Broncos QB Russell Wilson says first game against Seahawks was 'special': 'I wouldn't be where I am today without this place'

The Russell Wilson era with the Denver Broncos officially kicked off with his matchup against his former team to open the season.

Though Wilson weathered the noise around the game, both literal and figurative, it was Seattle which came away with a 17-16 win in the high-intensity contest.

Despite the loss and the boos that greeted him, Wilson offered nothing but appreciation for his former home.

"For me, Seattle's been amazing for me. Like I said, anybody who thinks any other words, they don't know my heart, and they don't know how much this city has meant to me," Wilson said in his postgame news conference. "Tonight was special, it was on the other side than I'm used to, but it was still a special environment and a place I've always loved."

Many wondered what sort of reception Wilson would receive coming back to Lumen Field, a place where he created so much history with his former franchise, before he was traded this offseason to the Broncos. But any hopes for a welcoming reception from the Seattle faithful for their former quarterback were quickly dashed.

"It didn't bother me, you know, it's a hostile environment, it always has been, I didn't expect them to give a round of applause every once in a while," Wilson said with a chuckle after the game.

The 12th Man is known for its passionate and loud cheering, and was not shy about using that trademark noise to try to impact Wilson's play early and often in Monday's contest.

As Wilson first exited the tunnel wearing his new orange and navy uniform, boos echoed throughout the stadium. And once Wilson officially took the field to start the Broncos' first offensive drive, the noise increased, with the booing only pausing to cheer when the Seahawks defense made a good play.

"I was wondering how they would respond, figuring that they'd probably respond in a way to try make it as hard as possible on the other guy, because they want to win," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. "That's what competing is, and our fans competed in spectacular fashion tonight. This was an amazing, amazing place to be tonight, right from the get-go."

But despite the noise and emotion of the evening, Wilson appeared composed during the game. He finished with 340 yards passing and a touchdown, and set up multiple opportunities for Denver to take the lead. But the offense struggled in the red zone, making it there four times and coming away with just a single field goal while fumbling it away twice. There was one last chance to snag the victory when Wilson drove the Broncos to the Seattle 46-yard line. However, rather than go for it on fourth-and-4, Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett elected to try a 64-yard field goal attempt with 20 seconds left. Kicker Brandon McManus missed wide despite having the distance. And so Wilson's career with his new squad officially began with a loss to his old one.

While Wilson was not seen talking with his former coach Pete Carroll when they were both on the field for pre-game warmups, the pair did exchange a brief hug and handshake at midfield after the game, appearing to exchange a couple words before parting.

Wilson was also seen exchanging jerseys with longtime teammate and Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf, with whom Wilson had connected on many a pass in his career. Metcalf expressed that it was an odd feeling to see his former QB in another team's jersey after so many years playing together.

"Just actually going out there and seeing him in a Broncos jersey was really shocking to me," Metcalf said. "I didn't think it was going to faze me that much, but just seeing it in person was really shocking."

On the Seahawks jersey which he gave to Wilson, Metcalf wrote "Greatest player I ever played with."

Wilson said after the game that despite the outcome of the contest, he appreciated the opportunity to return to play again at a place which shaped his career, and face off against players who he still considers close friends, even if they are on opposite sides of the ball.

"I've played in some of the biggest games on the planet, more people watching than anywhere else," Wilson said. "This was a special game, just because I got to see and play against some of my closest friends and just be around them. And to be in the stadium again, this stadium's been special for me. I wouldn't be where I am today without this place, and so I'm grateful for that."

Related Content