Seahawks vs. Broncos score, takeaways: Geno Smith tops Russell Wilson as Denver falters in crunch time – CBS Sports

Seahawks vs. Broncos score, takeaways: Geno Smith tops Russell Wilson as Denver falters in crunch time - CBS Sports

Russell Wilson may have been the headliner of Monday night’s matchup 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 from Pete Carroll’s defense in front of a raucous Seattle crowd, kept the Seahawks in front of their old friend all night. While Wilson threatened to play spoiler and steal the game at the end, inexplicable clock management on the Broncos’ final series left Denver unable to complete the comeback, securing a 17-16 victory for the Seahawks on “Monday Night Football.”

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

Why the Seahawks won

Believe it or not, Geno Smith actually played like the steadiest, most comfortable quarterback of the night. Aside from a single cross-body move early in the contest, the longtime No. 2 not only kept the ball out of harm’s way but proactively extended plays, adopting a quasi-backcourt approach to involve eight different receivers. Seattle didn’t close or extend drives as well as it could, but under Smith’s guidance, the team never lost a lead, with Rashaad Penny showing plenty of explosion despite only 12 carries. The defense was just as good, if not better, bending and bending but never breaking, surrendering more than 400 total yards but forcing a pair of goal-line fumbles, making six stops behind the line and displaying sustained physicality. Seattle was, simply put, the more 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 hold the ball on goal line runs. But none will ring louder this week than the collective mental lapse between their new QB coach pairing of Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett, who let 30 seconds tick off the clock on their final series, only to settle for a 64-yard field goal. field goal attempt. It was poor, inexplicable clock management for any organization, but especially one that went all in to add star power at QB this offseason, only to relegate said QB to the sidelines in crunch time. Denver’s “D” was fighting to keep things close, with Bradley Chubb in particular causing havoc, and Russ finding Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton for big plays. None of it added up to a reliable pace, though; it was an inconsistent, undisciplined debut punctuated by 12 penalties.

Turning point

A goal line fumble is one thing; two straight goal-line fumbles is another. When Javonte Williams coughed up the ball on the second of the Broncos’ two red-zone fumbles, he ensured Seattle would hold on to its tight lead heading into the final minutes of the third quarter. And, in the end, Denver only got the ball back for two more series, going 15 plays on its next drive but settling for three points, then moving to the Seattle 46-yard line on its last series. After the Broncos turned the ball over a second time knocking on the door of the end zone, destiny just felt like it belonged to the Seahawks.

Game of the game

Give it to the entire Seahawks defense, which stuffed Melvin Gordon at the goal line before punching the ball loose to force the first major sack of the night:

What follows

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

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