Geno Smith threw two first-half touchdown passes, Denver fumbled twice at the one-yard line in the second half, and the Seahawks beat the Broncos 17-16 on Monday night in Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle.
Brandon McManus missed a 64-yard field goal attempt with 20 seconds left and the Seahawks escaped with another wild victory involving Wilson at quarterback.
Except this time Wilson was the opponent and there will be plenty of questions about Nathaniel Hackett’s late-game clock management and decisions in his first game as Denver head coach.
Denver faced fourth-and-five at the Seattle 46 and had three timeouts left, but the Broncos ran significant time off the clock before Hackett called timeout and decided to have McManus try the long field goal. The kick missed and instead of Wilson leading the 36th career fourth-quarter or overtime comeback of his career, the Seahawks celebrated to chants of “Geno! Geno!” In contrast, Russell Wilson was booed by many in his former home stadium.
Wilson said after the game that he was happy with the decision go for the field-goal in the final stages.
“We got the best field goal kicker maybe in the game,’’ Wilson said. “… We got there and unfortunately it didn’t go in. … I believe in coach Hackett, I believe in what we’re doing, I believe in everything.”
Smith and the Seahawks did very little offensively in the second half but their first half was good enough. Smith threw touchdowns of 38 yards to Will Dissly on the first possession of the season and hit Colby Parkinson for a 25-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Smith finished 23 of 28 for 195 yards, but was 17 of 18 for 164 yards in the first half.
Wilson was 29 of 42 for 340 yards and a touchdown. But Denver couldn’t overcome their red-zone inefficiency with both Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams fumbling on plays snapped at Seattle one-yard line.
The Seahawks’ victory was dampened by a “serious injury” to three-time Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams.
“His quadricep tendon I think got damaged some tonight,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “He got hurt. So it’s a serious injury.”