DENVER — The Broncos are 1-0 for the seventh consecutive season.
Using a dominant pass rush and huge production from rookie running backs Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, the Broncos overcame three Case Keenum interceptions to beat Seattle 27-24 Sunday afternoon.
The Broncos took the lead for good with 11:11 remaining on receiver Demaryius Thomas' four-yard touchdown catch along the right sideline.
Linebacker Von Miller had three sacks and two forced fumbles (one recovery).
The Broncos took over with 3:28 remaining and got three carries totaling 37 yards from Freeman. They eventually punted, but forced Seattle to use its remaining timeouts.
Seattle started its final drive at its 12-yard line with 1:01 remaining. After an 11-yard pass to tight end Nick Vannett, quarterback Russell Wilson fumbled the shotgun snap, using up precious time. By the time he spiked the next play, only 21 seconds remained. His final pass at the gun was intercepted by Adam Jones.
Midway through the third quarter, the Broncos had a golden chance to extend their seven-point halftime lead. A forced fumble/fumble recovery by Miller gave the Broncos possession at the Seattle 40. But Keenum's third interception was returned 39 yards by Bradley McDougald. It was his second pick of the game.
The Seahawks tied the score at 17 when Wilson scrambled to extend the play before throwing a 20-yard touchdown to receiver Brandon Marshall (Bradley Roby in coverage).
The Broncos took a 20-17 lead with 2:01 left in the third quarter on Brandon McManus' 53-yard field goal. Justin Simmons set up the possession with an interception. The possession went nowhere, (three plays, no yards), setting up McManus' field goal.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, Seattle went back ahead (24-20) on Wilson's 51-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett. On the second-and-10 play, Wilson rolled right and waited for Lockett to cross from the right to the left. Lockett was originally covered by Chris Harris, but Simmons appeared to lose him downfield and Simmons trailed in coverage.
The Broncos re-took the lead on the ensuing possession. Keenum threw 25 yards to receiver Courtland Sutton to the Seattle 31. Four plays later, on third-and-10, Keenum threw 22 yards to tight end Jake Butt. Keenum was hit late, adding five yards to the play. On the next snap, Thomas caught a four-yard touchdown; the ruling stood after a replay review. The Broncos led 27-24 with 11:11 remaining.
The Broncos built a 17-10 halftime lead, outgaining Seattle 297-157 despite two Keenum interceptions.
Keenum's first interception might have been a miscommunication -- he threw the pass down the right seam but Thomas had not turned around. Free safety Earl Thomas, who ended his Seahawks holdout on Wednesday, returned the interception 25 yards.
Seattle made it 7-0 on the next play when Wilson threw 15 yards to tight end Will Dissly. On the play, Dissly was initially engaged with linebacker Bradley Chubb, but when he released his block, Chubb's eyes remained in the backfield.
The Broncos answered with a 29-yard catch and run touchdown by Lindsay. Keenum started the drive with a 20-yard pass to Sutton. On Lindsay's touchdown, he caught Keenum's pass in the left flat and sprinted down the sideline untouched.
The Seahawks used another big Dissly play -- a 66-yard reception in which Simmons and Darian Stewart both missed tackles -- to set up Sebastian Janikowski's 35-yard field goal early in the second quarter. A Seahawks touchdown was wiped out because of an offensive pass interference penalty by Brandon Marshall.
The Broncos took their first lead (14-10 with 10:29 left in the first half) on Emmanuel Sanders' 43-yard touchdown catch. Sanders caught the pass 17 yards downfield and front-flipped his way over the goal-line.
McManus' 51-yard field goal made it 17-10.
Seattle then moved to the Broncos' 32, but Miller had two sacks in a span of three plays and then Janikowski missed from 51 yards (which was negated by a Broncos offside penalty) and a 46-yard attempt.
The Broncos sacked Wilson four times in the first half.
The Broncos moved to the Seattle 26, but Keenum's pass was intercepted by McDougald.