Kam Chancellor’s interception thwarts Broncos’ late drive

Sep 21, 2014, 6:52 PM | Updated: Sep 22, 2014, 11:54 pm
Kam Chancellor's interception of Peyton Manning late in the fourth quarter prevented what might have been the go-ahead touchdown for the Broncos. (AP)

When he made his interception and 52-yard runback, Kam Chancellor appeared to be the Seahawks’ version of Fernando Rodney, saving a game that was about to turn into absolute chaos.

But chaos ensued anyway in the form of a 41-second, 80-yard drive and a two-point conversion that allowed the Broncos to tie the score at 20 and force overtime.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that it was perfect symmetry with No. 18 of the Broncos giving Denver 18 points on a touchdown pass with 18 seconds left in regulation.

Chancellor’s interception and return with 2:25 remaining seemed to have preserved a Seahawks win at CenturyLink Field.

Trailing 17-12, Peyton Manning and the Broncos were marching toward a possible win in regulation when Chancellor leaped in front of a pass intended for Wes Welker at the Seahawks’ 13-yard line.

“I saw a route I was familiar with, and Peyton looked right at him,” Chancellor said.

Asked if he was surprised that Manning threw it in his direction, Chancellor said: “I actually was. I was right there in position.”

Richard Sherman figured that Manning must have thought he could get it over the top of Chancellor.

“He underestimated Kam’s athleticism, and Kam made him pay for it,” Sherman said.

Nickelback Marcus Burley, who knocked heads with Chancellor on the Broncos’ last drive and had to leave the game, said: “Kam’s a great player. That’s expected. He’s very aggressive, very smart and relentless.”

After his interception, Chancellor had a lot of green in front of him down the left sideline. He also had a convoy of Seahawks ahead, ready to pave his way to a pick-six. Chancellor thought he was going to turn it into an 87-yard touchdown return.

“I did, man, until my hamstrings kicked in,” he said.

After he was stopped at the Broncos’ 35-yard line, the Seahawks turned the possession into a 20-12 lead on a field goal by Steven Hauschka, setting up Manning’s dramatic game-tying drive. Until that point, the Broncos trailed throughout, and Chancellor played a big part in putting them behind early.

On Denver’s first play of the game, Montee Ball burst through the Seahawks’ defensive line for a gain of 9 yards, but Chancellor and Earl Thomas jarred the ball free before Malcolm Smith recovered at the Broncos’ 23-yard line.

“If it looks loose, I’m gonna try to knock it out,” Chancellor said. “You have to go for the ball.”

The Seahawks stalled but were still able to take a 3-0 lead on Hauschka’s first field goal thanks to that turnover.

In the Seahawks’ first two games against Green Bay and San Diego, Chancellor missed several tackles because he was too amped up.

“I wasn’t attacking in control,” he said.

On Sunday, he had nine tackles and two pass break-ups along with the interception and forced fumble.

In an Instagram post last week, Chancellor said: “Negative people need drama like oxygen. Stay positive. It will take their breath away.”

After the game, he said the Seahawks are “a battle-tested team. We’ve been through it all.”

And of the last-ditch Broncos’ drive: “We gotta be tougher.”

There was no excuse-making from the hardest-hitting strong safety in the league who helped suck the life from the Broncos on Sunday.

The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach Jim at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.

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Kam Chancellor’s interception thwarts Broncos’ late drive