7:03 P.M. CST: And the first boos sound through Reliant Stadium as the Broncos’ specialists take the field. I must add, though, that there are many Broncos fans here in the stadium tonight … In the rows surrounding the field during warmups, it seemed like Broncos fans outnumbered Texans believers.
7:06 P.M. CST: And here come the Texans … late-arriving crowd; the stadium is one-third full, if that.
7:13 P.M. CST: Longest ………………….. national anthem ………………….. ever. Well, at least since Bleeding Gums Murphy’s 27-minute rendition on The Simpsons. Good God.
7:14 P.M. CST: Denver calls heads and loses the coin toss.
7:16 P.M. CST: And off we go … Texans will start at their 31 after a 29-yard Andre Davis kickoff return.
7:17 P.M. CST: John Lynch not in the defensive starting XI … Hamza Abdullah is, as is Domonique Foxworth and Karl Paymah as the Broncos opened in a nickel package. Lynch checks in two plays later after the Texans pick up a first down, moving to the Houston 42.
7:18 P.M. CST: Houston going to the air to start the game … now at the Denver 40 after a completion to Andre Johnson and a 5-yard Bly face-mask infraction.
7:19 P.M. CST: One play later, working the right side of Denver’s defense again … Sage Rosenfels goes back to Andre Johnson for 21. Red-clad team in the red zone.
7:20 P.M. CST: Darius Walker didn’t have much room on second-and-8 from the Denver 17, but he kept plugging and broke a tackle … 12 yards later, the Texans have first-and-goal at the Denver 5.
7:22 P.M. CST: First-and-goal, and ootleg fooled everyone … Rosenfels had an acreage to which he could run in the left side of the field, and even though he’s not exactly the most nimble of passers, he made it to the end zone. Just 3:56 into the game and the Broncos have given up as many points as they did in 60 minutes four days ago; Texans up, 7-0.
7:26 P.M. CST: Back from commercial … touchback on the kickoff as Glenn Martinez takes a knee. Broncos will open in a two-tight end set, with Tony Scheffler joining Daniel Graham in the starting lineup. At wide receiver, the starters are Brandon Marshall and Glenn Martinez, the latter of whom makes his first career start. Javon Walker not on the field to open the game.
7:27 P.M. CST: Two yards on a pass from Jay Cutler to Selvin Young … Broncos in second-and-8 at their 22 … Nine yards to Brandon Marshall up the right side for a first down … Marshall took a little bit of a lick on the play, landing on his head … He leaves the game for the next play and Javon Walker checks in.
7:29 P.M. CST: Young now fifth all-time among undrafted rookies for single-season yardage … Broncos now at the Houston 31 after a 17-yard Martinez pickup, which followed a 21-yard Young run … Marshall still being examined on the sidelines.
7:30 P.M. CST: Marshall now up and about in the bench area … Second-and-9 from the 30 saw a rather optimistic throw from Cutler, a lob to Cecil Sapp that fell incomplete in traffic … Broncos now moving backwards thanks to a false-start penalty against Chris Kuper.
7:31 P.M. CST: Marshall back in the game … Third-and-14 … Shotgun formation … Texans crowd making quite a bit of noise now … Cutler looked for Marshall up the left sideline with two men around; the pass hit Marshall in the arm and bounced away.
7:32 P.M. CST: Jason Elam from 53 yards … nope … it’s a punt … and nicely executed, as it bounces down to the Houston 4-yard-line.
7:35 P.M. CST: Houston going to the ground on this series to start … first play a one-yard Darius Walker run … second play to the air, three yards to Vonta Leach.
7:36 P.M. CST: Hamza Abdullah had Owen Daniels in his sights about two yards shy of the needed yardage for the first down on third-and-6 and missed … Abdullah looked like he went for the hit with the shoulder instead of the wrap-up-and-tackle … Houston to the 23 with 15 yards on the Rosenfels-to-Daniels connection.
7:37 P.M. CST: Champ Bailey hurt.
7:38 P.M. CST: Bailey tried to arise after falling to the ground in an attempt at a diving interception, but then hit the grass … He is now walking off the field after being examined by team medical personnel.
7:40 P.M. CST: Bailey standing on the sidelines … Meanwhile, Kevin Walter runs for 13 yards on third-and-2 … Texans in first-and-10 at the 44 … and Bailey is back in.
7:41 P.M. CST: Good news for Bailey, but bad news for Ian Gold … he is doubtful to return with a right knee injury. Jamie Winborn will be earning that contract extension tonight; he’s filling in for Gold now.
7:42 P.M. CST: Broncos get the third-down stop as D.J. Williams slams into Darius Walker as a pass zips in … but they will start the next series at their 7-yard-line after a punt is downed there.
7:46 P.M. CST: Travis Henry in to start the series … nice 26-yard pass to Scheffler has the Broncos at their 34.
7:48 P.M. CST: Well, sometimes the persistence works, and sometimes it doesn’t … Brandon Marshall, in his fight for extra yardage, ended up turning a two-yard gain into a one-yard loss … Broncos will have second-and-11 from their 47-yard-line when the second-quarter begins.
Tags: Houston Texans