All of Colorado is relieved Kyle Orton’s second game as the Broncos’ starting quarterback wasn’t another train wreck.
Orton had a mostly reassuring answer to his dismal Denver debut, saying he believes his play is its best ever after he completed 16 of his first 19 throws with a touchdown before a relapse into another mistake.
Hasselbeck was even better, hitting on 16 of 23 throws with two touchdowns in his two quarters. He also withstood the first three sacks on his recuperating back in nine months during the Seahawks’ 27-13 victory over the Broncos on Saturday night.
“It’s just like I remembered — no fun. … I forgot how hard people hit in here,” said Hasselbeck, who missed nine games with a bad back in 2008. “It’s just like a car accident. It’s part of the game … and it was probably good that it happened.”
Hasselbeck, who was untouched during a short night at San Diego last week, dropped a 34-yard touchdown pass into the arms of rookie wide receiver Deon Butler on the opening possession. He closed with a sharp two-minute drive that ended with a 2-yard scoring throw on a perfectly timed fade route with new wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh just before halftime.
Hasselbeck’s most important accomplishment was surviving his first clean hits since last Thanksgiving Day, when he was pounded into a premature end of his season in Dallas. The three-time Pro Bowl passer simply bent at the waist and absorbed a sack from blitzing D.J. Williams in the first quarter.
Later, Denver’s Kenny Peterson ran around left tackle Sean Locklear, who was starting with nine-time Pro Bowler Walter Jones out indefinitely following arthroscopic knee surgery. Peterson bear-hugged Hasselbeck from behind for a softer sack.
Hasselbeck’s third dumping came when Elvis Dumervil drove Locklear into the quarterback.
“I guess if there’s a silver lining to taking a sack, it’s the fact he bounced right back up,” new Seahawks coach Jim Mora said.
The Seahawks’ battered offensive line took another hit when starting center Chris Spencer was taken to the locker room on a motorized cart in the second quarter because of a left quadriceps injury. Mora called the injury “the most serious” of assorted bumps and bruises suffered during the game and that Spencer will have an MRI on Sunday.