8:50 P.M. CST: Brandon Marshall’s nine first-half receptions are the most by a Bronco in the first half since Rod Smith snagged nine passes at Buffalo before intermission two years ago … Smith in ’05 and Marshall tonight are the only Broncos to have nine catches in the first half in the last 17 years. Broncos will receive the kickoff to start the half.
8:53 P.M. CST: That’s 10 for Marshall tonight … 14 yards on the first play of the half.
8:54 P.M. CST: Now up to the Denver 45 after a Cutler-to-Scheffler connection … Two plays later, Cutler is drilled but still gets away an 11th completion to Marshall.
8:55 P.M. CST: Broncos will go into third-and-3 after a 5-yard pass to Scheffler … Virtually everything for the Broncos on this series coming through the air.
8:56 P.M. CST: Cutler pressured and sacked by Mario Williams … Williams worked past Matt Lepsis for the sack … fourth-and-7 at the Houston 38 … Denver going for it … and fails, with the pass from Cutler to Young gaining just four yards. Houston takes over at its 34 with 10:38 left in the quarter.
8:59 P.M. CST: Word from the sideline … Ian Gold will not return … and a Ron Dayne sighting; he picks up eight yards.
9 P.M. CST: Dayne gets four more yards for the first down.
9:01 P.M. CST: Texans in third-and-4 at the Denver 48 … Darius Walker checks in and sprints nine yards up the right side for a first down at the Denver 39.
9:05 P.M. CST: A false-start moved Houston back five yards, then Sage Rosenfels found Owen Daniels underneath the zone for 29 yards before Jamie Winborn caught up to him. Houston is now at the Denver 11.
9:06 P.M. CST: Now Houston is at the Denver 6 after the Broncos are flagged for having 12 men on the field … With first-and-5, Rosenfels goes for the bootleg, but Winborn chases him down and forces a throw into the stands.
9:07 P.M. CST: Second-and-5, and Dayne sprints up the middle of Denver’s defense … Touchdown, Texans. Broncos trail, 17-6, with 5:17 left in the quarter.
9:11 P.M. CST: Glenn Martinez nearly broke into the open field … stopped at the Denver 31 … Broncos desperately need points on this drive.
9:13 P.M. CST: Cutler finds Scheffler … 30 yards … Scheffler now has 72 yards on four catches.
9:14 P.M. CST: From the Houston 35 … Cutler rolls right with a hopeful throw to Javon Walker in traffic downfield … incomplete … With second-and-10 from the 35, Henry runs for no gain to the right side.
9:15 P.M. CST: Cutler looks right for Brandon Marshall, but the pass is nearly picked off by Fred Bennett … Broncos forced into fourth-and-10 from the 35 … They go for it … Cutler under heavy pressure … Looks left for Javon Walker but the throw was under duress, with a safety blitz from Will Demps forcing an errant toss that flutters incomplete … With 2:53 left in the quarter, Houston retakes possession.
9:18 P.M. CST: The Texans’ P.R. attendants are roaming through the press box. passing out “Battle Red Day” shirts with a Texans logo and “HALLIBURTON” splashed across them … uh, no thanks, guys. Seriously … team logo/corporate logo t-shirts in the press box, where impartiality is one of the tenets of its occupants? I’m very surprised.
9:19 P.M. CST: Dre’ Bly snares the pass intended for Andre Johnson … the football is returned deep into Houston territory … Bly intercepted it at the Denver 36 … A flag rests at the Houston 39, but it is picked up, since the football was tipped … a holding penalty on Ephraim Salaam is declined … Denver takes over at the Houston 27 after a 37-yard return.
9:22 P.M. CST: Broncos at the Houston 20 after Scheffler’s fifth reception of the day, for seven yards.
9:22 P.M. CST: Jay Cutler runs for the first down, but Charlie Anderson made him endure some pain for it, slamming into him as he ran towards the sideline … Denver now at the Houston 12.
9:23 P.M. CST: Cutler to Scheffler … left flat … Scheffler jumps for the end zone, looking as though he ought to be in a performance of The Nutcracker … quite balletic, actually … then he fumbles as the football crosses the goal line; not so balletic there … as the football is picked up by Will Demps and toted in the other direction, the officials signal for a touchdown.
9:24 P.M. CST: Houston challenges the call.
9:28 P.M. CST: The touchdown is upheld. Were it soccer, it would have been no goal because the ball didn’t go all the way over … but in American football, it only has to cross part of the white line to be a touchdown … Elam hits the extra point, and the Broncos are back within four points, at 17-13 with 36 seconds left.
9:30 P.M. CST: Houston starts the series at its 26 … moves to the 28 after a 2-yard Dayne as the quarter ends.
Tags: Houston Texans