7:00 P.M. MDT: There’s no such thing as a “moment of truth” in the preseason, but after the first two August games, I think it’s fair to say I’m understandably curious to see what Denver’s first-teamers have in the offing tonight. And I myself would like to see a good game from Brandon Marshall, since I used a pick in my 16-round fantasy-football draft this morning on the second-year wide receiver who remains listed with the second team on the depth chart.
7:03 P.M. MDT: Waiting for the coin toss …
7:05 P.M. MDT: Denver’s four captains are John Lynch, Jay Cutler, Jason Elam and Matt Lepsis … Cleveland wins the coin toss by calling tails.
7:07 P.M. MDT: Paul Ernster opens the game by clobbering the opening kickoff 85 yards, five yards beyond the back of the end zone … Elvis Dumervil starts in place of Ebenezer Ekuban at right defensive end … Amon Gordon and Sam Adams remain the starting tackles … Nate Webster, as expected, is the starting strongside linebacker.
7:08 P.M. MDT: Broncos have Cleveland in a third-and-5, and Elvis Dumervil and Jarvis Moss get pressure on Cleveland quarterback Charlie Frye … but Frye feels the pressure, steps to the right and runs 14 yards to a first down that has Cleveland one yard waaway from midfield.
7:11 P.M. MDT: Third-and-8 for the Browns after Amon Gordon gets credit for a sack … but the Broncos’ first-team defense will not force its first punt of the preseason as Frye, with plenty of time, locates a wide-open Steve Heiden across the middle. Cleveland now at the Denver 35.
7:12 P.M. MDT: Alvin McKinley seeing some time at right defensive end … Frye finds Braylon Edwards for 24 yards outside of Dre’ Bly to get the Browns to first-and-goal at the Denver 6.
7:14 P.M. MDT: Ian Gold and Elvis Dumervil were there at the goal line, but Jamal Lewis plowed through them for a 1-yard touchdown run on second-and-goal. A few boos are heard after the play, and the Broncos now trail 7-0. Says CBS4′s Gary Miller on the local TV broadcast: “A discouraging start.”
7:17 P.M. MDT: Quincy Morgan has received the bulk of the kickoff-return work so far this preseason, but Domenik Hixon gets this return … and drops it in the end zone. He recovers to take a knee for the touchback.
7:19 P.M. MDT: Broncos open in a two-tight end, two-wide receiver formation … Nate Jackson and Daniel Graham as the tight ends; Brandon Marshall and Javon Walker as the wide receivers. Cecil Sapp is the tailback behind Jay Cutler. Matt Lepsis at left tackle, Chris Myers at left guard, Tom Nalen at center, Montrae Holland at right guard and Erik Pears at right tackle.
7:20 P.M. MDT: The sluggish start continues with a fumbled snap on the opening play and a near-interception on second-and-12 by Antwan Peek.
7:21 P.M. MDT: Brandon Stokley in at the slot on third-and-12 from the Denver 18 … Walker on the in route up the left side then goes up the middle and follows Brandon Marshall’s blocking for a 37-yard gain to the Cleveland 45.
7:23 P.M. MDT: Cutler’s second-and-9 pass from the Cleveland 44 is tipped by Kamerion Wimbley at the line of scrimmage … Stokley back in the slot again on third down as Denver goes into the shotgun formation … Cutler’s pass for Stokley across the middle was intercepted by Sean Jones, who was also called for holding, nullifying the play and resuscitating the Broncos’ drive.
7:24 P.M. MDT: A Selvin Young sighting … and an impressive one at that, as he quickly turns the corner for eight yards to move Denver to the Cleveland 31 and into field-goal range.
7:25 P.M. MDT: Quick slant to Walker on third-and-1 from the 30 … and the wideout can’t hang on. Denver eschews the field goal to go for it on fourth down, and Sapp hurtles through the middle of the line for 11 yards.
7:27 P.M. MDT: Denver’s drive now at 12 plays … Sapp now has three straight carries for a total of 19 yards … third-and-2 from the Cleveland 11 … Cutler rolls right for Walker, open outside the 10-yard-line, but Walker has a catchable football skip off his hands.
7:29 P.M. MDT: Broncos settle for a 29-yard Elam field goal with 3:53 left in the quarter. Denver trails, 7-3.
7:31 P.M. MDT: It’s Todd Sauerbrun’s turn to kick off, as he’ll try to match Paul Ernster’s 85-yard game-opening blast out of the end zone … Sauerbrun gets a 74-yard kickoff that is not returned; it was a low, line-drive shot but good enough for the touchback.
7:35 P.M. MDT: Cleveland picks up another third-down conversion; this one — a Jamal Lewis 2-yard run — came on third-and-about-a-foot, but nevertheless Denver’s No. 1 defense remains in search of its first forced punt.
7:37 P.M. MDT: Third-and-5 from the Cleveland 36, and the Broncos blitzed … but Frye quickly got the pass off to Edwards, and got the 10-yard reception before Bly and Lynch met him for the tackle.
7:40 P.M. MDT: The quarter runs out. Cleveland 4-of-4 on third downs, Denver 1-of-3. That statistic tells the story so far. Second-quarter notes in the next entry … see you there.
Tags: Cleveland Browns