Sure, that was harder than it should have been at the end. Yes, Russell Wilson took a backside, second-down sack by DeMarcus Ware that he can’t take on his own goal line up 17-3 early in the fourth quarter and then threw a rare interception to set Denver up for another TD. Those plays directly led to nine of the Broncos’ 17 points in the fourth quarter that forced overtime.
But, man, was Wilson absolutely exquisite when the game demanded someone make plays to win it. Don’t be so demanding and spoiled by a Super Bowl championship and meteoric expectations to lose sight of how good the Seahawks’ third-year – third-year! – quarterback was while (as I wrote in the game story for tomorrow’s News Tribune) out-Manning-ing Peyton Manning in overtime.
“Keep talking up Andrew Luck. Russell Wilson is better than Luck,” Broncos CB Chris Harris told Denver’s CBS-4. “No question.” The Broncos beat Luck and the Colts 31-24 in Week 1
I thought you all on here would like that quote, seeing all the recent Luck-vs.-Wilson debating.
Here’s the crux of it: Wilson and the Seahawks offense knew their best chance in overtime was to not let Manning get back on the field. The way to do that under the newer NFL overtime rules, of course, is to score a touchdown on the first drive of overtime. A mere field goal would allow Denver the chance to answer on offense.
As the overtime began the Seahawks’ offense huddled. I asked center Max Unger what was said in there.
“It’s now,” Unger relayed, “or never.”
From his own 20 Wilson didn’t wait for the Broncos to zero in on him as they again beat an offensive line that continues to have major issues pass protecting; Denver had three sacks, but if Wilson wasn’t so fast, resourceful and improvisational it would have been at least eight. Wilson didn’t look for secondary receivers on his scrambles in overtime. He just took off around each end. For five yards on third and 3. For five more on third and 4. He rushed five times for 28 yards on the 13-play drive to Marshawn Lynch’s winning, 6-yard touchdown run. Even the 12-yard pass on the right sideline to Jermaine Kearse that got the ball from Seattle’s side of the field to Denver’s came on Wilson’s improvisations dash around right end and throw on the run.
He also completed four of six passes on the drive. Essentially, he did it all but score.
Wilson just plain kept the game in his hands, and legs, and no one else’s.
“The key to taking advantage of those moments is still playing smart football, but also playing with an edge,” Wilson said. “Playing to the edge, but not falling off the edge. Playing with great poise and great composure.”
He then mentioned the best he’s seen when games are most clutch. Michael Jordan in basketball, or the more-recent San Antonio Spurs. Derek Jeter in baseball.
“They always find ways to win,” Wilson said. “That’s what we had to do today.”
He even had his first NFL reception, 17 yards in the first quarter from Jermaine Kearse on a flea-flicker to the wide receiver. And one of the plays that impressed me most was Wilson staying at the bottom of a pile of guys 100-plus pounds heavier than him fighting for a more than a full minute with Denver defensive end DeMarcus Ware for the fumble Ware caused on that sack at the goal line to start the fourth quarter.
“Me and him were going at it,” Wilson said. “I wasn’t going to let him have it. I kept telling him, ‘You’re not going to get this ball!’ He said, ‘I’ll wait all night.’ And I said, ‘I’ll wait all night, too.’
“The ref said, ‘We gotta go. Russell’s got it.'”
A quarterback who fights with a defensive end? My kind of guy.
Wilson has played in 40 NFL games in his three-season career. He’s now won 30 of them. He’s 4-0 in overtime. This was his 11th comeback victory in the fourth quarter or overtime. That’s 28 percent of his games he’s won like he did today. The 10 he had in his first two seasons were the second-most such wins in NFL history in the first two years of a QB’s career.
And check this out:
Anytime you are up there with Terry Bradshaw — in 120 fewer games — that’s regal(!)
Sure, there was plenty to nitpick. But as long as Wilson has the ball, and a chance, at the end of games the Seahawks are going to remain one of the league’s best.
It’s time to consider Wilson the same way.
–Mike Garafolo reported late tonight on Fox Sports 1 TV and online that Kam Chancellor has bone spurs in ankle but is delaying surgery for now to play through it. Garafolo cited a “source.” Said Chancellor wore new shoes today that helped change an original idea to have him have surgery now, after today’s game, and possibly be out up to eight weeks. Garafolo reporting Chancellor will play through it instead.
I’ll try to find out how true this is. If so, those must have been some shoes. Chancellor had an interception, almost a second plus a forced fumble on the game’s first play today.
He missed practice on Wednesday with what the Seahawks said was an ankle injury.
At any rate, sounds like a good time for a bye week for Chancellor.
HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL
(Opening…) “That was really a championship game today. That was one of those games where we try to prepare with the mindset that that’s what it is every week. A great opponent, a great matchup. I am really fired up about the way we played. I thought we played really good throughout, and then there was that little spell there in the second half when the safety happens and then we get backed up a couple times. I thought we weathered it really well, the guys handled it really well. The fact that we had to go into OT, I thought Tom Cable did a great job on the sidelines, got the offense together, got them all squared away and cleared up. We were kind of disappointed we were going in, we thought we had the game won, but those guys came out and threw just a championship drive, 80 yards, 13 plays, Russell [Wilson] was all over the field. The guys up front did a fantastic job. Marshawn finished it off with a great play. It was a really cool day of work for our guys. I thought Marshawn [Lynch] ran as hard as he could run, so tough today. I thought that Jon Ryan just had an incredible influence in this game, throughout. Taking a safety back there really isn’t the worst thing that can happen if you are fortunate enough to change the field position, and Jon, he kicked it I don’t know far he kicked it, it might have been 80 yards in the air, I don’t know what it was, but the coverage and the kick and all that was extraordinary. But that wasn’t the only one, he was banging the ball all day today. He kept them deep and all that. If there was anybody who was MVP, it might have been Jon Ryan today with his effort, because he had probably the best day of his career, I would think. It was unfortunate that we gave up the drive we gave up. We played so well on defense, in all phases we were on it. Then, they got down the field with a couple plays. A great job by Peyton [Manning] of course. Of course he’s going to do something, and he did it. It all got erased because our guys rallied and finished the game off. It was a great win, we go into the bye, take a good break here and we’ll get back and get ready to go, in Washington.”
(On the offense getting the winning touchdown, after struggling in the second half…) “Russell does not get phased. He knew he made a mistake there; he saw the coverage and he tried to knife the ball through there, he thought he could get it in. He’ll tell you he shouldn’t have gone for it. How many times have we ever seen him do that. He so rarely puts himself in that kind of situation. He was fantastic today, just an incredible effort. The finish to that day, making those first downs, just an amazing play by the quarterback.”
(On the defensive breakdowns on Denver’s game-tying drive… ) “I know exactly what happened on the touchdown play. He was just throwing the ball desperately how there, and a couple, I don’t know why we weren’t able to find the ball, because it was up forever. That’s Peyton figuring out where to drop it in. We really had our chances. Kam [Chancellor] just about destroyed Marcus [Burley] on that play, which was a chance we had to turn the ball over there. Then, they got us on a little double-move up the sidelines for the touchdown, and made a big play for them. We had them right where we needed to win that thing, and we just didn’t get it done. I’m talking about the defensive side.”
(On the injuries to Earl Thomas and Russell Okung…) “Earl’s OK. He had to go in to get IV’d during the game. He was OK. He was starting to cramp up. Russell came back and finished the game. We weren’t sure what happened. He hurt his shoulder, but it just seemed to come back to him, and he could finish it, and he did. He did a great job to do that.”
(On the injury to Burley…) “Burley had the wind knocked out of him. Kam took his wind.”
(On Ricardo Lockette’s touchdown catch… ) “What a great play. What a great throw and catch. That was just a chance to go for it with Rocket and he ran a great route on a great DB and made a great catch with a perfect throw. Really good call by Bev to go for it right there. He was kind of jumping on him a little bit, a really good sequence. Then, the guys came through with a great throw and great catch. ”
(On Lockette saving an interception…) “That was a big play. He went on defense on them. He got a penalty, but it was worth it at the time, because that might have been a touchdown for them, because he had a really great break on the ball. It was really a heads-up play by Ricardo.”
(On Lockette’s play on special teams…) “He’s been incredibly significant. He’s really shown up. He had great coverage all day long. He forced a couple fair catches, and the great play he makes, on about a 60 yard punt anyway. I don’t know that anybody’s doing it any better than he is right now. He’s incredibly effective and he is so fast, and his intensity, and the attitude he has, that he brings to the coverage teams is phenomenal. Watch him on kickoffs, too. Steve keeps kicking the ball out, but he’s flying on those, too. He’s doing a great job. ”
(On whether he thought the game was wrapped up after Chancellor’s interception…) “I thought we had a chance to finish it. We tried to. We want to knock out a first down; a first down and the game’s over. We didn’t get it. We put it to 8. There’s a question as to whether you even kick there, but we trusted out guys. You don’t want to screw it up and get the kick blocked. That’s a thought. We kicked it, and there wasn’t much time left. But, it’s still Peyton Manning, and it was enough time for him. ”
(On Sherman covering Welker on third down…) “There was just some matchups that turned out that way. It was part of the way they deployed their games.”
(On any other injuries….) “No, we’re in good shape, going into the bye pretty healthy.”
(On Wilson maintaining the drive during overtime….) “He matriculated the ball down the field. He’s an amazing football player, he really is. He has the sense of when to get out and when to go, and also the savvy about making the first downs. There were something like 3 first downs, 2 anyway, in that drive. Just to keep it alive, it’s really hard to stop us in that situation. He’s just so good at it. We went into semi-hurry-up mode right there to put him in that kind of situation. You give him those spread field opportunities, and his open-field awareness, he just makes something happen. He’s very, very good with the ball, he didn’t waste a pass. We love him, he’s playing great.“
(On how much better this Denver team was compared to the Super Bowl team…) I don’t know. I can’t tell that. They were terrific today. They were really hard to play against, and tough and all that. I thought that the plan worked out like we had hoped. We thought we could keep them in front of us, and bang on them, and our guys did a great job. I was really curious if our breaking on the football would look the same as the Super Bowl, because we were phenomenal in that game in that regard, and that was the difference on the defensive side. I didn’t know if it would take a Super Bowl to get that kind of effort. Our guys played championship football today. I think they had 80 yards passing at halftime. We got ahead on the third down situations. I thought the guys played fantastic. I mean, that is a great, great offense and a great quarterback, and a great system. I loved the way our guys matched it up today.”
(On what the defense did better today, compared to the Chargers game…) “That’s a game I don’t even want to think about. It wasn’t anywhere near what this game looked like today, or the first game, or a lot of times that we’ve been playing over the last few years. I don’t know if that game was just a different deal. Today it looked like the last time we were in this stadium.”
(On his feelings during the last drive by Denver…) “We were trying to make the right call, and get out of there. I was so disappointed that they hit us on that double move that they did. We had the guys on the other side all ready for it, and they got it going. [Denver] did a great job with it. I was disappointed that I didn’t get the word to the guy to alert him on it. A little bit stunned that we let it happen so easily, that was lousy. It set up for a great finish. I kind of like the dramatics. It was pretty good.”
(On the threat of Percy Harvin…) “Percy, all day long, was flying around the field, and he kept drawing attention, and it allowed us to run the ball up inside. It was a really significant part of the plan. Sometimes we give it to him, and sometimes we can use him like that. He’s so talented, and he draws such a crowd. He did a nice job throughout that. There wasn’t a time to give him the football today, but his factor was still felt, and he did a nice job in that regard.”
(On Jon Ryan’s impact…) “We did talk about that. I thought if anybody would be the MVP, it would be Jon. He had a phenomenal game, and you can’t expect a guy to do any better than that. Pinning them deep, which we love to do. We’re trying to put that ball right around the 5 yard line. He was right there a couple of times. The booming kicks, the great coverage that matched up with it, the gorgeous kick on the safety, it changed that whole opportunity right there, I think they got the ball on the 20. It was a ridiculously long kick. I was really happy for him to that on Canada Day (the Seahawks honored Canada before the game). Can we have Canada Day next time we show up here?”
QB RUSSELL WILSON
(On the win…) “It was a tremendous game. If anybody loves football, or doesn’t like football, if you turn that game on, it was one for the ages. That’s what you want. You have a guy like Peyton Manning to go up against, it was a battle to the end. He did a great job of taking them down and finishing that drive there to take us into overtime. Tarvaris Jackson was able to win the call for us, and we get the ball, and we go 80 yards. And that’s how we have to play, we have to be able to make the clutch plays, we have to keep the attitude and continue to believe in what we do, and that’s what we were able to do today.”
(On distributing the receptions…) “That’s how we want to play offensive football. We want to spread the football around. I think every single person caught the ball today (11 Seahawks in all). From Percy Harvin, to Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette, to Zach Miller. I caught one today, too, that’s always good. Marshawn had a great game. Derrick Coleman caught the ball too, I think. Robert Turbin. I think the only person who didn’t unfortunately catch it was Cooper Helfet. We want to be able spread to spread the football around, and do a lot of great things and keep them guessing. We were able to do that. The only unfortunate play was the pick I threw, and the funny thing is that when I was at the line of scrimmage, I knew what coverage it was, I know it was Cover-6, and this is how I know I’m learning. This is the great part about it. I knew what the coverage was, I could see it happening. I was thinking that it probably wasn’t; because the route we had, it was Percy coming on a breaking out route, and I thought he probably isn’t going to be open here, and I dropped back and he beat his guy so good. He beat him so quick, so maybe I can get it in there. And they made a good play. Those are things that I learn as I continue to go through my career, and through the season, and all that. You play smart football. That wasn’t one of my smartest plays, but you learn from it, and you keep going, and the defense picked it up, and we picked it up on offense, we were able to get the ball in overtime and just put our will on them, and run the football well and throw the football well. I had to run and scamper around for a few plays to keep the drive alive, and then Marshawn is so physical and so quick and then gets into the end zone on the last play. ”
(On the feeling when you thought you probably had won, and then Peyton Manning drives the Broncos and ties the game… ) “You never know if you have a victory in hand until the last little play. That’s what I said in the Super Bowl. With 5 minutes left, you have Peyton Manning over there. I still believed, for whatever reason, that the game’s not over. That’s the attitude that we have to have. And it’s the same thing with us. That’s the thing I want to instill in our offense all the time, too. Even though they come back and make a great play, it was almost, and I don’t mean to say this in the wrong way, I was almost hoping it would happen. That we would get the ball. I believed our defense would make a stop, but if it did happen, and I couldn’t wait for those moments. Those big time moments where you have to go up and down the field and make plays and have guys continue to believe in what we do. That was a great experience tonight. It definitely felt like a Super Bowl matchup, that type of physical play and great teams going after on offense and defense and special teams. It came down to the wire, it came down to overtime. ”
(On the key to taking advantage of those moments…) “The key to taking advantage of those moments is still playing smart football, but also playing with an edge. Playing to the edge, but not falling off the edge. Playing with great poise and great composure. It was like when I was little, and I used to watch great players play. I used to watch guys like Michael Jordan, and guys like Derek Jeter, and those type of players, and great teams play. They always find ways to win. You think of the San Antonio Spurs, great teams like that, they play to the end and they find ways to win. That’s what we had to do today. We really made a great effort. I thought the offensive line did a good job tonight. They fought. They have some very, very good defensive ends and a very good defensive line, and we were able to continue to keep the drives alive and be clutch when we needed to. That two-minute drive before the half was big for us, too, as well, especially when the Denver Broncos get the ball after halftime. To get that two-minute drive and score there was awesome.”
(On the play of Ricardo Lockette… ) “I thought Ricardo Lockette was unbelievable today. That guy, he has so much ability, so much speed, so explosive. He does a great job on special teams. He strikes fear in the punt returners every time he runs down there, I think. On that drive, he did a great job, he broke up a pass. That was big. Also, going down against a very good corner, in Talib, who we have a lot of respect for. He runs by him and makes the tough catch in the corner of the end zone on the go ball. Those are the things he’s done all training camp, and all year. He continues to show up, he continues to work, he continues to have the right attitude, he continues to hustle every play in practice, and it shows up in the game. That’s what it really takes, and that’s what all of our receivers do, that’s what all of our tight ends and running backs do as well, and the rest of our team, and Coach Carroll does a great job of instilling that into our teammates, in that, when you practice like that, when you practice to the max, come game time, it’s going to come natural to you.
(On why he plays so well during two minute situations…) “Hopefully, I try to play my best football in those two minute situations, and you have to score. We work it a lot. We work on situational football. One of the greatest things I’ve learned is situational football, and I continue to learn. You never know enough. I watch a lot of live games. My quarterback coach, Coach Smith, I watch a lot of stuff with Coach Bevell too, and Coach Carroll and I talk a lot about those situations, and it gets me prepared for those. I try to live for those moments, and our team does too, as well. We look forward to those moments where you have to go down, and you have to make a play, and that’s what we were able to do. ”
(On what defensive situations caused him to decide to run so often in the overtime drive…) “A few times, we came up with some big first downs passing the ball, especially in the overtime near the end. Also, when it wasn’t there, I knew that I had to fight for it. Sometimes in a game, you have to pick and choose, when to stay in there a little bit longer, when to throw it, and when to slide. And that’s not one of those times, I don’t believe. I’m usually pretty smart on getting down and running out of bounds or whatever, but when the game’s on the line and you have Peyton Manning over there on the other side, you know you have to make some plays. Our guys continue to catch the football well, Marshawn ran the ball extremely hard, same with Robert Turbin, too. We were able to make plays and continue to get the first downs, and that’s what we talked about going into this game, we have to be great on third down. We didn’t really start that great; we didn’t. That’s something that we’re going to continue to improve on, and then in overtime, we were great on third downs, and that’s when you need it. When the game’s on the line, that’s all you can ask for. We just want to win by one point. It doesn’t matter what the score is. ”
(On whether the defense practiced differently this week, after last week’s game…) “Our defense is the same every day. They don’t really change much, and that’s what makes them the best defense, I believe, in the National Football League. They believe in themselves. You think about the week before, Philip Rivers made some great plays, and he’s a great quarterback, and I have a lot of respect for him. He gave us a tough challenge this past week, and obviously going against Peyton Manning, that’s another tough challenge. It doesn’t get much tougher than that. I thought they did a tremendous job of stopping Peyton for most of the game, then that last little drive there, he made some plays. That’s what makes him Peyton Manning, that’s what makes him one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game. To be able to still win that game, and still believe in each other, and believe in the fact that we were going to win the coin toss and get the ball and go 80 yards and score, just like we in Chicago 2 years ago. Those are the type of plays and type of things that we have to continue to focus on. ”
(On the sack near the goal line…) “The guy made a nice play, I think it was DeMarcus Ware hit me, I’m not sure. He got around the edge, he hit me pretty good there, and knocked the ball out, and then there was a little scuffle on the bottom of the pile. Me and him were going at it, I wasn’t going to let him have it. I kept telling him, you’re not going to get this ball. He said, I’ll wait all night, and I said I’ll wait all night, too. We were fighting for it for a while. The ref said we gotta go, Russell’s got it, and [Ware said] no, I got it, I got it. We were going back and forth, and I said, DeMarcus, I’m not letting you have this. I just kept squeezing as hard as I could, and finally I turned and got him off me, and he’s a big dude, so I was going 100% strength, maybe 110% strength. I did everything I could to make sure that he didn’t get that one.”
(On the last time he caught a pass, and his evaluation of Kearse’s throw…) “The last time I caught a pass was probably at University of Wisconsin, I think I caught a touchdown pass. Kearse’s throw, I thought it was on the money, he threw it on the money, I got hit pretty good, but I can take a few hits. I’m used to taking some hits every once in a while. I thought he did a really good job on the throw.”
WR DOUG BALDWIN
(On what the offense was able to do in overtime) “They threw punches at us and we had to take them and we were able to do that. The last drive, to go 13 plays 80 yards and punch it in for the score for the game, that’s a testament to what this team has become.”
(On the offense struggling at times but getting it done at the right time) “Like I said, just the resiliency of this team, the way we came back we took the punches and we were able to get back on our feet and keep going. Like I said, it’s a testament to this team, how we’re built, our mentality, and that we can take the hits and take the punches and come back and continue to fight.”
(On what it was like in the huddle coming in to overtime) “It was no different than it was when we got into the huddle in the first quarter. We were all calm. We were all focused. I said my words to Marshawn [Lynch] as I always do. Percy [Harvin] and I talked and then me and Jermaine [Kearse] talked and then we were just ready to go. We knew what the situation was — all we had to do was go out there and execute our game plan.”
(On if the calmness and maturity comes with playing with guys for a long period of time) “I think so. I don’t want to over-hype it but tonight was a special night. Like I said for us to be taking the hits that we did defensively and offensively and still come back and continue to fight and then in that last series 13 plays 80 yards punch it in for the win it’s just unbelievable and it speaks loudly about this team.”
G JAMES CARPENTER
(On how special tonight’s game was) “It was good to come back like that. It was a good game.”
(On RB Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown at the end of the game) “It was a great play by Marshawn [Lynch]. He did the win.”
(On the OT drive) “It feels like we were on the same page. We did our tempo and we were on it.”
WR PERCY HARVIN
(On Kearse’s completion…) “Pretty good, he’s 1 for 1. We’ll take that. It was a heck of a pass from Kearse—we’ve been working on that all week. It was great we were able to run it and execute it.”
(On losing the lead…) “It’s football and we were playing a great team. We know that Peyton Manning can put up points in a bunch. We felt like offensively, throughout the whole game, we didn’t execute as well as we needed. I felt like the defense gave us a lot of opportunities to blow the game open and we didn’t execute them, so we’ll go back to the drawing board and be better.”
(On the confidence of the team’s offense…) “Absolutely. We feel that if the line blocks, he’s (Russell Wilson) reading it, the receivers do their thing, we are a tough team to beat. We showed that in the last drive. You’ve got to deal with Russell Wilson’s legs, and once you deal with that you have to deal with Marshawn. There are a lot of elements to this offense and were able to put them to use.”
(On Ricardo Lockette …) “I tell him all the time on the sideline—‘you’re an impact player.’ I don’t care if it’s on offense or special teams, he does both of them, and he definitely has a foundation to build upon. I am very, very happy for him.”
WR JERMAINE KEARSE
(On the overtime possession…) “It was great. It was a battle. We stuck it through, and we drove 80 yards for a touchdown.”
(On preparing for overtime…) “It starts with T-Jack winning that toss. My thought is that this is how football games will be and you just have to battle through it, that’s exactly what we did.”
(On the pass to Russell Wilson…) “It was a lot of fun, especially because Russell completed it. He did a great job catching it. I would have liked a touchdown, but I could have helped out with that. At some point we might [do it again], you never know…I might be the next franchise quarterback.”
WR RICARDO LOCKETTE
(On his touchdown…) “It was just a double-go and I had Aqib (Talib) on me and I felt like I was faster than him, so I felt I should just beat him to the end zone and when the ball was in the air I had no doubt it was mine.”
(On defending a potential interception…) “I was pretty much doing what I was trained to do—if the defender is in position to catch the ball, we turn into DB’s, same with them turning into receivers. We switched roles and in that position I felt like I did a good job playing as a DB. L.O.B.”
(On his touchdown celebration…) “I treat this like a day in the office—it’s a glorified practice. Don’t get anything in a bunch, so I wiped my sleeves off, fix my tie, and leave the field with my briefcase, just another day in the office.”
(On what is bigger—a special teams big hit or touchdown…) “I haven’t figured that one out yet—I am just trying to be the best player I can possibly be. When I am out there I don’t think about making a play, I think about doing everything I have been taught. When you do that—offense or defense or special teams—it puts you in a pretty good position.”
CB RICHARD SHERMAN
(On the offense scoring in overtime…) “It felt good, it felt good. You know what to expect from your teammates, you trust them. When you know what kind of quarterback you have, what kind of offense you have it allows you to relax.”
(On Kam Chancellor’s interception…) “Kam made a great read—it was a great throw as well. I think he underestimated Kam’s athleticism and he paid for it.”
(On the defense keeping focus…) “We play disciplined team football.”
(On the chippy nature of the game…) “It was no different than the Super Bowl. It was two teams that respected each other, at least that is how it was on defense.”
(On if it was seen a statement game…) “We weren’t concerned about them. We were more concerned about playing our game and our ball. At the end of the day we let the chip fall where it may. They were a great team, when you play a quarterback like that you just want to play your best football.”
DE CLIFF AVRIL
(On defensive line’s emphasis of stopping the run) Once you make them one dimensional and being up most of the game, it makes you have to pass the ball. So we just pin our ears back and try to get after the quarterback.
(On does he feel the defensive line got after the quarterback) I think we put pressure on him, but he’s a hall of fame quarterback. When it counted, he came up and made some plays that I feel like we were in position to make, but he’s again, he’s a hall of fame quarterback. All in all, we got the W [win] so hey, the heck with it.
(On affecting Peyton Manning without hitting him) We made him move his feet, made him get off the point. Peyton doesn’t really like to run so if you making him run or making him move around a little more than he’s use to, then you’re make it hard on him. I think we did a good job a few times of doing that. ”
DE MICHAEL BENNETT
(On how much of it was being able to watch film on Broncos running game and how much of it was getting back to the basics of tackling) “I think it was not missing any tackles. Last week we were in the position to make the tackles but they bounced off. So this week we were going to come back and sure they didn’t bounce off.”
(On what that did for the defensive line) “It did a great job of getting a good chance of rushing, getting us opportunities and try to get them back and try make him get off his spot. Peyton Manning likes to sit on his spots. We read the screens very well today.”
(On what this game says about the resilience of this team after last week) “It says that we still have that intestinal fortitude to come back and bounce back and do what we need to do. Some games are going to be like that. It’s the NFL. Every week is going to be about everybody giving their best. We can’t afford to not win those games.”
OLB K.J. WRIGHT
(On offense’s OT drive) We knew it was going to come down to the end. With that offense [Broncos] you just got to make sure you find a way to finish the game. We did that with an overtime victory, where our offense drove down the field; it shows the determination and the grit of this football team. We got all of it and I’m glad we bolded up.
(On Jon Ryan) He was amazing. He does it in practice and he does it all the time in a game so he really changed their field position, gave us a short field. He did a tremendous job for us.
(On Denver’s last possession) It was like a crease route pretty much. We just have to be able to see that better. They got two on one in that situation, but we’ll go over it and I’m sure that won’t happen again.
(On defending Julius Thomas) We knew that was a go to guy. He and Peyton [Manning] have a good relationship. So we had to make sure we took him and Demaryius Thomas out the game because if they get started, they can just spread it all over the football field.
S EARL THOMAS
(On Peyton Manning’s late 4th quarter drive to force OT) He’s a great quarterback. We did a great job the whole game just managing his reads, making it hard on him, but he did a great job of adjusting. Obviously, they saw something in that empty package versus what we were bringing towards them and they capitalized on it.
(On any doubt when Seahawks offense got the ball in OT) You can’t think about it. You have to try and go over the stuff that you have to go over in case you have to go out because now in the NFL if they kick a field goal, the opposing team get a chance to score on you. So you’re just going over your notes with your coach and trying to make sure your mind is right for your opportunity.
(On what changed for the defense in the 4th quarter) We really dominated the whole game. Both sides had break downs, but we made this game hard on ourselves. When you really look at it, we were in control the whole game. We kind of had those backed up situations with our offense and we had a lot of miscues so it put us in a bad spot and we didn’t capitalize.
(On what he does strategically different than the Super Bowl) Nothing really; just a different level of understanding you have as a football player, and that was basically it. I’m very keyed into my technique and everybody else because we’ve been in this system for five years now. Everybody knows that we’re tied on a string, but Kam Chancellor, Sherm [Richard Sherman], and myself we always have to play big; That’s the big three, we always have to play big.”
S KAM CHANCELLOR
(On defense’s big plays) When it comes down to crunch time, I think everybody in here wants to step up and make that big play. That’s why everyone watches film and practices hard for and when your opportunity comes, you just take advantage of it and that’s exactly what we did. We gave up a couple passes, but we stayed in there, we hung in there. We made plays and we got turnovers.
(On what he’s thinking on Seahawks last field goal, and defense needing a stop on Broncos last drive) What I’m thinking is; if we go out on defense, we are going to stop them. When offense goes out there, they’re going to score. That’s why we’re a championship team because we deal with adversity, we deal with adversity, we always stick together, and we always got each other’s back. That’s the reason we’re a championship team.
(On where is Jermaine Kearse on the quarterback depth chart) The way he threw that, he’s maybe number ten. I’ll take four, five, six, and seven. You can get number eight, nine, and ten. He made a great pass though; He completed a good pass, Russell [Wilson] had a good catch. It played out just like practice.
(On the interception…) “What I saw was a route that I was familiar with. I saw them run three seams but I know I had to hold the second seam off to look for the check down. But I saw Peyton’s (Manning) eyes, I saw him look right at it. Broke back, jumped at it and caught the ball.”
(On if he was surprised he threw the ball…) “I was, I was right there in position to make the play. But he is a great quarterback and he makes risky plays sometimes and sometimes you make them and sometimes you don’t. That is a part of being great, high risk, high reward.”
(On if he thought they had won the game after the interception…) “When the clock doesn’t say zero it isn’t over. It isn’t over until the clock says zero so you can’t ever think the game is over until the clock says zero.”
(On if on the last drive they were showing the defense things they haven’t seen before…) “I can’t say it was stuff we haven’t seen before. We have seen them on film, maybe we haven’t played against that route but we have seen it on film. We just have to be aware of it and be ready next time because teams copy, it’s a copycat league. Just have to be aware of it.”
(On if he feels like they took Denver’s best shot today…) “Last year was a different team for them and us. We are two completely different teams. I know it was going to be a battle and a hard fought game. It’s about having each other’s back. Defense played for the offense, offense played for the defense and both for the special teams. All three sides lift each other up, whether it by Jon Ryan kicking it the distance of the field, whether it’s the defense getting turnovers, whether it’s the offense finishing the game I think do a great job of picking each other up and playing team ball.”
(On if this was Denver’s best shot…) “I can’t really say that. They are a great team, It’s about who makes the least mistakes and that’s what it comes down to.”
(On if the Denver game plan was conservative…) “I wouldn’t say its conservative. That is their offense. That is the offense they want to run. Peyton Manning knows where he wants to throw the ball, sometimes he has the check down but he knows where he wants to throw the ball, he knows who he wants to look off. That is their offense they take the shots when they want to take the shots.”
(On if the last drive they gave up reduces their satisfaction with the game…) “Not at all. We just have to be sharper. They are a good team, they will beat you on some plays and hats off to them. If they find a weak spot in the zone then they find it hats off to them. Just have to fight to the end and that is where the offense steps in, that is where the special teams steps in.”
(On if his interception reminded him of the NFC Championship game…) “No, it just reminded me of an interception, it didn’t remind me of another game.”
(On if he thought he had a pick-six when he caught it…) “I did, I definitely did until the hamstrings kicked in. Thought I had it.”
CB MARCUS BURLEY
(On the match-up between him and Broncos WR Wes Welker) “Going in being the new guy and who they were targeting and with Wes Welker being a great receiver and Peyton Manning being a great quarterback so you have to preparing for them to go after me so you have to handle your business.”
(On how the Broncos lost TE Virgil Green early in the game and how they affected how the defense could play) “We stuck to our same game plan and got what we had to get done and got our techniques.”
(On what changed in the second half for Broncos QB Peyton Manning and what he noticed about him falling into rhythm) “Well like I said, they have great receivers, he’s a great quarterback, and they made some plays. That happens sometimes.”
(On how much of what he saw today was exactly what you saw on film from them) “A lot. A lot of what I saw today was what I saw on film. Even though they’re a team that they do what they do and they do it well so we knew what we were going to get with them.”
(On how the rest of the members of the Legion of Boom help bring him along being the new guy) “(Richard) Sherman, (Byron) Maxwell, Earl (Thomas), Kam (Chancellor), and (Jeremy) Lane they help me with everything on and off the field. When I’m on the field, they’re talking to me, giving me little hints, things to look for and stuff so they’re very supportive.”
DENVER HEAD COACH JOHN FOX
(Was your defense out of gas in overtime…) “I don’t know about that. We knew that this was going to be a prize fight type of environment. They are a very, very good football team, defending world champs. This is very tough place to play. They have only lost once at home in over two years.
We stumbled around in the first half. I felt like our defense kept us in the game in the first half. We were able to come out in the second half and play a little better offensively. We had a takeaway on defense that helped and a safety. So I thought we were the better second half football team today. This was our first road game. All in all, there are no moral victories but hats off to them, they’re a good football team. Russell kind of took them on his shoulders in that last drive and made some plays when it counted.”
(Any questions about your team versus Seattle after today, after the Super Bowl…) “There wasn’t any questions for me. I don’t know who had the questions but they weren’t from me.”
(Is it hard to account for a quarterback running in certain situations…) “That’s what they do. He (Wilson) is a great player. He made some great plays, like great players do, down the stretch.”
(How frustrating was it for Payton not to get a possession in overtime…) “You would have to ask him that. We haven’t had a chance to visit about that, we just finished the game. Like I said, you would have to ask him that.”
(Do you like the overtime rules…) “The rules are the rules. I think that the tuck rule needs to be looked at, but the overtime rule is fine.”
QB PEYTON MANNING
(On the game-tying drive…) “Sure, certainly it gave ourselves a chance. I was disappointed with the last drive before that. We had the chance to take the lead, which could have put us in position to win the game. They would have had time to possibly tie it or whatnot. I was disappointed about that, but a good last drive to send it to overtime and then their offense had a good chance on that first series in overtime.”
(On areas to improve…) “The game didn’t start out the way we wanted to. We had a good second drive. I thought Virgil Green’s injury was significant—it changed some things and limited us a little bit formation-wise that we were going to try to do… I missed Julius (Thomas) in the end zone, not a good throw by me. It would have been nice to get the touchdown there, so we changed a little bit once Virgil went out. Of course being down two scores we became one-dimensional, which is not what you want against these guys. It wasn’t working for us, especially being down two scores. That put us in a one-dimensional phase.”
(On the loss…) “It was disappointing, a disappointing loss. It’s a Week 3 loss, we have a bye week, and hopefully this week and next week we can maybe get a couple of guys back that are injured. It’s disappointing. [We will watch] film to learn from, both some of the good things we did and some of the negative things.”
(On communication with the line…) “I think so, I thought we did a pretty good job there. Might have had one run play in the first quarter where a couple guys didn’t get the check, but besides that I thought from the communication standpoint we were all on the same page, just from an execution standpoint wasn’t where we needed it to be.”
(On not having a chance in overtime…) “They changed the rules a little bit, but it doesn’t really change if you go down and get a touchdown. It puts a premium on the coin toss—called tails at the beginning of the game, went with it again in overtime, it was heads, and it proved to be a significant call. That’s the way it is and you like to not leave it to that, not that situation—we had a chance on the second to last series of the game, bad throw by me, and our defense did a good job stopping them. That last drive was good with the two-point conversion [and] no timeouts. All we did was tie it, and it proved to be a little too late.”
(On finding positives…) “You have to find ways to take positives from it. It’s disappointing, but it is Week 3. We certainly want to improve from this game. Defensively, coaches are going to find some negative things, but they will find a lot of positive things. Offensively, we have some things we have to fix just from an execution standpoint, and I have to look better as well.”
(On comparing this to the Super Bowl…) “We obviously fought back better this time than last time. Last time we got down early in the game and never got anything going, so we did get something going here in the second half. The defense had a critical turnover to springboard us, and we just had to go 80 yards in under a minute with no timeouts, that’s not easy to do against this defense. Those are things you take it when you get in this situation, ‘Hey, we have been here before, we can do it.’ I try to build off things like that. When you lose a game like that I try to go back before that and I wish I would have hit this, hit Julius in the end zone, [and] don’t turn it over on the first play—a potential 10-point swing there. When you start going back like that against this team it puts you in a hole.”
(On Denver’s defense…) “Our defense hung in there tough all day. They made some plays. A credit to their offense, that was a good drive and obviously finished it off with a touchdown run. Our defense held in there tough, their offense just had a good drive on that series.”
(On throwing it towards Sherman on the two-point attempt…) “We pretty much throw it to different guys and a lot of that depends on where the hash is or what particular call it is. Both their corners are good corner guys—you have to make good throws against both of them. That particular play was zone coverage and DT made a good catch. Obviously in a two-point conversion you just want a chance, and he made a good catch and stayed in bounds as well.”
(On running the ball on third and long…) “The first third down was a certain defense we thought had a chance for a specific run, just a certain thing they were doing we would have a chance to pop it. Second play we weren’t supposed to snap the ball—we weren’t supposed to run the ball. We just had a different kind of snap count, they were in a man-to-man and we were going to change the play and throw it, we had a miscommunication and that was unfortunate because that was not going to be a good play. I thought Virgil’s injury was significant—we had a good drive with him in there. Once he went out it limited some of the things we wanted to do (with formations), and I thought we became one-dimensional because of his injury and score. That is not what you want to do with these guys—you want to be balanced and give them different personnel groupings.”