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Seahawks' nine-game preseason win-streak snapped in 21-16 loss to Denver Broncos
DENVER – All good things must come to an end. And in the end, the Seahawks’ franchise-best nine-game winning streak in the preseason was snapped by the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.
The 21-16 loss in their opener was the Seahawks’ first loss in the preseason since 2011. The Seahawks will look to start a new streak next Friday night in their preseason home opener when they host the San Diego Chargers at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks spotted the Broncos a 7-0 lead and then took a 10-7 lead in the lightning-delayed first half.
The Seahawks’ defense then held the Broncos to 17 yards on five plays to force a punt on the first possession of the game. But the Seahawks generated no net yards and had to punt. On a third-down play where free safety Rahim Moore appeared to come up with an interception of a pass that went off the hands of tight end Zach Miller, the replay showed the ball had hit the ground.
The Broncos got the ball back and drove 61 yards in 14 plays to a 1-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Hillman. Peyton Manning went to Demaryius Thomas three times on third downs and each produced a first down – a 9-yarder on third-and-4, a 7-yarder on third-and-7 and a 9-yarder on third-and-7.
The 6-foot-3, 229-pound Thomas had five catches for 52 yards in the quarter by being there when Manning and the Broncos needed him on the TD drive that consumed more than nine minutes and also included seven penalties and another play where there were offsetting penalties. Thomas also had a 15-yard reception on the Broncos’ first possession and another catch on the TD drive for 12 yards.
The game was then suspended for 45 minutes because of lightning strikes within the eight-mile limit around Sports Authority Field.
Once play resumed, the Seahawks moved to their own 40 on passes of 11 and 18 yards from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin when the first quarter ended. The Seahawks tied the score on a 1-yard run by Christine Michael with 7:12 left in the half.
The penalty-propelled drive covered 90 yards in 14 plays and included a holding call against the Broncos on third-and-8, a facemask penalty on fourth-and-1 and a pass interference penalty in the end zone on second-and-goal from the 12 – all producing first downs. Russell Wilson was 4 of 4 for 37 yards and scrambled once for 7 yards on the drive that started in the first quarter.
The Seahawks got the ball to open the second half, but the possession lasted only three plays and produced a minus-7 yards as Tarvaris Jackson was sacked on third down.
The Broncos then got a 20-yard punt return, setting up a five-play, 57-yard touchdown drive that ended with Kapri Bibbs’ 3-yard scoring run. Back-to-back holding calls and delay-of-game penalty put the Broncos in a first-and-35 situation, but a pass interference penalty against Jeremy Lane bailed them out.
Pryor then took over at QB for the Seahawks and was 4 of 7 for 45 yards in directing a 12-play, 58-yard drive to a 40-yard field goal by Hauschka that made it 14-13 with 4:50 left in the quarter. The key play was Pryor nicely thrown pass to Bryan Walters for a 26-yard gain on third-and-9.
A.J. Jefferson left the game with an ankle injury, but not before intercepting a pass on the final play of the third quarter. And, on the Broncos’ possession following Hauschka’s field goal, the fifth-year cornerback made a couple of big plays. On the first, he was beaten by Cody Latimer, but recovered to break up the pass. On the second, Jefferson tipped away a pass that was intended for Bennie Fowler.
Taking advantage of Jefferson’s interception and 11-yard return to the Broncos’ 24-yard line to end the third quarter, Pryor led a six-play, 20-yard drove to a 22-yard field goal by Hauschka that gave the Seahawks a 16-14 lead with 11:22 left in the quarter. The big play was Pryor’s 16-yard pass to tight end Morrell Presley.
But the Broncos came right back to take a 21-16 lead on Brock Osweiler’s 34-yard TD pass to Jordan Norwood with 7:22 left. Osweiler also ran 15 yards on the play prior to the scoring pass, as he eluded a potential sack by Seahawks’ rookie end Cassius Marsh.
Pryor then led the Seahawks to the Denver 4-yard line, but his third-down pass was intercepted by Broncos’ linebacker Steven Johnson to end Seattle’s comeback bid.