The Seattle Seahawks rained on Peyton Manning’s home debut by beating the Denver Broncos 30-10.
Manning went 16-for-23 for 177 yards, and threw 2 interceptions in one half of play. The first pick was a tipped ball by defensive end Red Bryant that ended up in the hands of outside linebacker K.J. Wright. The second was a wobbly pass intended for Cornelius Ingram that was picked off by safety Jeron Jackson.
Manning moved the ball competently, especially in the first half’s closing drive. He ran the two-minute offense perfectly marching the Broncos down inside the red zone. Unfortunately tight end Jacob Tamme dropped a pass in the end zone to kill the drive. The Broncos had to settle for a Matt Prater field goal to make it 10-9 at the half.
“I was pretty pleased with the first half,” head coach John Fox said. “Other than the 0-3 turnover margin, I thought we did pretty good to take the lead 10-9 before the half.”
Willis McGahee saw plenty of action with 8 carries for 28 yards including a 1-yard touchdown run to lead the team in rushing.
The Broncos starting defense held the Seahawks to all field goals in the first half, and just 103 yards of total offense. Rookie Derek Wolfe, Mike Adams, and Joe Mays led the team in tackles in the first half with four a piece. Chris Harris led all players with three pass deflections and he added two solo tackles.
Four year veteran David Bruton was an all-star on special teams. He had two special teams tackles and got his hands on two punts. He’s a lock to make this 2012 roster with that kind of play.
“It felt great, just to put on the film that I’m a threat,” Bruton said following the game.
Unfortunately, the Seahawks blew things wide open in the second half of play. The Broncos were outscored 21-0 in the second half as back up QB Russell Wilson made a solid case for himself going 10-for-17 for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns.
To compare and contrast, Broncos backup QB Brock Osweiler went 5-for-11 for 38 yards and took a sack. That’s a far cry from his 4-for-7 for 38 yards and a touchdown performance last week against the Bears.
Caleb Hanie and Adam Weber didn’t take a snap for the Broncos. Instead, Fox and Co. wanted Manning and Osweiler to get the reps. Don’t mistake Osweiler as the definite No. 2 guy, however.
“Without watching the tape, it’s a little bit premature to make those assessments, but all along we knew that was going to be an evaluation that was going to take all four games,” Fox said of deciding on the backup quarterbacks.
Quarterbacks aside, the major concern for the team in the second half was the missed tackles. It wasn’t just one guy either. For example running back Kregg Lumpkin went 16 yards for the score after three guys couldn’t wrap him up.
The Broncos gave up 228 yards on the ground.
“I thought we were a little shoddier,” Fox said of the team’s defense. “We came in the game a little light on defense as well and that kind of showed as the game progressed, but I think it’s fairly evident we have a lot of work to do in that area.”
Last week, the Broncos looked week-one-ready. This week, it’s clear that they still have a lot of work to do before September 9 rolls around.
The great thing about preseason is it’s all part of the process. Get those turnovers, missed tackles, dropped passes, and missed assignments out of the way now.
Another week of practice and learning from those mistakes is on tap. So are the San Francisco 49ers in seven days. Let’s see how these Broncos bounce back.