Denver Broncos’ Russell Wilson greeted with boos, close loss in much-anticipated return to Seattle

SEATTLE — With emotional wounds still fresh on both sides and the rest of the story to be told, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson returned to his decade-long home in Seattle Monday night for a rough season opener.

And when all was said and done, Seahawks fans had been booing all night, Seattle quarterback Geno Smith was playing his best football and the Broncos’ offense failed to convert yards into points when they lost fumbles twice at Playing from the 1-yard line in a 17-16 Broncos loss.

And in a stadium where Wilson had orchestrated so many dramatic comeback victories, Wilson and Denver’s efforts failed when Brandon McManus missed a 64-yard field goal attempt with 15 seconds left.

Wilson finished the night 29 of 42 for 340 yards and a touchdown on his first start for the Broncos since the team sent five draft picks, including two first-round picks and two second-round picks, as well as three players to acquire Wilson in Seattle last March.

Almost from the moment the full NFL schedule was released, the Wilson-Seahawks reunion has been circled on many calendars. Wilson, his new Broncos teammates, and the Seahawks had all played publicly against the crowd, which was just another game.

But the answer to the question of whether or not Wilson would be booed after 10 seasons in Seattle, which included nine Pro Bowl selections, two Super Bowl trips and one Super Bowl win, was answered from the moment Wilson entered the field for the pre-game. The trusty Seahawks booed vigorously the whole time.

The crowd even chanted “Ge-no, Ge’no, Ge-no” as if in an attempt to show that when Smith made any notable plays and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll pointed out many of them had moved on The crowd got louder when the Broncos had the ball. The crowd chanted Smith’s name as the quarterback took the final knees to seal the win.

Wilson played a toned-down pace for most of the first half — he didn’t aim or complete a pass to a Broncos wide receiver until there was just 5 minutes and 34 seconds left in the first half. However, that game was a 65-yard catch-and-run finish for a touchdown that tied the game 10-10.

Smith, who won a fight at training camp with Drew Lock, one of the players the Broncos sent to Seattle for the starting job, was nearly perfect in the first half. Smith completed his first 13 passes of the game, was 17 of 18 with two touchdowns as the Seahawks took a 17-13 lead at halftime.

Wilson had arrived at the stadium a few hours before kick-off in a Fashion Week-worthy ensemble, and almost every moment was a bye or a reunion of sorts as he made his way around the stadium and through his warm-ups.

A handshake here, a wave there, Wilson set about at least continuing to try to stick to the script that Wilson and the rest of the Broncos had adhered to in the days and weeks leading up to Monday’s game.

For Seahawks, cornerback Richard Sherman showed a loud ovation on stadium videotape 30 minutes before kickoff. And former Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was another of several former Seattle players who roamed the sidelines during warm-up.

It all ended in McManus’ miss and a celebration of the 12’s that Wilson had hoped would welcome him back.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34582061/denver-broncos-russell-wilson-greeted-boos-close-loss-much-anticipated-return-seattle Denver Broncos’ Russell Wilson greeted with boos, close loss in much-anticipated return to Seattle

Emma Bowman

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