Russell Wilson was booed relentlessly in his return to Seattle, and his replacement was serenaded with chants of “Geno! Geno! Geno!” throughout the game, as Geno Smith and the Seahawks upset the Denver Broncos 17-16 to open their seasons Monday night before a packed house at Lumen Field.

Three immediate impressions from the game:

Impressive debut for new Seattle D

A weird call, wasn’t it, for the Broncos to settle for a 64-yard field-goal attempt there in the closing seconds?

Predictably, Brandon McManus’ 64-yard attempt fell short (and wide left), allowing Smith to take a knee three times to close out one of the more unlikely victories of Pete Carroll’s tenure in Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll shakes hands with quarterback Russell Wilson after a 17-16 win over the Denver Broncos Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Seattle. 221558

It certainly was a little awkward, the reunion between the longtime Seahawks coach and his former star QB.

Carroll and Wilson exchanged only a brief hug on the field after the game.

Wilson completed 29 of 42 for 340 yards with one touchdown, but he couldn’t get the Broncos in the end zone when they needed it.


Wilson has a 4-14 record in games when he attempts 40 passes or more.

The Seahawks defense was the story of the game.

Three times they stopped Denver drives deep in Seattle territory, holding them to only one field goal on those three red-zone trips.

Seattle stuffed the Broncos twice at the goal line in the third quarter.

The Broncos had two chances in the third quarter to score from inside the Seattle 1-yard line, and failed on both.

On the first, Quandre Diggs forced a Melvin Gordon fumble just in front of the goal line on a fourth-down play. Michael Jackson recovered the fumble and returned it to the Seattle 10.

Late in the third, on third-and-goal from the Seattle 1, Al Woods and Uchenna Nwosu broke through the line and hit Javonte Williams in the backfield, forcing a fumble. Jackson (again) recovered the fumble, this time in the end zone for a touchback.


Impressive stuff from a defense debuting its new 3-4 front.

On Denver’s second-to-last drive in the fourth quarter, defensive lineman Shelby Harris — acquired from Denver in the trade for Wilson in March — had the hit on Wilson to force an incompletion on third down, forcing the Broncos to settle for a field goal, cutting Seattle’s lead to 17-16.

Yo, Geno!

Let Geno Cook, anyone?

Smith was one of the last Seahawks players to leave the field, clapping and raising both fists in the air as Seahawks fans continued to cheer him.

What a night. What a reception.

The Seahawks could not have asked for much more from Smith, who was making his first Week 1 start since 2014.

From the get-go, he was smooth and sharp, completing all four of his passes for 71 yards and a touchdown to give the Seahawks an early 7-0 lead on his touchdown pass to Will Dissly.

Smith added a 25-yard TD pass to tight end Colby Parkinson late in the second quarter to give the Seahawks a 17-10 halftime lead.

Smith completed his first 13 passes and finished 23 for 28 for 195 yards with those two TDs, no turnovers and a QB rating of 119.5.


Young corners take their lumps

Wilson, you knew, was going to test the Seahawks young cornerbacks.

He’s tested them, all right.

With injuries mounting in the Seahawks secondary, Tariq Woolen got the start at right corner back in his first NFL game.

Michael Jackson, a fourth-year pro, was making his first career start at left corner back.

And rookie Coby Bryant was part of the nickel and dime package as an extra defensive back.

Woolen was picked on regularly in the third quarter, and twice he was called pass-interference penalties, both inside the Seahawks’ 10-yard line during the third quarter.

Seahawks coaches love Woolen’s potential — few corner backs are as long, as tall and as fast as he is — but as a rookie, he’s going to take his lumps. Worse, Woolen ended up leaving the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent shoulder injury. There was no immediate word on the severity.


Things weren’t any better for Bryant, the rookie nickelback, who was beat on Wilson’s 67-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy in the second quarter.

Seattle’s secondary took a significant hit in the second quarter when starting safety Jamal Adams injured his knee during a hit on Wilson.

Adams was taken away from the medical tent on the sideline in a cart. He was visibly upset.

Josh Jones replaced Adams at safety for the rest of the game.