Does the preseason matchup matter?
January, 24, 2014
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com
RENTON, Wash. -- For those who might have forgotten, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos have faced each other this season.
It didn’t count because it was a preseason game at CenturyLink Field on Aug. 17, but it’s interesting to look back on it now. Seattle won that night 40-10.
It meant nothing, of course, but Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and safety Kam Chancellor see value in that matchup five months ago.
"Anytime you play a team, there’s definitely value in it, just to see their players against our guys," Wilson said. "Even though it was a preseason game, it was a great battle."
That might seem like an odd statement considering the Seahawks won by 30 points, but the score is a bit misleading.
Peyton Manning was done for the night midway through the second quarter, but not before he completed 11 of 16 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown. The Broncos had 209 yards of offense in the first half.
Chancellor has taken time to study that film this week.
"I look at all the things that affected us in that game," he said. "The plays they made out there and some of the looks that Peyton saw from us. I want to see some of the things we left open during the game so we can correct them if they run those plays in this game."
The Seahawks forced three Denver fumbles in the game, including one that became a 106-yard touchdown for cornerback Brandon Browner, who also had a forced fumble. Browner is now serving a one-year suspension for a substance-abuse violation.
Seattle was leading 17-7 when Denver was about to score, but Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman fumbled as he tried to dive into the end zone. Browner recovered in the end zone and ran it back all the way to make it 24-7 when it could have been 17-14.
The Seahawks also had a 107-yard kickoff return for a TD by Jermaine Kearse. Seattle led 33-7 at half before backups played in the second half.
Wilson completed eight of 12 passes that night for 127 yards and two touchdowns while playing the first two quarters. Running back Marshawn Lynch had only two carries for 1 yard in the game.
Denver tight end Julius Thomas had four receptions for 70 yards, but he also fumbled on a 20-yard catch in the first quarter.
Ten players caught at least one pass for Seattle that night, including Doug Baldwin, who had one reception for 16 yards.
"It’s nice to look at on tape to have a baseline," Baldwin said. "But so much goes on in the 17 weeks during the season that it’s kind of hard to look at that film and digest it. The games I’ll be looking at the most are their more recent games, because those will mean more than the preseason."
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