll declined to say what the Seahawks will do to replace Unger, though the likely option would be inserting newly acquired Stacy Andrews at right guard or put him at right tackle and shift Sean Locklear to guard.
The Seattle Times' Danny O'neil notes that Leroy Hill will be back from suspension this week and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll expects Hill to play, though he won't start.
Scout.com’s Brian McIntyre has posted an analysis of the Seattle Seahawks’ play-calling on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers and revealed some interesting new tendency this season.
The Seahawks ran 47 official offensive plays against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
After rarely using 2-TE sets during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, the Seahawks used at least two tight ends on 53.2% of their plays on Sunday.
Seattle frequently had a tight end lined up next to Polumbus, and in the running game, would have two tight ends, or Ganther lined up as an h-back, on the right-side of the line.
Peter King of CNNSI.com writes that Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams is starting to pull himself together after a rocky early NFL career.
Mike Williams (the Seattle one) grows up. "I’m 26 now,‘’ Williams said after his first NFL start in three years Sunday, Seattle’s rout of the 49ers. "The game’s a little more important to me now than it was when I first came in the league.’’
Absence from the game made the 6-5, 233-pound Williams’ heart grow fonder. His poor practice habits and laissez faire approach to games got him canned from the league after only seven starts over four frustrating years; he’ll always be known as one of the receivers Lions GM Matt Millen has on his NFL résumé — or tombstone.
I asked Williams if he’d seen Millen or any of the Detroiters responsible for taking him high in the 2005 draft. "I’m not sure they’d want to talk to me,’’ he said. But Pete Carroll, his old college coach, gave Williams a last shot this summer, and the ’Hawks liked how he played so much that they cut rich free-agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The four-catch, 64-yard performance Sunday by Williams was only the third 50-plus-yard game of his career. Watching his route-running Sunday, he appears to be a big target with fluid movements of a man four or five inches shorter. Could be a great find.
The name of the NFL game is week-to-week consistency. Williams is the type of player that you root for with cautious optimism.
Entering week one, the early headlines were all about players coming and going and the uncertain nature of what would happen when the new-look Seattle Seahawks finally took the field. This week, it's all cupcakes and rainbows, as the Seahawks throttled the San Francisco 49ers in their season opener and observers are starting to come around to the idea that head coach Pete Carroll might actually know what he's doing.
The sky is the limit for optimism today, given how Seattle executed on Sunday and given the fact that San Francisco had been picked by many as the favorite in the NFC West.
John Morgan of SB Nation's FieldGulls.com sees good things happening on both sides of the ball.
Game planning made a still gelling offense trustworthy, able to cash in, and it did cash in. Matt Hasselbeck did not look radically different than he has for many years, but instead of run, run, run against a dominating run defense, broken only by desperate play-action bombs, Jeremy Bates identified the Niners weakness, passing, and specifically, double-moves, and attacked.
And attacked, until it was safe to run.
What a revelation, Bates game plan. What a difference a smart secondary coach can make to an already talented secondary. What a difference from Marcus Trufant, but where we knew Trufant could return, every other member of Seattle's coverage, from its linebackers swarming, to its corners keeping tight, to its safeties flirting with huge plays, was a revelation from seasons past. Just amazing, and exciting, and ...
Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
For Greg Johns of the Seattle PI, wide receiver Mike Williams, who caught four passes for 64 yards, was the story on Sunday, proving the doubters wrong.
"A lot of people didn't give us a chance," he said. "But we've been saying all along, people don't know what we're doing here. People don't know what we put in during the week, how we prepare and how much it means to us. So we're just going to take this game and move on."
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times quotes Seahawks safety Lawyer Milloy, admitting the roster shakeup was confusing but described a team that pulled together over the course of its week one preparation.
"The atmosphere last Monday was a little weird," said Milloy, a 15-year NFL veteran. "You were looking at guys, and they're looking back at you, a little uneasy. But on Wednesday, it got a little better. On Thursday, it got a little better. You saw handshakes. Players welcomed the new players. And then we started getting them caught up to our style of play. Now, it's just normal.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times writes that Carroll was able to joke about quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's interception on the team's first offensive play from scrimmage after the win.
"Matt had a thought that he really wanted to challenge the team and made sure we had our backs against the wall from the beginning," Carroll said jokingly. "So he just gave them one right off the bat. Because that's what it felt like."
The coach could joke about it after Hasselbeck led the team to 31 consecutive points in a rousing comeback - not only for Seattle, but for Hasselbeck, who showed why he's still here at quarterback even as the team is being rebuilt around him.
And for Art Thiel of the Seattle PI the season-opening win was all about defense.
The result was 14 stops on 15 third-down plays, which is how a defense pitches a touchdown shutout in the NFL.
"We felt pretty good with our base stuff, which is really a big deal to us," Carroll said of a defense that showed only flashes of stoutness in the exhibition season. "We've made a transition in the way we play up front from how they've played in the last couple of years here. Things worked out well against what we think is a very good running team."
Sayre Bedinger of SB Nation's Mile High Report writes that the Broncos simply weren't clicking on all cylinders out of the gate.
Some pills are tough to swallow. Losing the first game is never a good thing, but sometimes you learn more from losing than getting lucky, and hopefully that's the way the Broncos approach practice this week as they try and correct the multitude of mistakes that were made in Jacksonville on Sunday.
The goal for the game was undoubtedly to stop Maurice Jones-Drew on the ground, and the Broncos seemed to do that pretty well today. But it wasn't quite enough.
The theme for the Broncos today was sloppy. As the game would suggest, when it rains it really pours, and it poured on the Broncos today in embarrassing fashion.
"We put so much work into this season so far that whatever happened last year is so far out of our minds," said Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, who played well and was a final-drive interception away from playing great. "But I know one thing: I want to see us respond to adversity, respond to a loss. We didn't do that last year. We'd get a loss and let it linger for three or four weeks."
Meanwhile, Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post writes that another Broncos quarterback, rookie Tim Tebow, was getting a ton of attention despite barely impacting the game.
But outside the locker room on a sauna of a September afternoon, all anyone from the media wanted to ask about was the 2 yards Tebow gained on two rushing attempts in the game.
"I'd definitely like to help them out more," said Tebow, doing his best not to be embarrassed by the undue attention.
Does anybody else remember when the Broncos were known nationally as a legit Super Bowl contender rather than a Tebow sideshow?
Tebow has more impact on Facebook than the field.
Finally, Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post writes that the Broncos will need to shore up their run defense.
"Bottom line is we have to stop them, that is the bottom line for us," Broncos linebacker Robert Ayers said. "Whatever happens, wherever we are on the field, whoever is in the game, we have to stop them. We didn't stop them enough."
And while they were far tougher at the point of attack most of the time Sunday, the Broncos didn't stop the Jaguars enough, as Jacksonville rushed for 134 yards in a 24-17 victory.
For Pete Carroll, then, this week's question becomes: Can we sustain the effort and intensity in a hostile environment? For the Broncos, it seems, the question is more simple: When will we start clicking?
The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will face off on Sunday, September 19th, at 1:15PM at Denver's Invesco Field in NFL week 2 action.
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