Russell Wilson didn’t return to the friendliest environment Monday night at Lumen Field. He was met with loud boos from Seahawk fans.
“It’s the first time in eight years the press box was shaking quite a bit,” said Gregg Bell, Seahawks beat writer for the Tacoma News Tribune. “In 2014, the NFC title season, that was the last time that stadium was that loud, that sustained intensity for an entire game, and it started as soon as the fans entered.”
Quarterback Geno Smith had an accurate and productive first drive of the game, and the Seahawks were able to score early.
“Because they played from the front, I think that really, really helped the crowd keep it up,” Terry Hollimon said.
The crowd noise helped the defense stop Wilson’s offense because the Broncos had to go to a silent count. Defensive edge rushers had a jump on the snap because the count was timing-based because of the noise.
The red zone defense was key, as Denver ran 12 plays from inside the 9-yard line with zero points produced in the second half. Linebacker Uchenna Nwosu came up big in the red zone defense and was named the NFC defensive player of the week.
This was a win many people did not expect from the Seahawks.
“It was a huge win because of Russell Wilson’s return,” Bell said. “And Pete Carroll is starting the program over. He’s starting with a new quarterback. He’s changing his defense from what he’s run for 40 years.”
As for the much-discussed play-calling at the end of the game for the Broncos, Hollimon and Bell were both surprised the team didn’t rely on its new clutch QB and instead attempted the field goal.
“It would have been the second longest successful field goal in NFL history,” Bell said. “The NFL started in 1920.”
As the current leaders in the NFC West, the Seahawks head to San Francisco for a divisional matchup against a stout defense. Some questions will be answered: Can Geno Smith get out to a quick start again? And can the defense do again what it did in the red zone?
“Are they for real?” Hollimon asked. “We’re going to find out against the 49ers.”
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