Postgame notes and quotes from Seahawks 26, Broncos 20

First off, the injury (non) news. Pete Carroll said the Seahawks came out of the game healthy, after a few injury scares. Russell Okung left with a shoulder injury, but the left tackle returned to the game and said he was fine. Earl Thomas also left the game, but he said that was to get an IV when he felt like cramps might be coming on. If you’ll recall, Thomas cramped up in last week’s game in San Diego and had to leave the game for a series.

Cornerback Marcus Burley took a huge hit from safety Kam Chancellor, but said he was fine after the game too.

“That’s probably the hardest I’ve ever been hit,” said Burley, who could laugh about it after the game. “He just knocked the wind out of me for a second, but I’m fine.”

As for the game itself, it took seven months longer than most expected, but we finally did get to see a Seahawks-Broncos classic. Seattle looked to be in control for most of the game, but a few miscues by the offense, most notably a safety and interception on consecutive drives, allowed Denver to get back in it, then Peyton Manning put together an impressive 80-yard touchdown drive in the final minute to tie it.

The drive was rather stunning considering how well the Seahawks defense had played throughout the game up to that point. After struggling in San Diego, Seattle’s defense was back to its old self, hitting hard and making sure tackles, but a couple of coverage breakdowns were enough for a quarterback of Manning’s ability.

“I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t,” receiver Doug Baldwin said when asked if it was shocking to see Denver move the ball like that on Seattle’s defense. “Obviously our defense is very good, one of the best defenses in the NFL, so it’s shocking to see that happen. But at the same time, we knew we had the weapons and the fire power to go down and score points, and we were able to do that.”

And indeed in overtime Seattle had the weapons, most notably one named Russell Wilson. Wilson was four for six for 35 yards in overtime, and rushed for 21 yards on four carries, then Marshawn Lynch punched it in from 6 yards out for the win.

“Just the resiliency of this team, we came back, we took the punches and were able to get back on our feet and keep going,” Baldwin said. “That’s a testament to this team, how we’re built, our mentality. We can take the hits, we can come back and continue to fight.

“I don’t want to over-hype it, but tonight was a special night. For us to be taking the hits that we did defensively and offensively and to still come back and continue to fight, and have that last series—13 plays, 80 yards—and punch it in for the win, it’s just unbelievable. It speaks loudly about this team.”

Baldwin, and many others, had praise for Wilson, who has helped the Seahawks go 30-10, playoffs included, since winning the starting job as a rookie. Wilson and the Seahawks are also 7-0 now against Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers in the past two seasons, the four quarterbacks who are almost always considered the best in the NFL, with Wilson throwing 14 touchdowns and just one interception in those game.

“There’s really nothing you can say,” Baldwin said of Wilson. “I’m speechless. For him to be as poised as he is back there, making the reads he’s making, and not making bad decisions but making great decisions in every facet, whether it’s throwing the ball or taking off and using his legs to get first downs, it’s unbelievable… He did a phenomenal job all night.”

More praise for Wilson

Zach Miller: “I don’t think anyone ever doubts Russell, he’s just too good,” tight end Zach Miller said. “If you think he’s struggling at all, you know he’s going to make plays like he did with his feet that were so huge there in the second half and overtime. We always trust in him, you know he’s going to win the game for you at some point, and if he doesn’t, then they must have done something really amazing.”

Pete Carroll: “Russell does not get fazed… He was just fantastic today, just an incredible effort. The finish to that day, making those first downs, just amazing play by the quarterback.”

“He’s an amazing football player, he really is.”

Broncos CB Chris Harris: “Keep talking up Andrew Luck. Russell Wilson is better than Luck. No question.”

Of course the Seahawks didn’t win because of Wilson alone, and you might not have guessed who Carroll called the MVP of the game: punter Jon Ryan.

“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.”

Ryan’s big day prompted a great quote from him: “They let me let the leg out a little bit, and I love it. I’ll hit as many bombs as they let me hit, so I had a great time out there today.”

All right, time to call it a night from CenturyLink Field. I’ll be back with links of our coverage and who knows what else tomorrow.

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