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Broncos 20, Seahawks 26: Highlights and Lowlights

When the Denver Broncos win, the MHR Staff gives out game balls. When they lose, we discuss both the good and the bad in our Highlights and Lowlights.

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Broncos 20, Seahawks 26, in overtime. The Broncos wiped away a two-touchdown lead in the final minutes of the game, but Peyton Manning and company didn't touch the football again as Russell Wilson drove the Seahawks down the field for a game-winning TD. Let's break down the good, the bad, and the ugly from Week 3.


Von Miller
If there was a spot on that field Von Miller wasn't, I don't know where it was. He was chasing Russell Wilson all over - and that's a lot of chasing because Wilson is one freakin' mobile "mobile quarterback." And even though Miller only registered one sack for the game, he is responsible for many incomplete passes and hurried decisions. Miller looked tough, fit and angry today, and he was a big reason our D held the Seahawks to only 20 points in regulation. He's only going to get stronger from here, and I can't wait to see it. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Emmanuel Sanders
In a game where Demaryius Thomas was all but invisible, Emmanuel Sanders stepped up yet again, surpassing career receiving numbers for the second straight game. Sanders hauled in 11 catches on 15 targets for 149 yards, continuing to prove that all of his hard work with Manning in the off-season was worth it. This is the third straight week that Sanders has caught the most passes for the Broncos, and his reliability within the passing game was a key part in yesterday's game. As Ian mentioned, on the play where Manning threw the seam route to Welker, only to be intercepted by Chancellor, Sanders was open on the other side of the field. Finally, Emmanuel was the only one to make a catch for the Broncos while being covered by Richard Sherman (excluding Demaryius' two-point convert), and he made two of them on three targets. Sanders is the real deal, and at this point in the season, he is proving to not only be an adequate replacement for Eric Decker, he's turning out to be even better. - Jacob Dearlove

The Broncos Secondary
In a game facing an opponent with some very dangerous speed at WR, these guys were pretty darn impressive. Sure there was a big pass on Talib, but he also got us a critical turnover by smart play tipping the ball up to his teammates for an Interception. I really thought all of our starters at CB and Saftey played very well over all. - Sadaraine

Phil Simms
While I know that Phil Sims is a reviled persona non grata to most Denver fans, he does deserve a kudo for one comment. At one point in the game, an official threw a flag on Seattle for encroachment -- which according to the replays was the correct call. After much discussion the flag was picked up and the referee announced that there "was no encroachment." Later in the game, when a Seattle defender was between two Denver linemen at the snap, Sims laughingly asked Jim Nantz if they were going to see another no encroachment call. - Brian Shrout

Who puts the notes in Manning's locker when he messes up, or is that just reserved for other people who make mistakes?

Special teams (more like a midlight)
There were no blocked punts or field goals, no amazing returns, no long field goals. But the Broncos Special Teams Unit did their job. Or at least they didn't make any costly mistakes. McManus kept the ball away from Harvin for the most part, Colquitt had to punt 8 times (he was one punt shy of a record for him - not a record I would care for him to ever get near again, thank you). No one muffed anything. The Seahawks didn't have any huge returns. Big special teams plays are amazing and of course I wish we had some in this game, but I'd rather have a consistently boring but steady Special Teams Unit than one that caused me anxiety every time they came on the field. - Amy Richau

Nate Irving
Irving's 3rd down tackle in the first quarter was perfect form at the perfect time. The Broncos needed that play, so badly, to prevent another avalanche of points following Denver's first-play foul-up. Irving had 7 tackles in the game with 1 QB hit and 1 QB hurry to boot. While we all wish he was a notch quicker during Russell Wilson's game-ending overtime drive, Irving played well and has stepped up in 2014. - Monty

Honorable mention: Broncos Offense in the final minute
Despite being off the entire game, the offense on that final drive to tie the game was a thing of beauty. Excellent clock management, money throws, clutch catches, and no mistakes (i.e., penalties) to take it back. Emmanuel Sanders grabbed a 42-yarder just moments after dropping virtually the same pass, Jacob Tamme snagged a beautiful 26-yard touchdown catch, and Demaryius Thomas hauled in the two-point conversion with two-feet in bounds like the all-pro he normally is. It was the only drive in which the play calling made sense, and it ended in 8 points. Hmmmm.... - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann


The Bronco offense laid an absolute egg until the defense handed them some field position and points. The running game stunk front and center, the interior OL stunk front and center, and the trigger man Peyton Manning stunk front and center. My confidence in the offense is starting to wane. They have a tough time playing against tough defenses and their capabilities are held in check by poor play calling, planning, and at times Peyton Manning.

The whole offense has to Manning-up going forward. Hopefully they learn something from this performance. - Bronco Mike

Broncos 20, Seahawks 26

The Overtime Coin Toss
With the defense having to save the day multiple times late in the game, they were understandably exhausted. Peyton Manning's final drive lasted just 41 seconds.  I would prefer not to see youngsters Lamin Barrow and Corey Nelson on the field in overtime to try and stop the defending Super Bowl champions, but Jack Del Rio had no choice at that point. In any case, it was a great comeback and a great confidence builder for this team as they continue their quest for the Lombardi Trophy. Tim Lynch

The run game
Specifically, our O-line's inability to run block. 20 carries for 36 yards is pathetic. On the plays where we did manage positive yards, Ball had to make guys miss in the backfield on almost every one. - Joe Mahoney

Offensive turnovers
Montee Ball immediately gave Broncos fans a déjà vu heart attack when he fumbled on the first play of the game after a modest gain of nine yards (which would be his second longest carry of the day). The fumble destroyed an opening drive as momentum was shooting up hill, it killed Ball's confidence and an opportunity to score points that would have made the difference in the game. 

The second turnover was in crunch time when Peyton Manning ended a 57-yard drive that would have made the final 49-second drive a kill-shot, instead of a tying overtime maker. Welker was triple covered (with Sherman also lurking near by), while Emmanuel Sanders would have scored had the ball gone to him instead of being force fed to Welker.  Who puts the notes in Manning's locker when he messes up, or is that just reserved for other people who make mistakes?

No amount of coaching or play calling can make up for that panicked Manning that we seem to see at times when it is do-or-die and he's frantic.  - Ian Henson

Broncos 20, Seahawks 26

We keep trying to fit a square peg in a round hole until our team gets in trouble it seems. We were forcing the running game that absolutely was not working early on. Instead of passing to set up the run, we ran to set up the punt. Also in overtime our defense was woefully unprepared for a simple read-option play that Seattle ran at least three times to move down the field and score.  It was pathetic that they were able to do the same thing over and over and get chunks of yards. - Sadaraine

Demaryius Thomas
What's ailing Demaryius Thomas? Is it the mysterious foot that CBS has called out two weeks in a row during its broadcast, yet never makes its way onto the Denver Broncos' injury report? Thomas was targeted nine times Sunday but only hauled in four passes for 31 yards and the two-point conversion. According to PFF, he had one drop, but the Pro Bowler just doesn't look right out there. In fact, he looks slow.  The 2PC was amazing, but it doesn't quite make up for what has been a very slow start for D.T. in 2014. - Monty

The silver lining

I couldn't help but laugh at ESPN analyst, and former Broncos great, Tom Jackson last night. He encapsulated in one sentence what so many Broncos fans and Broncos players are describing. Jackson said something along these lines: You don't believe in moral victories in this league, but you do come away from this game encouraged that you can go toe-to-toe with the Seahawks.

With love, T.J.... that's a moral victory.

And that's what the Broncos can take away from this game. Perhaps the coaches are holding them back, and the refs didn't do them any favors, but this Broncos team is good enough to take the Super Bowl champs down to the wire in their stadium. Seven months after a 35-point blowout, I'm pretty satisfied by that. I'm disgusted at some elements of the loss, especially in the second and third quarters, but the Broncos righted those wrongs by game's end. Let's see how they bounce back from this loss with the long season ahead.