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Broncos start season strong with 27-24 win over Seahawks

Henry Chisholm Avatar
September 10, 2018

The Broncos are back.

Denver beat the Seahawks 27-24 in their 2018 season opener at Mile High. This was their seventh-straight opening weekend victory and they’ve now won 18 of their last 19 home openers.

Things started off a little shaky for the Broncos offense. Six minutes into the game, Keenum threw an interception to Earl Thomas that set up the first score of the game for Seattle. Demaryius Thomas ran a fly route and Keenum seemed to expect him to cut inside, and the ball flew straight to Thomas. On the next play, Russell Wilson found Will Dissly in the end zone from 15 yards out and Seattle was up 7-0.

The Broncos responded with a seven-play drive that ended with a 29-yard touchdown reception by Phillip Lindsay, the first of his career.

Then, early in the second quarter, Keenum found Emmanuel Sanders running a crossing route downfield and the receiver ran the ball up the sideline for a 43-yard touchdown, giving Denver a 14-10 lead and a front flip to go with it.

Halfway through the third quarter, Von Miller stole the ball from Seattle Running back Chris Carson and set his offense up inside field goal range. But on the next play, Keenum threw another interception and two minutes later Seahawks receiver Brandon Marshall tied the game at 17.

After a Justin Simmons interception set up a Broncos’ field goal, Russell Wilson threw a 51-yard bomb to Tyler Lockett, who had found space between Chris Harris Jr. and Simmons, giving the Seahawks a 24-20 lead.

With their backs up against the wall, Denver responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive of their own, with big plays to Courtland Sutton and Jake Butt, before Keenum capped it with a short touchdown to Demaryius Thomas. In the last 11 minutes, the Broncos stopped three Seattle drives—which totaled 11 plays—and the offense ran the ball effectively to burn the clock.

In his first game as a Bronco, Case Keenum had an up and down day. He threw a few beautiful passes—like his touchdown to Demaryius Thomas just past the fingertips of the defender—but there were a few head-scratchers, as well. He threw three interceptions to go with three touchdowns and 329 yards on 25 of 39 passing.

Keenum’s favorite target, who he found 10 times on 11 tries for 135 yards and a touchdown, was Emmanuel Sanders. The Broncos’ second-leading receiver was Thomas with six catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.

Denver rotated its running backs throughout the game and all three—Royce Freeman, Phillip Lindsay and Devontae Booker—receiver carries. Freeman and Lindsay shouldered the load, though, as they each carried the ball 15 times for 71 yards and Booker ran twice for four yards.

Defensively, the Broncos looked as stout as ever, other than allowing a few big plays. The pass rush was potent, with seven different getting quarterback hits and six getting sacks. Bradley Chubb earned the first half-sack of his career on Denver’s first offensive snap.

Adam Jones was the Broncos’ third cornerback for most of the day, despite Tramaine Brock holding the job on the team’s depth chart. He also returned two punts for nine yards and had a long return called back for holding.


A year removed from what could be his worst statistical season as a pro, Von Miller showed out in his 2018 debut. Like usual, the 29-year-old drew double-teams and still pressured Russell Wilson consistently. The difference on Sunday was his ability to finish plays.

He sacked Wilson three times, matching his career high, but the highlight of his day was when he met Seahawks running back Chris Carson five yards downfield and ripped the ball out of his hands and ran the other way. Miller finished with seven tackles, three for a loss, four quarterback hits and two forced fumbles.


Undrafted rookie running back Phillip Lindsay scored the first touchdown of the Broncos’ season on a swing pass from Case Keenum. He caught the ball a few yards in front of the line of scrimmage and outran the defense on his way to a 29-yard touchdown. He finished the day with two catches for 31 yards and 15 runs for 71 yards.


“I’m really excited about how good this football team can be. If I take care of the ball, we’re going to be hard to beat.”

– Case Keenum


16.8 – The percentage of third downs the Seahawks converted

3 – Interceptions thrown by Case Keenum on Sunday after throwing seven all of last season

9 – Number of Broncos who were targeted by Keenum in the season’s first game


The Broncos host the Raiders next Sunday at 2:25 in their first AFC West game of the season.


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