Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime
The Associated Press
SEATTLE — Peyton Manning did all he could in the final minute of regulation to get the Denver Broncos to overtime.
Russell Wilson made certain he never saw the ball in the extra session and ensured the Super Bowl rematch went in favor of the defending champion Seahawks.
Marshawn Lynch scored on a 6-yard TD run on the first possession of overtime and the Seahawks beat the Broncos 26-20 on Sunday in a showdown that lived up to expectations.
Seattle (2-1) blew a 17-3 fourth-quarter lead, watching Denver tie the game at 20 on Manning’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme with 18 seconds left in regulation and his 2-point conversion pass to Demaryius Thomas.
But Manning never got the ball in overtime, thanks to Wilson. After nearly getting sacked for a safety and throwing an interception in the fourth quarter, Wilson was brilliant in overtime. He rushed for 21 yards and was 4 of 6 passing in overtime. Lynch went the final 6 yards for the win.
Wilson had just 19 yards rushing in regulation, then did whatever was needed in overtime. He twice scrambled for on third downs after seeming reluctant to run earlier in the game. His 7-yard pass to Percy Harvin was the precursor to Lynch’s TD run.
Wilson finished 24 of 34 for 258 yards and two touchdown passes, both late in the first half. Lynch had 88 yards rushing and also caught a 5-yard TD pass.
Manning led the rally for Denver (2-1), helped by a number of Seahawks mistakes. Manning was 31 of 49 for 303 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw a costly fourth-quarter interception.
Denver appeared done after Kam Chancellor intercepted Manning at the Seattle 13 with 2:25 left, leading to Steven Hauschka’s 28-yard field goal with 59 seconds remaining. But Manning pulled Denver even with stunning precision, going 80 yards in just 41 seconds and without any timeouts.
Manning found Emmanuel Sanders for 42 yards on a blown coverage and Denver reached the Seattle 38. Manning hit Thomas for 12 yards to the Seattle 26, and K.J. Wright lost Tamme in coverage. The backup tight end was wide open for the 26-yard TD with 18 seconds left and Thomas was able to drag both feet on the 2-point conversion to tie it at 20.
Denver outscored Seattle 17-3 in the fourth quarter thanks to two touchdown passes by Manning, a safety and a 2-point conversion.
Until that point, Seattle’s defense had looked as dominant as it was in the 43-8 rout in the Super Bowl. Between Brandon McManus’ field goal late in the first quarter and the start of the fourth, Denver ran one offensive play in Seattle territory. Seattle outgained Denver 237-84 in the second and third quarters combined.
But Seattle made enough mistakes in the fourth quarter to let Denver linger. The problems started when Wilson was sacked by DeMarcus Ware at his 1, nearly avoiding a safety. Lynch was gang tackled in the end zone on the next play, cutting the deficit to 17-5 with 13:07 left.
Wilson was then intercepted with 11:02 left at the Seattle 32 by Chris Harris Jr., on a pass deflected by Aqib Talib. Harris returned it to the Seattle 19 and Manning got the Broncos in the end zone on a 2-yard shovel pass to Julius Thomas with 9:20 remaining to cut the deficit to 17-12.
Even with Chancellor’s interception — the first thrown by Manning in 173 regular-season attempts — the Seahawks could not put Denver away. Sanders finished with 11 catches for 149 yards, while Wes Welker had six receptions in his first action of the season.
Denver was held without a touchdown in the first half for just the second time in the regular season with Manning as QB.
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