Seattle Seahawks’ goaline defense spoiled Russell Wilson’s return to the Lumen Field. The Denver Broncos attacking line, after being blocked for the last yards, lost their NFL 2022 opener 17-16. 

The Seahawks defense was the star of their win. The Broncos drove to Seattle’s 1-yard line three times consecutively in the third quarter. The defense was able to hold them off twice. 

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The first time running back Melvin Gordon got stuffed in the red zone. The 29-year-old dropped the ball and Seattle’s Mike Jackson was quick to recovery. 

The second time, Javonte Williams committed the crime. Outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu stripped the Broncos running back at the goal-line. 

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Nwosu, who was signed by the Seahawks for a $19.055m two-year deal in March, effected a sack, a pass defensed and seven tackles. Seattles, in total, held Denver to six points on four trips to the red zone.

Seattle outperformed Denver’s defense. 

The Broncos totalled 12 penalties for 106 yards. A handful of those were against their defense. Players taunted outside linebacker Jonathon Cooper and displayed roughness on Kareem Jackson. A pass interference on cornerback Ronald Darby, illegal contact on outside linebacker Randy Gregory, holding on cornerback Pat Surtain II and roughing the passer on outside linebacker Bradley Chub also resulted in penalties. 

Also Read: Running back analysis: Melvin Gordon vs Javonte Williams

Geno Smith threw two first-half touchdown passes as the Seahawks’ offense started brilliantly in the post-Wilson era. 

Then came the final minute, which raised plenty of questions about Hackett’s clock management and decision-making in his debut as a head coach. NFL kickers are 2 for 35 on attempts of 64 yards or more since 1991, according to Sportradar, and McManus’ career long is 61 yards.

Also read: Why Russell Wilson was traded by Seattle Seahawks to Denver Broncos

“I wish we would have gotten a lot closer, but it put us in that weird spot there because we were in field-goal range, but we were on that fourth-down situation,” Hackett said. “I didn’t think we were gonna get that many yards. … We just made our decision and wanted to take our shot there.”