By Brady Henderson
Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman and the rest of the Seahawks’ secondary wanted a strong preseason debut to validate the growing sentiment that theirs is perhaps the best unit in the league.
An pick-six on the first play of the game wasn’t a bad start – even if there was a bit of luck involved.
Brandon Browner (39) celebrates with teammates after he returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game. (AP)
Titans receiver Nate Washington dove to catch a pass near the left sideline from Matt Hasselbeck, but as he was going to the ground the ball popped out of his hands and into the air. Free safety Earl Thomas, covering Washington on the play, inadvertently tipped the ball into the waiting arms of Browner, who jumped over a pile of bodies and returned the interception 23 yards for a score.
That gave the Seahawks a 7-0 lead before their offense had touched the field.
“I actually thought it was an incomplete pass,” Browner said. “It bounced right into my hands and I just ran it in. It was a pretty easy play.”
Richard Sherman, the Seahawks’ other oversized cornerback, had one as well. Two possessions after Browner’s interception, Sherman picked off an overthrown deep pass from Hasselbeck, out-jumping the intended receiver before coming down with both of his feet in bounds.
The Seahawks pulled most of their defensive starters after that interception.
It was a good start for a secondary that has received plenty of attention following a season of breakout performances. Thomas was a Pro Bowl starter, while Browner and strong safety Kam Chancellor made the NFC squad as injury replacements. Sherman had a strong rookie season that included four interceptions in 10 starts.
“There has been a lot of talk about how good we are, and how we might be overconfident,” Thomas said. “We did great tonight, and I am very proud about the work we have been putting in.”