ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --
Though three turnovers limited the Broncos to 10 first-half points, at times on Saturday night, Denver operated with rhythm and speed from the no-huddle offense.
Quarterback Peyton Manning played the entirety of the first half and finished with 16-of-23 passing for 177 yards. He led two scoring drives in which the offense gained 80 or more yards, working in the fast-paced hurry-up offense for the majority of both.
"You're trying to put some pressure on the defense and make them have to hurry up their communication and their calls," Manning said. "Obviously, it's more pressure on the offense—there's not time to huddle and sort of breathe—you're staying on the run; you're staying aggressive; trying to execute the plays that (Offensive Coordinator) Coach McCoy calls—short passes, long passes. For the most part Seattle sank back in some zone coverage, and the underneath stuff was kind of there most of the night."
The offense embarked on its first scoring drive – which ended in a 1-yard Willis McGahee touchdown run – from its own 20-yard line. The possession used five minutes of clock with 11 plays – four passes, seven runs. On those passing plays, Manning was 4-of-4 for 47 yards, including a 20-yarder to tight end Joel Dreessen to cross into Seattle territory.
"It was fun going with the no-huddle stuff, as far as keeping the tempo and calling plays at the line," Dreessen said. "We've been working on that a lot. We feel like we have a great home-field advantage as far as playing Denver with the altitude. Going no-huddle, we can do a lot of things well."
The second scoring drive was also operated primarily in the no-huddle. With 2:37 remaining in the first half, the Broncos started from their own 20-yard line once again. While back-to-back 7-yard rushes began the first-quarter drive, Manning opened up this one with four straight complete passes to move Denver down to Seattle's 39-yard line using less than one minute of clock. The fourth pass was a 19-yarder to wide receiver Eric Decker.
"I think (the no-huddle offense) is something we're trying to expand and use to our advantage," Decker said. "Just to be able to get to the line, call a play and play fast. We want to get up and play fast, that's our goal."
Manning finished the drive 8-of-11, but a couple of penalties and dropped balls in the red zone forced the offense to settle for a field goal.
In its Denver debut, the hurry-up offense looked smooth throughout most of the first half. With two preseason games remaining, time remains to fix the hiccups that limited the Broncos to 10 first-half points.
"I thought our execution of (the offense) and our communication in that was pretty good," Manning said. "We just have to just finish the little things—finish plays and finish drives. It's something you have to do."