4:59 P.M. CST: Back for the second half.
5:01 P.M. CST: Broncos in third-and-3 … Footing is difficult … Hall buried on third down as he had nowhere to run; Adewale Ogunleye burst through and was in the backfield before Hall received the handoff.
5:02 P.M. CST: Exactly what the Broncos feared … For the first time today, Devin Hester had space upon receiving a punt; he sprinted left and was gone, hurdling over a sprawled Todd Sauerbrun for the score … Seventy-five yards, and in a hiccup, the lead the Broncos worked 30 minutes to build is gone — 13-13.
5:06 P.M. CST: A special-teams disaster nearly continued after Glenn Martinez first opted to field a kickoff that was headed out of bounds, and then fumbled … Nick Ferguson somehow managed to recover the loose football, but a holding penalty on the Broncos will knock them further back; they will start at their 8-yard-line.
5:08 P.M. CST: Now it’s a collective disaster … Cutler’s pass for Brandon Marshall intercepted by Charles Tillman … Marshall fell as he was trying to come back for the football.
5:08 P.M. CST: Bears start at the Denver 14.
5:10 P.M. CST: Third-and-7 at the Denver 11 … Grossman keeps it himself on the draw play … comes about two yards short of the needed yardage … the football came loose, but the play was ruled down … Bears considering going for it … field-goal team has not come onto the field … Now it has.
5:12 P.M. CST: The football was starting to come out … at least it looked that way on the replay … because the Broncos recovered it first, it’s worth challenging — and the Broncos will. The replay rules were changed last year to allow for this play to be reversed … you can’t advance it, but you can have a change of possession.
5:15 P.M. CST: Broncos football. Challenge in the Broncos’ favor. Unfortunately, the blowing of the whistle cost the Broncos a lengthy return, but it nevertheless is a boon for the Broncos that it could be reversed. In 2005, the Broncos would have likely trailed 16-13 in this scenario.
5:16 P.M. CST: Another challenge by the Broncos after a Cutler pass to Brandon Stokley was ruled incomplete.
5:18 P.M. CST: A replay shown on CBS seems to show Stokley got the reception, but another one that went up on the boards above each end zone casts some doubt upon the validity of the catch … it looks like it may have somehow skipped off the ground … but I don’t think it did, for what it’s worth, considering where Stokley’s hand rests relative to where the football went.
5:19 P.M. CST: Denver loses the challenge.
5:20 P.M. CST: Three-and-out for the Broncos … Denver now down a timeout and out of challenges.
5:21 P.M. CST: Domonique Foxworth with the stellar tackle on Hester … Chicago takes over at its 40.
5:22 P.M. CST: Garrett Wolfe, who has the Bears’ longest play from scrimmage so far — a 25-yard run at the end of the half — is now in at tailback for Chicago.
5:22 P.M. CST: Chicago goes three-and-out after Rashied Davis drops the pass across the middle … Neither offense putting much together right now.
5:24 P.M. CST: Broncos at their 16 … Hall gets the call and he darts and spins forward for 10 yards … The initial first down for either team this half.
5:27 P.M. CST: Broncos now at their 39 after an 11-yard bootleg-and-lob from Cutler to Stokley.
5:29 P.M. CST: Another Broncos bread-and-butter play … flip to Hall … Tony Scheffler with a good block on Ricky Manning, Jr. … Hall gets 16 yards and moves the Broncos into Chicago territory.
5:30 P.M. CST: Security blanket … Cutler for Tony Scheffler … to the Chicago 25 … I use “security blanket” in the most affectionate manner, because I am a fan of Linus Van Pelt of Peanuts fame.
5:31 P.M. CST: The flip outside works again … Hall to the left … behind Scheffler … Hall for 23 … and he’s over 100 for the first time as a pro.
5:32 P.M. CST: Sapp behind Kyle Johnson in the backfield … Sapp goes behind Erik Pears … touchdown … Capping a 10-play, 84-yard drive — 5-yard score; Broncos lead, 20-13.
5:33 P.M. CST: Hall at 99 yards now after losing 3 yards on first-and-goal.
5:34 P.M. CST: Touchdown … Unreal. Devin Hester with two returns for scores … Absolutely backbreaking.
5:38 P.M. CST: Broncos begin the drive at their 32 … desperately need something to reply to Hester’s return … like that … Cutler for Brandon Marshall, 68 yards, one step past Ricky Manning, Jr. This game has turned from desultory to wildly entertaining … Broncos lead 27-20. What will they do on the kickoff?
5:41 P.M. CST: Crowd going nuts now; most of the fans are on their feet for Hester … and the Broncos squib it … Rashied Davis fields it and gets to midfield. Well, it’s better than a touchdown, I reckon.
5:43 P.M. CST: Grossman fires incomplete on third down and 8 from the Denver 48 … flag flies … personal foul on Fred Miller for yanking a face mask … The penalty is declined.
5:45 P.M. CST: Martinez calls for the fair catch at the Denver 11 … Broncos will take over there with 1:10 left in the quarter.
5:46 P.M. CST: Hall for three yards and he’s back above 100, at 102. He’s the 13th different runner under RBs coach Bobby Turner to go over 100 yards in a game for the Broncos.
5:47 P.M. CST: Did Stokley dance ballet as a kid? My goodness, what a gorgeous tightrope job on the sidelines for the first down as the quarter ends.
Tags: Chicago Bears