Denver can't finish rally, falls to Seattle 26-20
Sep. 22, 2014
SEATTLE (AP) — Peyton Manning just needed one more possession.
In the midst of desperately trying to rally in the final minute of regulation, the Denver Broncos discovered the resiliency lacking in their Super Bowl blowout at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. All Manning needed was one more chance with the ball in overtime to get at least the slightest bit of retribution for what happened seven months earlier in New Jersey.
Russell Wilson never let Manning have the chance as the Seahawks won 26-20 on Sunday in a Super Bowl rematch that lived up to the billing of what everyone expected in February.
"Well, you know, defense hung in there tough all day, (Wilson) made some plays during that overtime series so credit to that offense," Manning said. "That was a good drive and obviously finished it off with a touchdown. But, our defense hung in there tough and their offense had a good drive."
Marshawn Lynch scored on a 6-yard TD run on the first possession of overtime.
The 43-8 blowout by Seattle (2-1) was replaced this time by Denver (2-1) rallying from a 17-3 fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime by going 80 yards against the best defense in the NFL in the final minute of regulation. Manning was out of timeouts, yet figured out how to get Denver in the end zone on Jacob Tamme's 26-yard TD catch with 18 seconds left and the ensuing 2-point conversion pass to Demaryius Thomas to tie it at 20.
But the result ended up the same.
"We're not saying, 'At least the score was better than the Super Bowl,' or anything like that," Denver defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. "We felt like we could come in here and win. It didn't happen that way so there's nothing to be happy about."
Manning was 31 of 49 for 303 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw a costly fourth-quarter interception. Emmanuel Sanders had 11 catches for 149 yards, while Wes Welker had six receptions in his season debut.
For three quarters, Seattle's defense smothered the Broncos in a similar fashion to the Super Bowl. Denver was held without a first-half touchdown for just the second time in the regular season since Manning took over as quarterback in 2012. The Broncos were on pace for their lowest scoring output — again in the regular season — with Manning under center before the late comeback.
Manning was 31 of 49 for 303 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw a costly fourth-quarter interception. His rally was helped by a number of Seahawks mistakes in the fourth quarter, including a safety and Wilson's first interception of the season. Wilson's interception led to Manning's 2-yard shovel pass to Julius Thomas with 9:20 left to cut the deficit to 17-12.
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 capped by Tamme getting behind K.J. Wright in coverage for the touchdown. Thomas was able to drag both feet on the 2-point conversion to tie it at 20.
"We lost, but I felt today we became a better team," Thomas said. "Offense wasn't able to get stuff going in the first half. I think we came closer. We wouldn't have been able to do that last year. I can say we got better."
Seattle won the coin toss in overtime and Wilson made certain the ball never left his possession. He rushed for 21 yards and was 4 of 6 passing in overtime. Twice Wilson extended the drive by running for first downs on third down after seeming reluctant to run earlier in the game.
Lynch went the final 6 yards for the win.
Wilson finished 24 of 34 for 258 yards and touchdown passes of 39 yards to Ricardo Lockette and 5 yards to Lynch, both late in the first half. Lynch had 88 yards rushing.
"I don't think anyone ever doubts Russell. He's just too good," Seattle tight end Zach Miller said. "If you think he's struggling at all you know he's going to make plays like he did with his feet. He was so huge there in that second half and overtime. You always trust in him."
NOTES: Manning now has 499 career touchdown passes. He's one shy of becoming the second player in NFL history with 500. ... It was just the sixth Super Bowl rematch in NFL history. The team that won the title is 4-2. ... Denver WR Demaryius Thomas finished with four receptions, but didn't catch his first pass until late in the third quarter. ... Seattle P Jon Ryan had five kicks inside the 20 and averaged 50.2 yards per punt.
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