DENVER — Case Keenum won his Denver debut despite throwing three interceptions to go with his three touchdowns.
He can thank Von Miller , who sacked Russell Wilson three times, forced two fumbles and recovered one as the Broncos held off the Seattle Seahawks, 27-24, on Sunday to win for the 18th time in their past 19 home openers.
Keenum, who signed a two-year, $36 million prove-it deal in Denver six months ago after leading the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC championship game, normally spends his time between series with his head down but he kept looking up to watch Miller’s magic.
“I’m trying to stay focused on looking at the pictures, getting ready for my next series. But it’s hard not to notice when the crowd’s going crazy and Von’s out there crawling or whatever he’s doing, whatever his sack dance is,” Keenum said. “That’s impressive to watch.
“I’m glad I’m on the sidelines when he’s on the field, that’s for sure.”
Wilson wasn’t so lucky.
“We played a really tough defense, one of the best defenses you’re going to face all year. Obviously Von is a great player and he made some key plays,” Wilson said.
Miller, whose best play came when he snatched the ball from running back Chris Carson’s arms, said recently that he hates facing Wilson, whom he considers the best quarterback in the game today.
“I still don’t like playing against Russell, I mean, running around out there 20 yards, getting everybody tired,” Miller said. “Luckily, we were able to get him before he could get started.
“That was in our scheme this week, we wanted to keep him in the pocket and (make) him beat us with his arm, which he’s capable of doing. But we’d rather pick that poison and that strategy worked.”
Wilson threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted twice and sacked six times and ran just twice for 5 yards.
“He got out of the pocket a couple of times, but that’s Russ,” Miller said. “He’s a great player. He’s going to get out of the pocket, but we kept some of the great plays to a minimum.”
Keenum, who threw for 329 yards, only threw seven interceptions last season and already he has three.
“I’m really excited about how good this football team can be,” Keenum said. “Because if we take care of the ball — if I take care of the ball, because those are all on me — we’re going to be really, really hard to beat.”