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 an 8-mile 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.
Steven Hauschka’s 41-yard field goal gave the Seahawks a 10-7 halftime lead. He was also good from 40 yards after the Broncos went ahead 14-10 on Kapri Bibbs’ 3-yard run in the third quarter. Hauschka’s 22-yarder gave Seattle a 16-14 lead with 11:22 remaining.
Brock Osweiler’s 34-yard strike to Jordan Norwood in stride put Denver ahead 21-16 midway through the fourth quarter. He was 6 for 12 for 85 yards with one TD, one interception and one sack.
RAVENS 23, 49ERS 3
BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco needed just one drive to show how effective the Baltimore Ravens’ offense can be under Gary Kubiak.
Flacco produced an 80-yard touchdown march in his only series, and the Ravens beat San Francisco in a preseason opener.
It was the third time in three tries that Ravens coach John Harbaugh got the best of his brother, Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers. Baltimore previously defeated San Francisco on Thanksgiving 2011 and in the Super Bowl ending the 2012 season.
CHARGERS 27, COWBOYS 7
SAN DIEGO — New backup quarterback Kellen Clemens threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman midway through the third quarter and the San Diego Chargers beat the Dallas Cowboys 27-7 Thursday night in an exhibition opener.
Inman, who played in the CFL the last two seasons, beat single coverage down the right sideline and was gone to give San Diego a 17-7 lead.
REDSKINS 23, PATRIOTS 6
LANDOVER, Md. — Tom Brady took the night off, and Robert Griffin III played one series Thursday night as the Washington Redskins beat the New England Patriots in the teams’ preseason opener.
Griffin completed 2 of 4 passes for 9 yards in an 11-play drive that ended with a 39-yard field goal from Kai Forbath.
Coach Bill Belichick rested Brady, Darrelle Revis and most of his starters.
CHIEFS 41, BENGALS 39
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sean Smith and Malcolm Bronson returned interceptions for touchdowns, De’Anthony Thomas brought back a punt 80 yards for another score and Kansas City beat Cincinnati in its preseason opener.
Andy Dalton was sharp in his only series for the Bengals after signing a new six-year deal this week. He hit wide receiver A.J. Green for a 53-yard pass to set up the opening field goal.
JETS 13, COLTS 10
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Michael Vick led the New York Jets on a touchdown drive, capped by fellow newcomer Chris Johnson’s 1-yard scoring run, in a victory over Indianapolis in the preseason opener for both teams.
By wire sources