Moments after Denver drove to the preseason's first score, a lightning strike has delayed the Seahawks' exhibition opener here in the Rocky Mountains.
Referee Tony Corrente announced that due to the lightning striking within the NFL's minimum range of eight miles of the stadium, he was ordering both teams into their locker rooms. The delay has come with 1:30 left in the first quarter and Denver leading 7-0.
The press-box PA announcer has just told us the teams are due back on the field at 7:05 p.m. Seattle time, with the game scheduled to resume at 7:15.
This picture, of course, begs the question: Where is there for fans to go in an NFL stadium during a lightning strike? The beer line?
--With four expected starting offensive linemen sitting this one out -- only right guard J.R. Sweezy is in with the first-team offense -- Denver's always-active defense line had its way in the Seahawks' first possession. Russell Wilson got hit on consecutive plays, once for a sack and another on an incompletion. On the play after that, Wilson read Broncos blitz and fired a quick dart to his hot read, Zach Miller. But the zinging ball went through the starting tight ends hands for what was originally ruled a scooped-up interception but overturned upon replay review. Seattle then punted. A five-play drive for zero yards (with a first down by a defensive-holding flag) then a punt; that's what can happen in the NFL when four of a team's five starting offensive linemen aren't playing.
--On the Broncos' second possession, Peyton Manning had all day to throw against the Seahawks' defense that was dropped seven and even eight men into coverage. Rest assured, this will not be the defense Pete Carroll and his staff employ against Manning and the Broncos when it counts in Week 3 of the regular season next month at CenturyLink Field. No need to show your blitz package on Aug. 7 in the first exhibition game. So that should allay some of your concerns. Should, I say.
Remember, it's Aug. 7.