Seahawks vs. Broncos score takeaway: Geno Smith passes Russell Wilson as Denver flop in critical time

Russell Wilson may have been the headliner for Monday night’s game between the Broncos and Seahawks, but his successor in Seattle, Geno Smith, left the Week 1 primetime finale victorious. A nearly flawless performance from Smith, coupled with a physical display of defense from Pete Carroll in front of a raucous Seattle crowd, kept the Seahawks ahead of their old friend all night. With Wilson threatening to play the spoiler and steal the game at the end, the Broncos’ inexplicable clock management on the final series left Denver unable to complete the comeback, securing a 17-16 win for the Seahawks over “Monday Night Football”.

Here are some instant takeaways from Monday’s big Seattle upset:

Why the Seahawks won

Believe it or not, Geno Smith actually played as the most stable and comfortable quarterback on the night. Aside from a single cross-over heave at the start of the competition, the longtime No.2 not only kept the ball out of harm’s way, but proactively extended plays, taking a quasi-backyard approach to involve eight different recipients. Seattle didn’t close or extend rides as well as they could have, but under Smith’s leadership the team never lost a lead, with Rashaad Penny showing plenty of shine despite just 12 runs. The defense was just as good, if not better, bending and bending but never breaking, giving up over 400 total yards but forcing a pair of fumbles on the goal line, making six saves behind the line and showing a sustained physical. Seattle was, quite simply, the most disciplined and inspired team on the field.

Why the Broncos lost

There are many reasons, including the fact that neither Melvin Gordon nor Javonte Williams could keep the ball on the goal line. But none will ring louder this week than the collective mental vacuum between their new QB coaching pair of Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett, who let 30 seconds slip on their final streak, only to settle for a 64 start. meters. basket test. It was inexplicable clock mismanagement for any organization, but especially one that did everything to add power to QB this offseason, only to relegate said QB to the sidelines in critical time. Denver’s “D” was fiery to keep things close, Bradley Chubb in particular wreaking havoc, and Russ found Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton for big plays. However, none of this matched a reliable pace; it was a scrappy, unruly start punctuated by 12 penalties.


A fumble on the goal line is one thing; back-to-back fumbles on the goal line are another. When Javonte Williams spat the ball in the second of the Broncos’ two red-zone failures, he ensured Seattle held on to their tight lead in the final minutes of the third quarter. And, ultimately, Denver only got the ball back for two more series, going 15 plays on its next drive but settling for three runs, then heading for Seattle’s 46-yard line on its final series. Once the Broncos returned the ball a second time with a knock on the end zone gate, fate felt like it belonged to the Seahawks.

Game of the game

Give it to the entire Seahawks defense, who stuffed Melvin Gordon on the goal line before dropping the ball to force the first big takeaway of the night:

And after

The Seahawks (1-0), who dominate the NFC West after a week, will travel to San Francisco to visit rivals the 49ers (0-1), who lost to the Bears in bad weather on Sunday. The Broncos (0-1), meanwhile, will make their home debut against the Texans (0-0-1), tied with the Colts.

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