11:41 A.M. CST: “It’s like a sauna in here.”– Cosmo Kramer
This press box has got to be at least 83 degrees. Did they just assume that the conditions for today’s game would involve 40 degrees and a chilly drizzle? It’s actually 69 degrees and quite muggy here … Cripes … haven’t they heard of global warming around here?
11:45 A.M. CST: One splendid aspect of Arrowhead Stadium? The Gates barbecue stand in the southeast corner of the lower concourse. The meat may not be quite up to the restaurant’s quality, but the sauce is. Splendid.
11:49 A.M. CST: A smattering of Broncos run onto the field, to the jeers of the still-gathering crowd.
12:00 p.m. CST: The Broncos win the toss — by calling heads — and will receive.
12:02 P.M. CST: Taylor Jacobs joins Andre Hall as the Broncos’ deep men on the opening kickoff. Hall has another good kickoff return, sprinting 34 yards to the Kansas City 33. Broncos open in a two-tight end formation with Selvin Young as the lone setback behind Jay Cutler.
12:04 P.M. CST: Brandon Marshall vowed to cut the drops this week … and just made a good catch on a short slant with Patrick Surtain draped all over him, picking up 10 yards. One play later, Cutler drops to 2-of-3 passing after overshooting Glenn Martinez in the left flat.
12:05 P.M. CST: Selvin Young just flashed his speed by following a gaping hole created by Chris Myers and Chris Kuper; he scooted 34 yards through the middle and the Broncos are at the Kansas City 21 …
12:06 P.M. CST: … but are now headed backwards after Glenn Martinez drew an illegal-block-in-the-back penalty.
12:07 P.M. CST: Still in reverse … Derrick Johnson hit Selvin Young right about the time he received the handoff; a loss of four has Denver back at the Kansas City 35 … now, finally, forward, to the Chiefs 26 after a 9-yard Cutler-to-Tony Scheffler pass. Scheffler got six extra yards by deftly eluding a tackler.
12:08 P.M. CST: Erik Pears was doing a good job shielding Tamba Hali from Cutler, but Hali then dove low and to the left, getting enough propulsion to distract Cutler and force an incompletion and a fourth down.
12:09 P.M. CST: Jason Elam salvages a 44-yard field goal from the drive, so all was not for naught. Broncos lead, 3-0, 3:48 into the game.
12:11 P.M. CST: Every time I hear Sirius by the Alan Parsons Project — which Homer Simpson believes to be “some kind of hovercraft” — I hear in my head, “And now … the starting lineup … for your … Chicago Bulls!”
12:11 P.M. CST: Your starting safeties for the Broncos are … Domonique Foxworth and Hamza Abdullah. The defense will open up with three cornerbacks and two linebackers, meaning Karl Paymah is in the starting lineup and Nate Webster is not.
12:13 P.M. CST: We have a post-kickoff timeout, we come back … and the Chiefs take a false-start penalty.
12:14 P.M. CST: Priest Holmes gets the first carry of the day for the Chiefs … and the second … and he picks up 16 yards on the plays for a Chiefs first down.
12:16 P.M. CST: Holmes’ third carry of the day goes for no gain after Ian Gold corrals him … now it’s third-and-5 from the K.C. 43.
12:17 P.M. CST: Domonique Foxworth had a potential interception in his hands on third-and-5 and dropped it. That will cost the Broncos about 36 yards of field position after Dustin Colquitt launches a 46-yarder that drops and dies at the 11 … and now the Broncos will start at their 6-yard-line after an Abdullah holding penalty.
12:20 P.M. CST: Nice call, the deep ball, doesn’t get it all, but for Brandon Mar-shall, it’s a big play and it pulls the Broncos out of purgatory. Good move by Marshall on Surtain for 10 extra yards … Broncos now at the 44.
12:21 P.M. CST: Ryan Harris makes his debut against Tamba Hali after Erik Pears is hurt and has to leave the game … on the next play, Cutler looks left for Brandon Stokley and throws it squarely to Derrick Johnson, who returns it 12 yards to the Denver 40.
12:23 P.M. CST: Josh Mallard seeing quite a bit of action on the defensive front at both tackle and end the last two seeries … Chiefs at the 21 now after Damon Huard finds rookie Dwayne Bowe underneath the zone at the left side of the field.
12:25 P.M. CST: That’s two near-interceptions today for the Broncos … Antwon Burton dropped about six yards back of the line of scrimmage and got his ample hand squarely on a pass but couldn’t haul it in. Chiefs have third-and-10 at the 21 now … and Huard’s pass for Gony Gonzalez across the middle is incomplete. Dre’ Bly was in coverage on Gonzalez; Nate Webster has also worked in coverage on Gonzalez. Crowd not too pleased with Huard on that series … 39-yard field goal is good; game is a 3-3 stalemate.
12:29 P.M. CST: And the Broncos draw a second consecutive penalty on a return … Jamie Winborn’s holding penalty now has the Broncos back at their 13 to start this drive.
12:31 P.M. CST: Pears is back in at right tackle … Crowd at its loudest so far today … Nice little dumpoff to Selvin Young ets the Broncos 11 yards and a first down.
12:32 P.M. CST: Young with a great cut to elude Hali … picks up 15 more on the ground. Broncos at their 39.
12:33 P.M. CST: Scheffler gets rocked by Greg Wesley as the safety arrives just after Cutler’s pass … Scheffler can’t hang on; Broncos have second-and-10, now third-and-11 after Young loses a yard going to the left side.
12:34 P.M. CST: Marshall hit in the back at Cutler’s pass zooms past; Broncos punting … Sauerbrun uncorks a 45-yarder, returned five yards to the Kansas City 22, but another Broncos special-teams penalty will wipe that out — illegal-man-downfield on Paul Smith — the Broncos will rekick. Six special-teams plays today … three penalties.
12:36 P.M. CST: The penalty costs the Broncos four yards in the end; Sauerbrun fired a 52-yard punt that was returned six yards by Eddie Drummond.
12:37 P.M. CST: Chiefs now at their 42 after a 16-yard Huard-to-Bowe connection in front of Bly … back to the ground to Holmes for three on the next play.
12:39 P.M. CST: Encroachment, Sam Adams. Penalties starting to pile like leaves.
12:39 P.M. CST: The good news? The Broncos didn’t bobble away a third interception chance. Oh, it was bobbled — by Abdullah — but his former roommate, Karl Paymah, was there to grab the pass. The bad news? The pick was at the Denver 2. Lousy field position for the Broncos … that got lousier when Young lost a yard after spinning into former Texas teammate Derrick Johnson.
12:41 P.M. CST: Yet another penalty … no one lined up outside Lepsis, rendering the Broncos’ formation illegal … Young then gets out to around the 5-yard-line … where the Broncos were on the run that was nullified by the infraction. Quarter ends … follow us to the second-quarter notes, s’il vous plait.
Tags: Kansas City Chiefs