Week 1 is in the books, and it was a bit of a rough one. The Denver Broncos come limping out of week 1 with an 0-1 record, after falling to the Seattle Seahawks 17-16 on a loud Monday night in Seattle, Washington. Let’s break it down, shall we?
Statistically, one would believe that the Broncos won this game if you just read the box score. Time of possession was in Denver’s favor 34 minutes to 26 for Seattle. They bested the Seahawks in first downs, total yards, passing yards, rushing yards and yards per play. Jerry Jeudy saved an underthrown, should have been picked-off pass from Russell Wilson and used some quick moves to find himself in the endzone. Second year back, Javonte Williams, although under-utilized, had an eye-popping 6.1 yards per carry, Russell Wilson completed 69% of his passes and racked up 340 yards in the air.
The defense, which got a very slow start, started to gel as a group and pitched a second-half shutout. Standout, second year CB Pat Surtain was making plays all over the field and Bradley Chubb looked to be in All-Pro shape, coming up with 2 sacks and a forced fumble, although it was recovered by a Seahawks offensive lineman.
Oh, boy! Where do we even start with this one? The Broncos came into Seattle and appeared completely unprepared. They were not ready for the intensity of the crowd. They were not a well oiled machine and most of the time, looked like they had never played any type of football together. The fact that Javonte Williams only received 7 touches is an atrocity, especially when you factor in the fact that Melvin Gordon received 12 touches out of the backfield. Two Russell Wilson passes should have been intercepted and 2 goal line fumbles, one by each of the aforementioned running backs is not what this team is looking to do. Punch in one or two of those goal line runs, and we wouldn’t have heard about the final minute of Coach Hackett’s “Clueless in Seattle” episode.
It was ugly and I mean ugly. 12 penalties costing the Broncos more than 100 yards. A false start penalty on Courtland Sutton on a walk-in touchdown. Multiple delay of game calls. Too many early check-down passes and not enough shots taken to get the WRs involved in the game. The opening script looked as if it was scribbled on a napkin as the Broncos took the field Monday night. The whole team just looked dazed and confused, and it all led up to one of the most insane sequences I have ever seen to end a game. While Russell Wilson needed to take a timeout with roughly a minute on the clock, Peyton Manning was able to call timeout 62 times before Coach Hackett decided to utilize his first timeout with 20 seconds remaining, essentially throwing 40 seconds and the game away. Then there was the missed kick, but the Seahawks iced the kicker as the ball sailed wide-left. Surely, Hackett would change his mind and send his offense led by his $250 million dollar man back onto the field to complete a 4th down conversion needing 5 yards to move the sticks and keep the game alive. Surely, he would use his next two timeouts wisely and the Broncos would walk away with a win. Surely…..NOT! He sent kicker Brandon McManus back out to his “target line” although he has never made a 64 yard kick and has less than a 20% success rate on kicks over 60 (don’t forget, he plays in Denver). After McManus sent his second attempt wide-left, just as he did the first time, the Seahawks strolled out onto the field to take a knee and walk away with a win. Instead, as Geno Smith lined the team up in victory formation and took a knee, Hackett, obviously desperate at this point in time, called his second timeout. Then on 2nd and 13, Geno took another knee, but Hackett had to make sure he didn’t leave town with any timeouts in his pocket, so he called Denver’s last timeout, only prolonging the inevitable and the pain that all of Broncos Country was feeling. Finally, after a 3rd kneel-down by Geno, the game was over and Hackett’s NFL head coaching debut was in the books. If you don’t wanna take my word for it, ask the Hyenas how it looked…
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