SEATTLE — There can be many video games nonetheless to are available in Russell Wilson’s Denver Broncos profession.
But in his first begin with his new workforce in addition to his first return engagement to the metropolis the place he performed his first 10 NFL seasons, the quarterback the Broncos traded 5 draft picks and three gamers for — the one they signed to a $245 million extension earlier this month — was the second selection with the season opener on the line.
Wilson’s stat line definitely regarded the half in Monday evening’s 17-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. He completed the emotional night 29-of-42 passing for 340 yards and a landing.
But with 20 seconds to play and trailing by one, Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett selected to have Brandon McManus attempt a 64-yard field goal for the win as an alternative of letting Wilson strive to lead a play on fourth-and-5 at the Seahawks’ 46 – yard line.
“We had been proper on the line [of McManus’ range],” Hackett mentioned. “… Brandon gave it his finest shot. … clearly, I want we might have gotten a lot nearer, it put us in that bizarre spot as a result of we had been in that field goal vary. … We simply made that call and take our shot there.”
Wilson supplied his take.
“We acquired the finest field goal kicker possibly in the game,” Wilson mentioned. “… We acquired there and sadly it did not go in. … I imagine in coach Hackett, I imagine in what we’re doing, I imagine in all the things.”
As Wilson added, “I do not suppose it was the mistaken resolution.”
McManus’ first attempt sailed large left, however Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had referred to as a timeout simply earlier than the snap. Hackett mentioned he did not contemplate sending the offense again on the field after the negated miss as a result of “I used to be completely satisfied he acquired that one out of the method. We had loads of distance and thought we might have the opportunity to make it.”
Carroll mentioned he was “shocked” the Broncos opted to kick.
“We weren’t pondering field goal there,” he mentioned. “We had been pondering it was fourth down they usually had been nonetheless going. So it gave us a probability to win the game on that play. That was lucky there. Fortunate they did not make the kick. He kicked the hell out of the ball .”
McManus’ second attempt additionally sailed large left, and Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, who gained a coaching camp battle over Drew Lock for the job as Wilson’s successor, took a knee on three snaps to shut a stirring evening throughout. Lock was one among the three gamers the Broncos had despatched to the Seahawks in the March blockbuster.
“This was a particular game, simply because I acquired to see and play towards a few of my closest pals,” Wilson mentioned.
“I would not be the place I’m in the present day with out this place … however I did not play [tonight] for simply this one game. I’ve acquired a greater mission.”
Almost from the second the full NFL schedule was launched, the Wilson-Seahawks reunion was circled on loads of calendars. Wilson, his new teammates with the Broncos and the Seahawks all publicly performed the just-another-game card.
But the reply to the query of whether or not Wilson could be booed after 10 seasons in Seattle that included 9 Pro Bowl picks, two Super Bowl journeys and one Lombardi trophy was answered from the second Wilson took the field for pregame actions. The Seahawks trustworthy booed lustily all through.
The crowd, as if it was an effort to present a lot of these available had moved on, even chanted “Ge-no, Ge-no, Ge-no” at any time when Smith made any performs of word, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll usually was gesturing to the crowd to get louder at any time when the Broncos had the ball. The crowd chanted Smith’s identify as the quarterback took these closing knee-downs to seal the win.
“It did not hassle me,” Wilson mentioned. “It was a hostile setting; it all the time has been. I did not count on to get a spherical of applause each as soon as in a whereas. I gave all the things I had right here on daily basis, on daily basis, and anyone that claims anything, they’re fully mistaken.”
Wilson and the Broncos’ offense had a toned-down begin, given Wilson did not goal a large receiver on a move attempt till he attached with Jerry Jeudy on a 67-yard catch-and-run landing with 5 minutes, 34 seconds left in the first half. But total, at the same time as they acquired issues cranked up, the Broncos could not flip their 433 yards of offense into sufficient factors.
Denver operating backs Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams every misplaced a fumble on performs that began at the Seahawks’ 1-yard line to negate two potential scoring drives, and the Broncos failed to tally touchdowns on their different two journeys inside the Seattle 20-yard line.
Toss in the Broncos’ 12 penalties (for 106 yards) and the Seahawks gained regardless of simply 253 whole yards and no second-half factors.
“I feel he performed rather well, he took care of the soccer, he made actually good selections, he had some explosive performs, he was in a position to distribute the ball throughout the field,” Hackett mentioned of Wilson. “That’s what makes I’m actually pissed off for him.”
On the different hand, Smith was nearly good in the first half. Smith accomplished his first 13 passes of the game and was 17-of-18 with two touchdowns to lead the Seahawks to a 17-13 halftime benefit. The Broncos’ protection pitched a shutout in the second half.
“We form of acquired the jitters out [in the first half],” Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb mentioned.
“When we tuned it in … we acquired again on monitor.”
As Wilson defined, “We had a lot of nice performs, we threw the ball round the field … had a lot of nice issues. The actuality is we did not get the ball in the end zone on these crimson zone performs. ”
Wilson had arrived at the stadium in an ensemble worthy of style week a number of hours earlier than kickoff, and nearly each second was a reunion of types as he moved by way of the stadium and thru his warm-ups.
With a handshake right here and a wave there, Wilson went about the enterprise of attempting to at the very least proceed to stick to the script he and the remainder of the Broncos had tried to hold to all by way of the days and weeks main up to Monday’s game.
Former Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman appeared on the stadium video boards half-hour earlier than kickoff to a loud ovation. And former operating again Marshawn Lynch was one other of a number of ex-Seahawks roaming the sidelines throughout warm-ups.
It all ended with McManus’ miss and a celebration by the Seattle “12s” Wilson had hoped would welcome him again.
“Tonight was particular,” Wilson mentioned.
“It was nonetheless a particular setting in a place that I like.”