The Denver Broncos sent their team captains, Russell Wilson, Courtland Sutton, Kareem Jackson, Bradley Chubb and Brandon McManus out on the field for the coin toss. They won the toss and elected to defer to the second half to give Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks the ball first to start the game.
Starting from their own 30 yard line, Rashaad Penny was stuffed on an outside run by Alex Singleton on first down. After a completion to setup a third and three, Geno Smith found a wide open Tyler Lockett for a 17-yard gain and a first down to the Broncos 46-yard line.
Three plays later, Singleton missed on a wide open sack where Geno Smith went deep to Will Dissly for a 37-yard touchdown pass on third and two.
What a start to the Geno Smith era in Seattle #Seahawks— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 13, 2022
( : @Seahawks)pic.twitter.com/EDMQhc7ng8
Seahawks 7, Broncos 0.
Rookie Montrell Washington learned on his first play in NFL regular season action that you don’t return a kickoff three yards deep in your end zone. He would be tackled at the 11 yard line to give Russell Wilson and the Broncos offense poor field position.
For some reason, Nathaniel Hackett targeted Andrew Beck early on in the play calling with Russell Wilson going to him on back-to-back plays. He dropped the first pass, but caught the second for a 25-yard catch and run to get Denver out from the shadow of their own end zone.
Javonte Williams then burst through a hole outside for a nine yard gain just shy of the first down marker. Andrew “Swiss Army Knife” Beck climbed the ladder for a one-handed grab for another big gain of 27-yards into Seahawks territory. All of Russell Wilson’s early passes had gone to Beck up to this point.
This grab by Andrew Beck @NFL | #BroncosCountry pic.twitter.com/8CNTLnqUxb— FanSided (@FanSided) September 13, 2022
Williams got the edge again on the next set of downs for an 11-yard gain and another first down to the Seahawks 18-yard line. Things went bad from there with a near pick by Wilson and a false start by Cam Fleming. On second down and 15, Melvin Gordon got into action with a five yard gain to bring up third and long. Wilson, in an empty set, dumped it off to Gordon for a six yard gain and a fourth down to end an 8 play, 77 yard drive.
Brandon McManus would put the Broncos on the board with a 30-yard field goal.
Seahawks 7, Broncos 3.
The struggles on defense continued for the Broncos on Seattle’s next drive as they committed 36 yards in penalties to push the Seahawks well into Broncos territory. The defense couldn’t get any kind of pass rush and kept missing tackles. They finally got a stop at the seven yard line just short of the first down. Pete Carroll went for it anyway and for the first time in this game, the Broncos defense stuffed the Seahawks on a quarterback sneak from Geno Smith for the big defensive stand.
Despite the strong start from the Seahawks, the Broncos run game was looking good in their first drive. They went back to that Javonte Williams well who opened up with a 13-yard gain on first down. After a first down pass to Albert Okwuegbunam, Wilson went back to Albert O again for another completion for eight yards. Melvin Gordon easily picked up the first down powering through for an eight yard gain to get Denver close to midfield.