But in his first start with his new team, as well as his first commitment back to the city where he played his first 10 NFL seasons, the quarterback for whom the Broncos traded five draft picks and three players, the one who they signed for $245 million. extension earlier this month, he was second choice with the season opener on the line.
But with 20 seconds left and down by one, Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett chose to have Brandon McManus attempt a 64-yard field goal for the win rather than let Wilson try to lead a play on fourth-and-5 at the Seahawks 46-yard line.
“We were right on the line [of McManus’ range]’Hackett said. “…Brandon gave the best shot of him…obviously I wish we had gotten a lot closer, he put us in that weird spot because we were in that field goal range…we just made that decision and made our chance there.”
Wilson offered his opinion.
“We got maybe the best field goal kicker in the game,” Wilson said. “… We got in there and unfortunately he didn’t get in… I believe in Coach Hackett, I believe in what we’re doing.” I believe in everything”.
As Wilson added, “I don’t think it was the wrong decision.”
McManus’ first down went wide to the left, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had called a timeout just before the snap. Hackett said he didn’t consider sending the offense back onto the field after the denied miss because “I was glad he got it out of the way. We had a lot of distance and we thought we could pull it off.”
Carroll said he was “surprised” the Broncos chose to kick.
“We weren’t thinking about the field goal there,” he said. “We thought it was fourth down and they were still going. So he gave us a chance to win the game on that play. That was lucky there. Luckily they didn’t make the kick. He kicked the ball.” .”
McManus’ second down also went wide to the left and the Seahawks quarterback gene smithwho won a battle at the training ground drawn lock to win the job as Wilson’s successor, he took a knee in three plays to close out a stirring night. Lock was one of three players the Broncos sent to the Seahawks in the March blockbuster.
“This was a special game, just because I got to watch and play against some of my closest friends,” Wilson said.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without this place… but I didn’t play [tonight] just for this game. I have a bigger mission.”
Almost from the moment the full NFL schedule was released, the Wilson-Seahawks meeting was marked on many calendars. Wilson, his new teammates with the Broncos and the Seahawks had publicly played the card of just another game.
But the answer to the question of whether Wilson would be booed after 10 seasons in Seattle that included nine Pro Bowl selections, two trips to the Super Bowl and a Lombardi Trophy was answered from the moment Wilson took the field for pregame activities. play. The Seahawks faithful booed vigorously throughout.
The crowd, as if in an effort to show that many of those present had moved on, even chanted “Gen-no, Gen-no, Gen-no” every time Smith made a big play, and the Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll, often. he was gesturing to the crowd to yell every time the Broncos had the ball. The crowd chanted Smith’s name as the quarterback took a knee to seal the victory.
“It didn’t bother me,” Wilson said. “It was a hostile environment; always has been. He did not expect to receive applause from time to time. I gave everything I had here every day, every day, and anyone who says anything else is dead wrong.”
Wilson and the Broncos’ offense got off to a subdued start, as Wilson didn’t target a wide receiver on a pass attempt until he connected with jerry jedy on a 67-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 5 minutes, 34 seconds left in the first half. But overall, even when they got things going, the Broncos couldn’t convert their 433 yards of offense into enough points.
Denver Racers Melvin Gordon III Y Javonte Williams each lost a fumble on plays that started at the Seahawks 1-yard line to negate two potential scoring drives, and the Broncos failed to score touchdowns on their other two drives inside the Seattle 20-yard line.
Add in the Broncos’ 12 penalties (for 106 yards) and the Seahawks won despite just 253 total yards and no points in the second half.
“I think he played really well, he took care of the ball, he made some really good decisions, he had some explosive plays, he was able to spread the ball all over the field,” Hackett said of Wilson. “That’s what makes me really frustrated for him.”
On the other hand, Smith was almost perfect in the first half. Smith completed his first 13 passes of the game and went 17-for-18 with two touchdowns to lead the Seahawks to a 17-13 halftime lead. The Broncos defense threw a shutout in the second half.
“How do we get rid of the nervousness [in the first half],” Broncos linebacker Bradley Chub said.
“When we tuned it…we were back to normal.”
As Wilson explained, “We had a lot of great plays, we threw the ball around the field … we had a lot of great things. The reality is we didn’t get the ball in the end zone on those plays in the red zone.”
Wilson had arrived at the stadium in a fashion week-worthy ensemble several hours before kickoff, and almost every moment was a reunion of sorts as she moved around the stadium and during her warm-ups.
With a handshake here and a wave there, Wilson set about trying to at least follow the script that he and the rest of the Broncos had tried to stick to in the days and weeks leading up to Monday’s game.
Former Seahawks cornerback richard sherman he appeared on the stadium video boards 30 minutes before kick-off to a loud ovation. and former runner marshawn lynch he was another of several ex-Seahawks who wandered off to the sidelines during warmups.
It all ended with McManus failing and a Seattle “12” celebration that Wilson hoped would welcome him back.
“Tonight was special,” Wilson said.
“It was still a special atmosphere in a place that I love.”