Notes, thoughts and anecdotes from the first quarter of the Broncos’ clash with the Indianapolis Colts:
2:09 P.M. MST: The Broncos opt to come onto the field as a unit, bypassing individual introductions once again.
2:10 P.M. MST: Jake Plummer, Keith Burns and John Lynch venture to midfield for the game-opening coin toss. Indianapolis wins the toss, calling heads; Denver will kick off to the north goal.
2:16 P.M. MST: The standard starting defense is in place, with the exception of Demetrin Veal for Gerard Warren. Al Wilson stuffed Dominic Rhodes for no gain on the game’s first play; the crowd, roaring at jet-engine level, forced a Colts false start penalty before the game’s second play, knocking the Hoosier Staters into second-and-15.
2:18 P.M. MST: Back-to-back Manning-to-Rhodes connections have the Colts already past midfield at the Denver 48.
2:21 P.M. MST: Manning takes his first deep shot, releasing a pass for Reggie Wayne just before pressure moved in; the pass sailed just a tad and was nearly intercepted by Nick Ferguson before falling incomplete. Rhodes rushes for 5 yards one play later; all of the Colts’ first 42 yards have come via Rhodes.
2:23 P.M. MST: Dallas Clark was just a tad off-balance as he attempted to haul in Manning’s pass; perhaps he felt the footsteps of Ian Gold charging in; nevertheless, it’s an incompletion that ends the Colts’ first possession. Darrent Williams calls for a fair catch of the ensuing punt at the Denver 10.
2:24 P.M. MST: The answer to the question at left tackle is Erik Pears; he’ll make his first career start, reprising the fill-in role he handled last week after Matt Lepsis tore his anterior cruciate ligament. Kyle Johnson is also back in the starting lineup after missing last week with a sprained ankle.
2:26 P.M. MST: The Broncos use their second timeout of the half; they took one on defense on the last possession.
2:29 P.M. MST: Gary Brackett violated one of the golden rules of defense — never hit a quarterback who slides feet first. He did after Plummer slid for the first down, and Denver is out to its 38 after the 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty.
2:31 P.M. MST: Denver takes its first deep shot, but Plummer’s pass for Javon Walker sails just a few feet too far on second-and-10. Paul Ernster clobbers a 55-yard punt out of the north end zone two plays later.
2:40 P.M. MST: It’s a little disconcerting for the Broncos just how effectively the Colts’ runners are gashing their defense. Indy runners Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes have amassed 71 yards on nine touches so far — an average of 7.9 yards a touch. They’ve collectively averaged 19.0 yards per reception and 4.7 yards a carry to this point.
2:41 P.M. MST: Recently acquired defensive lineman Kenny Peterson is seeing some action at left defensive tackle alongside end Elvis Dumervil on passing downs. Dallas Clark’s first reception of the game has the Colts at the Denver 29.
2:44 P.M. MST: A Reggie Wayne hand to Darrent Williams’ face mask and a swarm of players around Marvin Harrison equals yet another scoring threat against the Broncos that merely nets three points, giving the Colts an early 3-0 lead.
2:47 P.M. MST: Brian Clark’s first regular-season action sees him take a knee on the kickoff for a touchback.
2:48 P.M. MST: It’s doubtful that Tatum Bell’s 15-yard run to open this drive would have happened without George Foster grabbing Indy’s Josh Thomas; the infraction forces the Broncos into first-and-20 from their 10-yard-line; a Jake Plummer scramble has them in third-and-11 from the 19 as the first quarter ends.
Tags: Indianapolis Colts