Seahawks Drop Preseason Opener to Denver
SEATTLE (AP) — Brock Osweiler was composed and efficient, leading the Denver Broncos to scores on all five first-half possessions. An impressive effort, even if it came against a makeshift Seattle defense.
Osweiler was 15 of 20 for 151 yards and a touchdown playing the first half in the Broncos' 22-20 win over the Seahawks to open the preseason on Friday.
Starting in place of Peyton Manning, who went through pregame warmups but was just a spectator, Osweiler finished with a 112.7 rating. He capped his night with a 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end Virgil Green late in the first half for a 19-10 lead. Denver's offense finished with 240 yards in the half, although much of that came with most of Seattle's starting defense standing on the sideline.
Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Brandon Mebane and Bobby Wagner all barely played, while Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman didn't suit up for the Seahawks.
While Osweiler picked apart Seattle's defense, Russell Wilson was left to scramble for safety during his two series in the first quarter. Wilson was sacked by Von Miller and fumbled on Seattle's second offensive play. He was sacked on third-and-goal from the Denver 8 and completed only one pass — a 12-yard connection with new tight end Jimmy Graham that elicited one of the biggest cheers of the night.
The biggest highlight for Seattle was the electric debut of rookie Tyler Lockett. Drafted primarily for his ability as a returner, Lockett took a kickoff back 103 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter after having a 46-yard return in the first quarter.
But there were more concerns for Seattle than highlights after seeing two important players taken to the locker room with injuries. Wide receiver Chris Matthews, who had four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl, suffered a shoulder injury late in the first half on punt coverage diving for a loose ball after it was muffed by Solomon Patton.
And backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle's security should anything happen to Wilson, was taken to the locker room on a cart in the third quarter after his right ankle was rolled on.
Even Seattle coach Pete Carroll got dinged up. During Lockett's touchdown return, Carroll collided on the sideline with field judge Eugene Hall. Carroll was sent sprawling to the turf while Hall kept his balance and was able to throw the flag for sideline interference.
Denver continued to split its kicking duties, with Connor Barth and Brandon McManus both getting multiple chances. Barth hit from 28 and 23 yards, while McManus was good from 52, 44 and 23 yards.