Seahawks vs Broncos: Denver's Biggest Winners & Losers from Preseason Week 2
The starters took a 10-9 lead to the locker room, despite three first-half turnovers. But once the second half kicked off, the backups were almost non-existent.
It was a far cry from the 31-3 win in the preseason opener over the Chicago Bears and it appears the Broncos have many things to work on if they are to be ready to play on this same field in just three weeks against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Peyton Manning won't make either list this time around as he had an up and down performance. He did complete 16-of-23 passes for 177 yards in just one half of action but he also threw two interceptions and already has three in the preseason.
Manning is very good at taking what the defense gives him and his passes look crisp and have plenty of velocity behind them. However, it also appears he has a little bit of rust still to shake off.
There was still some positives that could be drawn from tonight's game, so here are the winners and losers.
Willis McGahee: MaGahee is the clear No.1 running back for the Broncos. On Saturday night, he carried the ball eight times, gaining 28 yards. But he also hit the holes with a good burst and showed good field vision on his carries before plunging into the end zone for the Broncos only touchdown of the night.
McGahee, who is one of two running backs in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season with three different teams, looks like he is in for another big year.
Brandon Stokley: The competition will be very stiff at the wide receiver position the rest of training camp and in preseason and spots will be tough to come by.
Stokley, who may be a player on that bubble, had three catches for 41 yards, snagging every pass that was thrown his way by Manning.
Manning is still working to build chemistry with the offense, so it's not surprising that Stokley is emerging as a guy Manning is looking to get the ball to.
Joel Dreessen: Dreessen made his presence felt early on Saturday night, making two grabs for 27 yards and one of those catches went for 20. Combined with the night Jacob Tamme had, it might have made him look even better.
Dreessen took a step in the right direction to being the team's starting tight end this season.
David Bruton: Bruton is one of those guys who just makes the most of his opportunities. He had four tackles in this game, but his biggest play came on special teams, which is his area of expertise.
The Seahawks' first possession of the game ended after just four plays and Bruton came in and blocked a Jon Ryan punt, setting the Broncos up at the Seahawks' 24-yard line.
Joe Mays: Joe Mays is seemingly in on every play when he's on the field. He made four tackles in this game, one for a loss of yardage, but it's his field-generalship that is most valuable to this team.
Mays is solidifying the middle linebacker position and he brings an intensity to the field that will be key to this defense all season.
Chris Harris: Making the team last year as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas may have surprised some people, but Harris is becoming one of the team's best all around defenders. He broke up three Matt Flynn passes on Saturday night and on one of them, a pass intended for Charly Martin, Harris ran the route better than he did.
It won't be a surprise when Harris makes the team this year or for many more years to come.
Britton Colquitt: Yes, we have to include the punter. Colquitt averaged 52.7 yards a punt on six attempts in this game and hit one for 69 yards, which was especially important because he was kicking out of his own end zone. This knocked the Seahawks back at least 20 yards in field position.
Colquitt continues to be a strong weapon for this team.
Caleb Hanie/Adam Weber: Brock Osweiler was given the opportunity to play the entire second half of this game. Why, is anyone's guess. In turn, he only went 5-of-11 for 38 yards. Are the Broncos really considering having him be the backup to Manning?
Hanie and Weber got no action in this game, so one could assume that the Broncos already know what they have with Hanie. They might also be able to draw the conclusion that officials have already decided that Weber won't make the team.
Whatever the case may be, Hanie and Weber both should have gotten into this game.
Knowshon Moreno: Is this training camp and preseason more important to any one member of the Denver Broncos than it is to Moreno?
Moreno had one carry for a loss of one yard in the game and was lucky it wasn't a loss of three or four. Osweiler flung the ball his way one time, but Moreno only took a half-hearted one-handed stab at it, knowing he was going to be popped by a nearby Seattle defender if he hauled it in.
Jacob Tamme: Despite catching two passes in the game for 17 yards, Tamme dropped a ball right before the first half gun that would have been Manning's first touchdown pass as a Bronco. The ball pretty much hit him right in the chest before falling to the ground.
Hopefully Tamme gets more chances like that because Dreessen looks like he's ready to be the starter.
Return Game: The Broncos didn't get many chances to return kickoffs or punts in this game, but they still are no closer to finding a consistent return man.
Andre Caldwell did bring one kickoff back 34 yards, but the only punt that was fielded, or attempted to be fielded, was by reserve defensive back Tony Carter, who lost control of the ball as he looked upfield and finally fell on it at about the one inch line, nearly costing his team two points for a safety.
The return game is still one of the team's glaring holes.
Second Team Defense: Head coach John Fox can't be happy with his backup defensive players. Not only did they give up 21 second half points, but rookie quarterback Russell Wilson made several plays against them.
With 8:38 remaining in the third quarter, Kregg Lumpkin ran in a 16 yard touchdown in which he wasn't touched as Broncos play-by-play announcer Dave Logan remarked, "that's just too easy", and he was absolutely right.
This unit will need to step up when they play San Francisco next Sunday. With defensive end Jason Hunter likely out for the season with a recent triceps injury, a young player like Malik Jackson or Jeremy Beal could make this team with a big play or two.
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