Win or lose, it has been a privilege to be a part of the media invited to Broncos Training Camp and to have a once in a lifetime experience (for a retired Pipefitter) to sit in the Press Box at Sports Authority Field at Mile High for not only the annual Summer Scrimmage, but the first preseason game against the Seahawks. Fortunately, we won. My thanks to Kyle Montgomeryand most especially Patrick Smythe for this opportunity.
Before I get into the game action, I’d like to convey to the readers that it is quite a production that the Broncos media department puts on. I’m not sure just how many stations there are for the various media, but I would guess there are upwards of 80 seats complete with hard wired internet access. A cafeteria and executive restrooms too. Imagine this, if they take care of the Press, how much more do they care about the fanbase?
Seattle won the toss and deferred, so the Broncos got the ball first. Ronnie Hillman had a couple of 1 yard runs and Peyton Manning hit Demaryius Thomas for 15 yards. Denver stalled after a couple of penalties and had to punt. David Bruton made the tackle on Earl Thomas for no return yards.
The first series for the Broncos defense was very encouraging. DeMarcus Ware was in the Seahawks backfield on 3 of the first 4 plays and recorded a tackle and a Sack. Nate Irving was also very active. Kayvon Webster had a pass breakup as well. The defense held and forced Seattle to punt. Isaiah Burse ran the punt back 4 yards.
The 2nd series for the Broncos first team offense went a lot smoother, even though it was penalty riddled. Ronnie Hillman had a 9 yard carry and scored from 1 yard out. Andre Caldwell, Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas all caught passes.
The Seahawks started their implosion early this year. They committed an Unnecessary Roughness penalty on the touchdown play and on the ensuing kickoff, a flag for taunting was thrown. Shortly after that, the game was put in flux as a lightning storm invaded the immediate vicinity. The players removed themselves to their respective locker rooms and a few minutes later, it was announced that the game would be delayed for 20 minutes, but it turned into 45 minutes.
Both the 1st team and 2nd team Offenses each scored a touchdown on their 2nd series.
The 2nd team defense held Seattle to 2 Field Goals on two possessions and did not commit a penalty on either drive, which was pretty amazing since the refs have been just as active as the players.
It was a war of attrition for the RB’s. CJ Anderson went out with a concussion, then Juwan Thompson did as well, after putting on a display of both speed and power. Thompson was later cleared to return, which was good news. Kapri Bibbs looked like a man competing for a job, a quality that each Running Back accomplished.
Defensively, Quanterus Smith, Marvin Austin, Lerentee McCray and Shaq Barrett were successful in pressuring the Seahawk quarterbacks. Bradley Roby forced a fumble and defended the run well. Sione Fua and Mitch Unrein did pretty well too.
Jordan Norwood had an impressive 20 yard punt return. Seeing that familiar No. 11 return a punt without fumbling was refreshing. David Bruton and Corey Nelson had special teams stops and the kick coverage unit pinned the Seahawks at the 10 yard line on a kickoff in the final frame.
The third and 4th series from the 2nd team offense had some errors from Brock Osweiler. He was flushed from the pocket on three occasions. One resulted in a 1-yard gain, another, a sack and then he threw an interception inside the Broncos 5-yard line.
That interception resulted in a Seattle 6-play, 20 yard drive that ended in yet another field goal. The Denver defense committed one penalty during that drive.
Osweiler redeemed himself by leading the offense on a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive and using 4 minutes. He scrambled twice and threw a 34-yard strike to Jordan Norwood to give Denver the lead again.
The 3rd team defensive unit wasn’t too impressive, even though there were some second-teamers in the game. Seattle drove down the field with relative ease, but on 3rd and goal, Steven Johnson intercepted it in the end zone and returned the ball to the 25 yard line, allowing the Bronco offense to work on their 2-minute “kill the clock” drill and ice the game.
68,923 fans showed up for this preseason rematch and other than the official’s liberal use of their yellow hankies, it was nice to get a taste of football. Especially Winning Broncos football.
– Kaptain Kirk