"I thought Paxton Lynch did a really good job," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, via the team's official website. "Paxton handled himself well, good tempo with the game. And he ran the ball really well; he's a big unit running now. You saw him down by the goal line, that's a fantastic run for a quarterback to score down there. But just in general he got out and made some yardage with his legs."
Lynch finished 11-of-15 passing (73.3 percent) for 109 yards and one passing TD, while adding four rushes for 38 yards and another score.
Lynch was a first-round pick by John Elway in Denver but insisted R-E-V-E-N-G-E wasn't on his mind Thursday. In the preseason, the quarterback is just out to prove he belongs.
"I know that there was some talk that it was about that, but I love those guys," Lynch said when asked about any revenge factor. "I have a lot of love for a lot of guys on that team, they mean a lot to me. I respect them and love them, they're close friends to me, so it had nothing to do with that. It was more to me, I had a lot to prove to myself tonight, and I feel like I went out there and did that."
Elway traded up to draft Lynch in the first round in 2016. After several terrible starts over his first two seasons when it was clear he wasn't ready to play, the Broncos dumped Lynch before last season. He sat out the entire season.
Lynch said Thursday night the year off helped him grow.
"There was a lot that went into this, and definitely having that year off played a big part of that," he said. "But I just wanted to go out there with my guys and win a football game and show those coaches that they can trust me if my number is ever called upon. I feel like I did a good job in that, but it's only the first preseason game and we've still got three more."
We're not here to crown Lynch. He's looked good in the preseason format in the past. The simple defenses and the fly-from-the-hip style of the exhibitions fit with his athletic profile.
Still, to completely dismiss the strides made in Seattle is equally as hardheaded as buying major stock in preseason games.
Lynch's goal this season is to beat out Geno Smith for the backup gig to Russel Wilson. With Smith, who started Thursday night and went 3-of-9 passing, slated to miss the next 10 days or so after getting a cyst removed, per Carroll, Lynch's chances of making the roster creep open wider. Thursday was a good start for Lynch in his comeback bid. He's got three more weeks to prove his improvement isn't a mirage.