Third-quarter notes and random thoughts …
4:01 p.m. MST: All that Broncos fans can hope is that their favorite team comes out of the locker room looking as gorgeous as the wind-whipped snowfall that currently envelops INVESCO Field at Mile Hight. If the Broncos are to re-take the lead, though, they’ll need more from their tailbacks, who have accounted for only 20 yards on 10 carries and a fumble.
4:05 p.m. MST: Cincinnati continues to have success using spread formations on third-and-short, converting a third-and-2 to move to midfield out of their first possession on the second half.
4:08 p.m. MST: Two Bengals third-down conversions on this possession; they have a 50-percent third-down success ratio so far today (5-of-10).
4:11 p.m. MST: A third-down incompletion leads to the Bengals’ decision to go for it on fourth-and-7 … which becomes fourth-and-12 after a delay-of-game penalty.
4:12 p.m. MST: The snow intensified at halftime, and it is now beginning to stick to the grass outside of the numbers on the field.
4:19 p.m. MST: Broncos down to one timeout after a challenge comes up short … Mike Bell gains almost as many yards on one carry as he and Tatum Bell combined for in the first half.
4:21 p.m. MST: A crucial drive, and the Broncos’ efforts are largely in the hands of rookies — at quarterback, tailback, tight end and wide receiver, with Brandon Marshall playing frequently.
4:22 p.m. MST: Javon Walker sprints to the sideline, holding his right wrist after rushing for a first down on a reverse.
4:26 p.m. MST: Broncos in the red zone … Walker back in, and he gets the call on the end-around, but loses a yard.
4:27 p.m. MST: Give the Broncos credit for persistence. The flanker screen that didn’t work earlier in the afternoon picks up 17 yards after Cooper Carlisle and Co. get out in front for Walker, giving the Broncos first-and-goal at the 2.
4:29 p.m. MST: Brandon Marshall … dropped pass in the eend zone. No problem … Mike Bell to the rescue, and Denver has the lead once again at 20-17. It’s his eighth touchdown of the year — the second-most for an undrafted rookie tailback in league annals.
4:30 p.m. MST: Ninety-nine yards. Fourteen plays. Seven minutes and 17 seconds drained from the clock. A pair of third-down conversions. That drive might have been Denver’s best of the season to date.
4:35 p.m. MST: A 75-yard touchdown Palmer-to-Chris Henry pass was just wiped out because the Bengals were called for not resetting before the snap … still, though, it’s worrisome for the Broncos that Henry has outleapt the game-but-shorter-than-the-average-corner Darrent Williams twice for huge plays today.
4:36 p.m. MST: Chad Johnson outran John Lynch by several steps before Palmer’s deep toss for him fell incomplete. With the field slickened by the afternoon snowfall, the advantage in the wideout-corner mano-y-mano passes to the offense.
4:40 p.m. MST: Great touch by CBS to let Walt Coleman and his officiating crew wish us all happy holidays. Happy holidays to you, too, gentlemen.
Tags: Cincinnati Bengals