Seahawks get ‘Mile High' win

It's a cliché to say that kickers have ice-water in their veins, but if it was ever true, Seahawks K Josh Brown is the classic case of that. In swirling winds and 16-degree temperatures, Brown nailed a 50-yarder as time ran down to seal a 23-20 victory over the Denver Broncos.

It wasn't all roses for Brown, as he missed his first two attempts – from 40 and 53 – badly, but he came back to hit three kicks in the second half including the game-winner.

Things started off tough for both Seattle and Denver's offenses as both punters got plenty of work throughout the night, but especially early.

Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck threw for only 39 yards in the first half and struggled with his mechanics the whole night. He finished the night 16 of 28 for 168 yards, but didn't throw a touchdown and had one interception late in the third quarter.

Rookie QB Jay Cutler was the typical rookie. Good at times, bad at others. He finished the night 10 of 21 for 143 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

After Broncos K Jason Elam hit a field goal to put the home team up 3-0, Brown missed the 53-yard attempt and TE Will Heller was called for holding. Because Seattle missed the field goal, the 10-yard holding penalty was tacked onto the spot of the ball and Cutler took advantage.

RB Tatum Bell went over left tackle for a 31-yard gain and on 2nd-and-goal from Seattle's seven Cutler hit TE Steven Alexander for the first touchdown pass of his career.

After Seattle punted, Cutler again had the chance to eat up some clock and drive the Broncos but made a rookie mistake when he was pressured by DE Bryce Fisher and DT Rocky Bernard.

As he was going down, Cutler tried to throw the ball away, but it sailed right into the waiting arms of DE Darryl Tapp who then raced 25 yards for the score and Seattle was right back in the game down only 10-7.

Shortly before halftime, Cutler drove Denver to Seattle's 23 and Elam was able to nail a 41-yarder sending the teams into their locker rooms with the Broncos up 13-7.

The third quarter was plagued by ineffective offense and turnovers as each team had drives killed by a turnover, but that was only a precursor for a hectic fourth quarter.

With 8:17 left in the final stanza, Hasselbeck hit Darrell Jackson on two big gainers – passes of 27 and 34 yards – to Denver's one and Alexander plunged in from one yard out to put Seattle in the lead 14-13.

On the ensuing kickoff, KR Brian Clark was hit by a host of Seahawks and fumbled. DE Joe Tafoya recovered and six plays later Brown hit a 44-yarder to put Seattle up 17-13.

The first play of the next drive wasn't any better for the Broncos as Cutler was intercepted by S Jordan Babineaux who was shoved out of bounds at Denver's 14 yard line.

But Seattle was unable to gain a first down and they settled for Brown's second field goal of the night, a 23-yarder, putting the Seahawks up 20-13 with less than three minutes remain.

Cutler, who was making his first pro start, dropped back on 1st-and-10 from his own 29 and hit WR Brandon Marshall with a short pass. Marshall then broke six tackles and outraced Seattle's defense for a 71-yard score to tie the game at 20 apiece.

Hasselbeck then marched Seattle on its final drive, a 10-play, 54 yard drive that ate up all but the final five seconds before Brown came in to hit the game winner.

Seattle, now 8-4 and leading the NFC West, now prepares to face the pesky Arizona Cardinals, now 3-9 after beating the St. Louis Rams, in Phoenix on Sunday.

Scott Eklund writes and reports for Seahawks.NET and Feel free to contact him at Top Stories