Winners, losers from Seahawks-Broncos duel on MNF originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
It turns out that attempting 64-yard game-winning field goals aren’t the way to go.
After a neck-and-neck first half where the Seattle Seahawks led 17-13, it took until the closing stages of the fourth quarter for the Denver Broncos to score to make it 17-16.
However, despite having Russell Wilson, three timeouts and around 50 seconds to keep the ball moving, the Broncos opted for Brandon McManus to attempt a 64-yard field goal on fourth-and-5 after running down the clock to 20 seconds. It had the distance to go through, but it fell wide.
Here are some winners and losers for both teams from Monday’s thriller:
Smith hasn’t been a regular starter in the NFL since 2014, and we all know how that turned out. But he turned in a solid display on Monday that was arguably a better performance than Wilson’s, despite the gap in passing yards. Smith threw for 195 yards on 23-for-28 passing with two touchdowns and a rating of 119.5. He started the game 17 of 18, and the Seahawks are now alone atop the NFC West.
Loser: Goal-line fumbles, Broncos’ red zone woes
The Broncos could’ve, should’ve, would’ve won this game comfortably had it not been for fumbles near the goal line. One was from Melvin Gordon on a fourth-and-goal attempt and the other was from Javonte Williams on a third-and-goal. Denver finished the game 0-for-4 in the red zone with two field goals, which new head coach Nathaniel Hackett will desperately need to sort out.
Although Wilson and the passing game didn’t hit the gas until the second half, Sutton and Jeudy look primed for a breakout year now that they have a proven star under center. The duo combined for eight catches, 174 yards and a touchdown. Hackett needs to find more ways to get these two receivers the ball. Jeudy led the way with four catches for 102 yards and a 67-yard touchdown.
Loser: Nathaniel Hackett
He’s been mentioned under two different categories, so he gets his own here. Hackett has plenty of work to do after an underwhelming head coaching debut. From a lack of discipline regarding penalties to uninspiring play-calling to poor late-game clock management, a good chunk of the blame for the Broncos’ loss should head Hackett’s way. But for a first-time coach, it should prove to be a valuable learning experience going forward.
Winner: Throwback names
You might have heard it on the broadcast, but the Seahawks have two players with the same names as some icons: cornerbacks Michael Jackson and Coby Bryant. Jackson clocked out with a solid showing as he logged one tackle for loss and one pass defended. Bryant, however, was on the wrong end of Jeudy’s long touchdown.
Loser: Broncos’ penalties – 12 for 106 yards
Winner: Javonte Williams’ receiving help – 11 catches for 65 yards
Loser: Tyler Lockett’s stats – three catches for 28 yards
Winner: Bradley Chubb – two sacks to start a contract year