Not much went right for the Broncos on Saturday night in Seattle, as their own poor play (four turnovers, nine penalties), a better performance by the Seahawks, and some spotty work from the officiating crew culminated in a 40-10 blowout loss.
To make matters worse, Derek Wolfe suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit early on, was immobilized, and taken from the field via ambulance, with what was diagnosed as a cervical spine injury. Thankfully, the second-year lineman reportedly has movement in all of his extremities and no broken bones, and he will fly with the team back to Denver.
Wes Welker (ankle sprain), Champ Bailey (foot), Stewart Bradley (wrist), and Louis Vasquez (knee) also left the game with injuries.
Seattle opened the scoring with a long touchdown drive capped by a TD pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse, who made a fool out of Chris Harris on the play.
Peyton Manning started moving the Broncos downfield on their next possession, but Julius Thomas fumbled after a nice pass and snag, and Seattle capitalized with a field goal to make it 10-0 after ten minutes.
Manning & Co. responded with an 80-yard drive that consumed just 3:11 of game time and ended with an 11-yard catch-and-run score by Wes Welker.
Kearse took back the ensuing kickoff 107 yards to make the score 17-7, although Omar Bolden appeared to be victimized by a hold on the play; a flag was was picked up after a discussion by the officials.
Manning would engineer another 80-yard drive, but the possession was bookended by a pair of Ronnie Hillman fumbles. Hillman coughed it up at or near the goal line, and Seattle added another controversial touchdown, this time on a 106-yard return to go up 24-7.
Denver's coverage team failed again on a 33-yard punt return by Golden Tate, which led to a 41-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka.
Just before halftime, Wilson threw another touchdown pass, this time to Sean McGrath. Hauschka missed the extra point, and the teams headed to the locker room with the Seahawks up 33-7.
Late in the third quarter, the Seahawks piled on some more, with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Tarvaris Jackson to Stephen Williams, making the score 40-7.
The Broncos finally added a second score in the fourth quarter, with a 33-yard field goal from Matt Prater, following a 73-yard punt return by Trindon Holliday.
If nothing else, we're assured the Broncos won't be too full of themselves anytime soon, and the coaches will have plenty of material with which to drill their players this week.