SEATTLE — Paul Klee’s quick observations from CenturyLink Field:
1. Take that, John Elway! Paxton Lynch sure showed the Broncos boss. OK, let's get real: Lynch tossing a touchdown and running for another didn't tell the story of why he's in a battle with Geno Smith for the backup quarterback spot in Seattle. How he reacted did: wagging his tongue and thumping his chest, Lynch celebrated like a rookie in his first preseason game. Unfortunately, he's a fourth-year pro in his 13th preseason game who couldn't get in a preseason game because Geno Smith had dibs on the first half. Good luck to Paxton Lynch. But dude still doesn't get it.
2. Fantasy football alert! Vic Fangio is not your friend, fantasy fanatics. His objective must be to frustrate fantasy players everywhere: Phillip Lindsay (four carries, 10 yards) and Royce Freeman (one long, sweet run of 50 yards) split carries on the opening drive. And for the Broncos, a strong running game is a must. Joe Flacco’s first-team offense moved 78 yards on its first and only drive, but it wasn’t Flacco’s right arm that carried them. Flacco was just 3-for-4 for 19 yards. Flacco was just... there. One man’s take: draft Lindsay early, Freeman as a handcuff. And hold off on drafting Flacco.
3. Lindsay and Dalton Risner, the Colorado tag team, were at it again. Lindsay gained 19 yards on consecutive plays. He looked like pre-wrist injury Lindsay. And it was Risner who got Royce Freeman loose with a man block on a 50-yard run. Through two weeks of camp, Risner's been Denver's best rookie.
4. Here’s an interesting nugget: the Broncos defense will face only one starting quarterback during the preseason. Matt Ryan didn’t play for the Falcons, and Russell Wilson didn’t play Thursday for the Seahawks. The Rams (Aug. 19) aren’t using starters in the preseason, and there’s no way the Cardinals (Aug. 24) play Kyler Murray in the final preseason game. That leaves Jimmy Garoppolo of the 49ers — next week in Denver — as the lone starting QB to test the Broncos ‘D.’ But one thing was clear in the starting defense’s short work: Fangio’s defense is aggressive. The Seahawks hurt the Broncos with screen passes that took advantage of Denver’s overzealous pursuit.
5. The Denver Butterfingers need a JUGS machine. They can’t catch. Kelvin McKnight almost dropped a punt. Devontae Booker did drop a kickoff. Courtland Sutton’s had the dropsies most of training camp. Theo Riddick dropped a catchable pass on a fourth-down pass play. Catch the ball! OK, Troy Fumagalli is excepted. Leave it to the tight end with nine fingers to make the catch of the game, a splendid spiral from Drew Lock. Lynch didn’t make an anticipation throw like that in three seasons in Colorado. Hey, it's a start.