DENVER – The Super Bowl teams slogged through a preseason opener delayed by lightning and a flurry of flags Thursday night before linebacker Steven Jackson’s end zone interception of Terrelle Pryor’s pass sealed the Denver Broncos’ 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
In between a 46-minute delay, both starting offenses put together long touchdown drives that ate up more than 9 minutes and were kept alive by a wave of yellow flags.
Altogether, there were 25 accepted penalties, 13 on Seattle and a dozen on Denver.
Ronnie Hillman’s 1-yard TD run capped Denver’s 14-play, 61-yard drive in which Peyton Manning completed 9 of 11 passes for 63 yards and the officials threw six flags, including one for offsetting penalties.
The drive lasted 9 minutes, 9 seconds — a good two minutes longer than Denver’s longest drive last season.
There was even a flag thrown on the ensuing touchback when Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was whistled for taunting. Lane also was whistled for a 31-yard pass interference on first-and-35 play in the second half during a moan-inducing sequence in which penalties were called on five consecutive snaps.
Just when the officials walked off the taunting penalty to Seattle’s 10-yard line, the game was delayed for 46 minutes after lightning struck within 13-km perimeter of Sports Authority Field, where it was sunny.
After retreating to their locker rooms with 1:30 left in the first quarter, both teams sent their starters back onto the field when play resumed.
The penalties continued, too.
Seattle’s 14-play, 90-yard drive that ate up 9:18 was kept alive by four defensive infractions, and Christine Michael’s 1-yard run against a mix of starters and backups tied it at 7 following a debatable pass interference call on linebacker Danny Trevathan.
Manning finished 10 of 13 for 78 yards with no sacks. Russell Wilson was 4 of 6 for 37 yards for Seattle and was sacked by DeMarcus Ware and T.J. Ford, two thumpers Denver GM John Elway signed in the wake of Seattle’s 43-8 thrashing of the Broncos in the Super Bowl six months ago. Ravens 23, 49ers 3
In Baltimore, Joe Flacco produced an 80-yard touchdown march in his only series, and the Ravens beat San Francisco.
It was the third time in three tries that Baltimore coach John Harbaugh got the best of his brother, Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers. The Ravens previously defeated San Francisco on Thanksgiving 2011 and in the Super Bowl ending the 2012 season. Redskins 23, Patriots 6
In Landover, Maryland, Tom Brady took the night off, and Robert Griffin III played one series as Washington beat New England. Chiefs 41, Bengals 39
In Kansas City, Sean Smith and Malcolm Bronson returned interceptions for touchdowns, De’Anthony Thomas brought back a punt 80 yards for another score and the Chiefs beat Cincinnati. Jets 13, Colts 10
In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Michael Vick led the New Yorkon a touchdown drive, capped by fellow newcomer Chris Johnson’s 1-yard scoring run, in a victory over Indianapolis. Chargers 27, Cowboys 7
In San Diego, new backup quarterback Kellen Clemens threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman midway through the third quarter as the Chargers stormed past Dallas.