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Seahawks roar to 2-0 in preseason
DENVER – The Seahawks seem to have found a successful preseason formula: A lot of defense in the first half, followed by a lot of Russell Wilson in the second half.
It worked again in Saturday night’s 30-10 victory over the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High – spoiling Peyton Manning’s home debut – just as it worked in last week’s win over the Tennessee Titans.
Wilson, the rookie quarterback, led an 80-yard touchdown drive to open the second half and then hooked up with Tyrell Sutton on a 34-yard TD pass and rookie tight end Cooper Helfet for an 8-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter while directing the No. 2 offense.
The No. 1 defense, meanwhile, forced three first-half turnovers that set up a trio of field goals by Steven Hauschka.
The win lifted the Seahawks’ preseason record to 2-0 for the first time since 2009, when they went 4-0. They travel to Kansas City next week to face the Chiefs on Friday night.
This also was only the second time the Seahawks have beaten the Broncos in the preseason. The other victory came in 2009, as the Broncos still lead the series 8-2.
Jeron Johnson had an impressive second quarter for the Seahawks after taking over for Pro Bowl strong safety Kam Chancellor. On his third play, Johnson forced a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Leroy Hill. On the Broncos’ next possession, Johnson intercepted an overthrown pass by Manning on third down.
Each play set up a field goal by Hauschka.
Johnson’s fumble-forcing hit on Lance Ball that was recovered by Hill should have produced seven points, but Terrell Owens dropped Matt Flynn’s nicely thrown pass in the end zone on the next play. The Seahawks settled for a 36-yard field by Hauschka.
Flynn completed 6 of 13 passes for 31 yards in the first half, before Wilson took over the third quarter. And Wilson picked up where he left off in the second half of the opener, driving the No. 2 offense 80 yards in 14 plays to Kregg Lumpkin’s 16-yard touchdown run. Wilson contributed three completions for 36 yards and two runs for 15 yards to the drive.
Manning, meanwhile, was 16 of 23 for 177 yards, but threw the two interceptions.
Terrell Owens did not fare as well in his Seahawks debut, failing to catch a pass despite being targeted five times in the first half.
Also in the first quarter, second-year linebacker K.J. Wright did it by land and by air. He made sure the Broncos’ first possession was a three-and-out by tackling Willis McGahee for a 4-yard loss on third down. Wright then intercepted a Manning pass that was deflected by defensive end Red Bryant and returned it 24 yards after the Broncos had the ball at the Seahawks’ 9 following a blocked punt.
Johnson’s fumble-forcing hit on Lance Ball that was recovered by Hill in the second quarter should have produced seven points, but Owens dropped Flynn’s nicely thrown pass in the end zone on the next play. The Seahawks settled for a 36-yard field by Hauschka.
In the scoring drive to open the second half, Wilson completed three passes for 36 yards, including a 26-yarder to Anthony McCoy on third-and-17. He also ran twice for 15 yards.
The defense also continued to do its part, as the Broncos’ first three possessions in the second half resulted in three-and-outs. And Wilson then took over with his TD passes to Lumpkin and Helfet.