Deon Butler catches 32-yard touchdown (Getty)
Last year the Seattle Seahawks only managed to cause 20 turnovers and had a minus-seven turnover ratio. When Jim Mora took the reigns of the franchise he put an emphasis on causing turnovers and protecting the ball. So far this preseason his team has done just that and on Saturday night at Qwest Field they turned four Denver turnovers into 17 points and came away with a 27-13 win...
Rookie wide receiver Deon Butler made the first big play of the night, when he caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from QB Matt Hasselbeck after running by Denver CB Andre' Goodman. The beautifully executed play put Seattle up 7-0 with only four minutes elapsed on the clock.
However, the Broncos came right back and answered Seattle's first drive with an impressive 12-play, 73 yard drive that saw QB Kyle Orton, who finished the night 18 of 26 for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception, hit WR Brandon Stokley in the back corner of the endzone over Seattle CB Josh Wilson.
The teams then traded three and outs and the defenses appeared to step up a bit after Denver K Matt Prater hit a 53-yard field goal late in the first quarter to give the visitors a 10-7 lead over the Seahawks.
That's when the turnovers began.
Orton drove the Broncos 86 yards in 13 plays and burned over seven and a half minutes off the clock, but made a huge mistake on fourth and goal from the Seattle one when he switched hands and threw the ball with his left hand, lofting it into the waiting arms of CB Ken Lucas who was downed in the endzone for a touchback.
Seattle then embarked on a 10-play, 80 yard drive that ended when Hasselbeck hit WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a fade route into the back corner of the endzone for a two-yard touchdown pass and the Seahawks went into the locker room with a 14-10 halftime lead.
Hasselbeck finished the night 16 of 23 for 171 yards with two touchdowns, but also took three sacks in what had to concern the coaches every time he dropped back to pass considering his injury problem last season.
On Denver's second play from scrimmage of the second half, Orton hit TE Tony Scheffler with a short dump-off pass, but CB Kelly Jennings put his helmet directly on the ball and after it squirted free, S Jordan Babineaux picked it up and returned it to the Denver eight.
QB Seneca Wallace was unable to guide Seattle to another touchdown, but K Brandon Coutu was able to convert a 22-yard field goal giving the Seahawks a 17-10 lead.
Following another three and out for the Bronco offense, DE Nick Reed managed to get a hand on P Britton Colquitt's punt resulting in a 15-yard net and a new Seattle possession starting at the Denver 29.
Six plays later, Wallace hit TE Joe Newton in the endzone for a one-yard touchdown pass and, for all intents and purposes, put the game out of reach 24-10.
Continuing the turnover theme of the night, S C.J. Wallace, fighting for his roster spot with the Seahawks, rocked WR Kenny McKinley causing the rookie wideout to fumble with Seattle LB Will Herring recovering.
Seattle managed to pound the Denver quarterbacks most of the night, posting six sacks and numerous pressures.
Two rookie free agents continued to make their presence felt, with Reed posting 1.5 sacks, four tackles and the blocked punt while DE Michael Bennett posted three tackles and a sack as well.
Denver DT Kenny Peterson posted three tackles and two of the Broncos' three sacks.
Wallace led Seattle in rushing with 20 yards on the ground while RB Justin Forsett contributed 18 yards on seven carries and 58 yards on seven receptions.
Butler had the biggest catch of the night and finished with two catches for 47 yards. Houshmandzadeh was his typical steady self, posting five receptions for 41 yards and the touchdown that ended the first half.
Seattle had two important players come out of the game with injuries -- C Chris Spencer and DT Craig Terrill -- and we should know more about those at some point on Monday. The team will have tomorrow off before getting back to work next week to face Kansas City on the road next Saturday, August 29th.