PRO FOOTBALL ’87 : Elway Shuts Up Seattle’s Bosworth : Bronco Passes for 4 Touchdowns, 338 Yards in 40-17 Win

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

John Elway put his arm over Brian Bosworth’s mouth Sunday.

After a week of words from Bosworth, Seattle’s brash rookie linebacker who vowed to hit the Denver quarterback as hard as he could every chance he got, Elway responded with one of the best games of his career.

Bosworth did get his shots at Elway--two violent collisions in the first half that sent the quarterback crashing to the ground.

But Elway shook off those meetings to complete 22 of 32 passes for 338 yards and 4 touchdowns in rallying the defending AFC champion Broncos to a 40-17 victory over the Seahawks.


Denver changed the game’s momentum by recovering a fumbled kickoff return late in the first half. Overall, the Broncos came up with five turnovers and scored on five straight possessions before a record opening-day crowd of 75,999.

“The shots I took (from Bosworth) were typical,” said Elway, who came within a touchdown pass of equaling a career high. “They were both clean, but I didn’t see him coming on either one.”

Bosworth’s initial appearance drew a huge round of boos from the Mile High Stadium crowd, and the Broncos fans cheered when Bosworth was hit late in the open field by guard Billy Bryan. No flag was thrown.

The biggest splash Bosworth made was coming on the field with the number 44 painted on the tape of his shoes to protest the NFL rule that made him wear a linebacker number--55.


The Seahawks were in control early, but after running back Curt Warner gained 84 yards in the first half, their offense disappeared.

“I don’t know what happened,” Warner said. “They just beat us up. And we turned the ball over so much. That’s what really killed us.

“Anytime you turn the ball over to John Elway, you are in trouble.”

Elway threw an interception to set up Seattle’s first touchdown, but then began riddling the Seahawks.


He threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to running back Steve Sewell in the first quarter to even the score, 7-7, and completed a 4-yard throw to Steve Watson with 25 seconds left in the first half to put the Broncos in front for the first time.

Elway found tight end Orson Mobley on a five-yard touchdown early in the third quarter to make it 27-17. On the following possession, Elway handed off to Sewell, received a pitchback and connected with Vance Johnson on a 59-yard touchdown play.

Four of Elway’s completions went to Steve Watson, who extended his NFL record of consecutive games with a catch to 140.

For Seattle Coach Chuck Knox, it was a case of a team on a roll--the wrong way.


“I’ve never had 40 points scored on me before,” he said. “I’m used to it going the opposite way. John was pretty fired up for them. He played a great game.”