Seahawks hold on after McManus misses 64-yard FG attempt (0:38)

The Broncos missed a field goal that would have won the game. 0:39

11:23 PM ET

Russell Wilson, who played his first 10 seasons in Seattle, was outdueled by Geno Smith as the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 17-16.

Seattle Seahawks

It was Wilson's former backup who got the loudest reception in Monday night's season opener.

The show was stolen.

Every big play by Smith was celebrated by the crowd with chants of "Geno, GENO!". There were enough of them to give Seattle a 17-16 win.

It will take a long time to figure out if the trade of Wilson for a huge draft haul was the right one for the team. One game doesn't mean anything when it comes to validation of that move. It provides some immediate satisfaction for the Seahawks, and some hope for their fans that maybe this season won't be as hard as people think.

Smith didn't look like a long time backup who was expected to be little more than a game manager when he started. He looked like an established player. Smith was 17-of-18 with two touchdown passes in the first half. When he filled in for Wilson last season, he avoided the big mistake that plagued him in crucial moments. He stepped up in the pocket to escape pressure and avoid killer sacks. Smith threw two touchdown passes.

Buying the breakthrough performance by Seattle's tight ends was a popular belief inside team headquarters, because whichever quarterback replaced Wilson would be more inclined to throw their way than he was. The trio of Will Dissly, Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson caught eight passes for over 100 yards and two scores. Their targets were six fewer than Seattle's. After he tested free agency, Seattle re-signed Dissly for three years and $24 million. When another team went after him, the cost of signing him went up. Do you mean that team? There is a team called the Broncos.

The Broncos were poised to score the go-ahead touchdown on both of their third-quarter possessions. The defense forced a turnover at the goal line on both occasions. Uchenna Nwosu stripped Broncos running back Javonte Williams on the second one, part of his sterling Seattle debut that included a sack, a pass defensed and seven tackles. The increased emphasis on 3-4 looks up front will be aided by the signing of Nwosu. The two-year, $19.055M deal he signed in March made him the highest-paid free-agent addition in the history of the team. The Broncos were held to six points on four occasions.

Geno Smith is the third quarterback in the last 25 years to complete each of his first 13 passes in a Week 1 game, along with Jim Kelly andGardner Minshew.

At 49ers, the next game will be played. The program aired on September 18.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos' defense had some opening-night nerves after an off-season filled with hopes and dreams.

The Broncos tried to be aggressive in the pass rush, but it wasn't until Randy Gregory ripped the ball out of the hands of Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett that they were able to keep the ball away from them.

In a 17-16 Seattle win that ended with a missed Brandon McManus field goal, Wilson's 340 yards passing and one touchdown were almost meaningless.

The evaluations for Denver's defense will be thorough. Seahawks tight ends caught six passes for 98 yards and two touchdown, and quarterback Geno Smith completed his first 13 passes of the game, as part of a 17-of-18, two-touchdown performance in the opening half

The Broncos were in a battle from the beginning. The night ended when McManus missed a field goal. Wilson threw a 9-yard pass to Javonte Williams to set up a fourth-and-5 from the Seattle 46. The Broncos ran the clock down to 20 seconds and missed a field goal.

The Broncos reside in a division in which the other three teams have quarterbacks who have been named to the Pro Bowl, so Smith's wheeling and dealing to 17-of-18 passing in the opening half can't be taken as a good sign.

The Broncos harassed Smith and hit him, but he moved the ball out quickly, created time in the pocket, and was more than willing to take the safest completion possible. One game doesn't make a trend, but the Broncos need to get to the quarterback more often and they can't allow a quarterback to get in a 13-of-13 rhythm to open a game.

Wilson did not put the ball in harm's way, and that was a good thing, but as much as the Broncos wanted to be aggressive on offense, they weren't. The Broncos were having a hard time getting the pace of the game where they wanted it.

Denver's wide receiver didn't get involved until late in the third and fourth quarter.

There are double-digit penalties for over 100 yards. In the preseason games, almost all of the starters didn't play at all.

The penalties came on both sides of the ball and were ill- timed, especially a false start with under 7 minutes to play and the Broncos inside the Seattle 5-yard line.

The Broncos are the first team in 27 years to lose two turnovers from the 1-yard line in the same game. Replacement players were used in the game.

The next game is against the Texans The program aired on September 18.