Wilson leads Seahawks to 26-20 win over Broncos in OT

SEATTLE — In a Super Bowl rematch that was nothing like Super Bowl XLVIII in February, the Seattle Seahawks still came up with the same outcome.

That is, a victory over the Denver Broncos.

But unlike last season’s championship game, which the Seahawks won in a 43-8 blowout, Sunday’s Seattle-Denver showdown at CenturyLink Field was an overtime thriller. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning gave his team a chance to win by putting together an 80-yard TD drive and a two-point PAT late in regulation, but the Seahawks countered in overtime with an 80-yard TD drive of their own for a 26-20 victory.

As Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch dove into the end zone for the game-winning score on a 6-yard TD run, the stadium erupted with an explosion of cheers.

It was, said Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, “a tremendous game. … It was one for the ages.”

“That was really a championship game today,” agreed Seattle head coach Pete Carroll. “A great opponent, a great matchup, and I’m really fired up about the way we played.”

Yes, the Seahawks won for the second time in three games this season, but only by the skin of their teeth. Seattle took a 17-3 lead into the fourth quarter, but in the space of six minutes the Seahawks surrendered a safety, forced a punt and then immediately gave the ball back to Denver on a Wilson interception, and then allowed a Broncos touchdown to make the score 17-12.

A field goal with 59 seconds to play gave the Seahawks a 20-12 lead, but Manning then did brilliantly what he has done repeatedly in his long NFL career. The Broncos needed just six plays and 41 seconds to reach the end zone, with Manning passing 26 yards to backup tight end Jacob Tamme for the touchdown. Another pass, this to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, gave Denver the two-point PAT to tie the score at 20-20.

“It was a great job by Peyton (Manning), of course,” Carroll said. “(You know) he’s going to do something and he did it.”

In overtime, the Seahawks won the coin toss, elected to receive, and commenced a 12-play scoring drive. Wilson passed for one first down, ran for another, and then passed for two more. A defensive penalty gave Seattle its fifth first down of the drive, and another Wilson pass gave the Seahawks a first-and-goal at the Denver 6.

On the next play, Lynch burst through the left side for the game-winner.

“We were kind of disappointed that we were going (to overtime),” Carroll said. “We thought we had the game won (in regulation), but then (Seattle’s offense) came out and threw just a championship drive. Russell was all over the field, the guys up front did a fantastic job, and Marshawn finished it off with a great play.”

“It definitely felt like a Super Bowl matchup,” Wilson said. “That type of physical play, great teams going after (each other) on offense and defense and special teams, and then it came down to the wire.”

The victory improves the Seahawks to 2-1 and keeps them one game behind undefeated Arizona, which beat San Francisco 23-14 on Sunday, in the NFC West standings. After last week’s loss at San Diego, it also gives Seattle an upbeat feeling heading into a bye week.

“Coming off a loss, you want to get that nasty taste out of your mouth,” said Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright. “You don’t want to go back-to-back with losses, especially going into the bye week. So I was proud that we fought all the way to the end and found a way to get the job done.”

“I don’t want to over-hype it, but (this) was a special (game),” added wide receiver Doug Baldwin. “For us to take the hits that we did defensively and offensively, to come back and continue to fight, and then in that last series (to go) 13 plays and 80 yards and punch it in for the win, it’s just unbelievable. And it speaks loudly about this team.”

There was some feeling the Seahawks might win easily, based on the one-sided Super Bowl outcome, “but this is the NFL and every game is not going to be easy,” Wright said. “We expect every game to be hard, and then we’re going to come out and try to find a way to win.”

“Everyone looks at us winning the Super Bowl last year and (asks) why that doesn’t just carry over (to this season),” said tight end Zach Miller. “But we’re a new team, and whatever we did last year doesn’t matter this year. We have to set our own identity this year and learn how to do it all over again.”

Ultimately, added safety Earl Thomas, Seattle found a way to win a tough game, “and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”

Ahead for the Seahawks is an October schedule of just one home game and three road games, including two trips to the East Coast. That stretch begins with a Monday night game in Washington on Oct. 6.

“This was a great win,” Carroll said, “and now we go into the bye. We’ll take a good break, and then get back and get ready to go in Washington.”

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