2:03 P.M. MST: “All ready!”
Once more, we heard those words, the clarion call of the late Darrent Williams, on INVESCO Field at Mile High. Once more, we saw Darrent Williams’ jersey on the field.
About 35 minutes ago, the jersey was carried by Nick Ferguson, who brought it into the defensive backs’ huddle as they gathered for a swift, yet emotional conference on the field before proceeding into team warmups.
After holding the jersey aloft, Ferguson put it on as his teammates practiced their paces as a team while he stood nearby, consigned to injured reserve.
The Broncos’ efforts to honor Williams and Damien Nash won’t see them making it to Super Bowl XLII, their goal for this year. But for today, they will once more strap on the helmets and play on, to remember, to reflect, and to never forget.
2:13 P.M. MST: Denver wins the coin toss and will receive the kickoff.
2:16 P.M. MST: Here we go on a gorgeous winter’s afternoon … and Andre Hall is stopped at the Denver 17. Javon Walker is in the starting lineup, as is Chad Mustard as the Broncos open in a one-back set.
2:17 P.M. MST: First play … Jay Cutler to Walker … nine yards to the right sideline. Nice catch with which to begin the game.
2:17 P.M. MST: Chad Mustard lumbers up the right sideline and then offers a little shoulder shove to Chad Greenway … 14 yards and the Broncos are aon the move at their 40.
2:20 P.M. MST: The drive peters out thanks to a false-start penalty and a pair of incompletions … now we see the debut of Sam Paulescu, who has a fairly unusual crouch out of which he punts … the punt is a low line drive that hits outside the 20-yard-line and bounces to the Denver 16, from which Moore returns it to the 21. Gross of 37 yards, net of 32.
2:24 P.M. MST: Nice pursuit on the first couple of defensive plays … Vikings have third-and-6 at their 25 … Vikings go to a spread formation, shotgun with three wideouts to the near side … screen pass to Chester Taylor, and the Vikings have 10 yards and a first down.
2:27 P.M. MST: Not good … Vikings moving fairly efficiently, picking up 29 more yards on a Taylor run to first-and-10 at the Denver 15.
2:28 P.M. MST: After an incompletion, it’s Mewelde Moore for 12 yards to the left side … Minnesota’s O-line is pushing Denver’s front back several yards off the snap on this series.
2:30 P.M. MST: No one sitting in the northeast corner of the stands thought Taylor had a 3-yard toucdhown, but the officials did … Taylor swept right and appeared to be pushed out of bounds by D.J. Williams before crossing the goal line or hitting the pylon … the ball also came out of his grasp as it hit the pylon, for what it’s worth … Denver is challenging the on-field call of a Minnesota touchdown.
2:33 P.M. MST: Touchback … the play is ruled a Taylor fumble out of the end zone … Denver football at its 20 with 7:35 left in the quarter.
2:34 P.M. MST: Not a splendid start to the series … a 1-yard pass, a 7-yard loss on a botched snap that Selvin Young recoverd.
2:35 P.M. MST: Cutler is flushed, steps up and fires incomplete for Walker.
2:36 P.M. MST: Paulescu’s second punt is a low line drive, but the numbers will be impressive — a gross tally of 49 yards and a net of 46 after Moore ran it three yards to the Minnesota 40.
2:39 P.M. MST: Nice tackle by Champ Bailey to hold Minnesota to a 4-yard gain on first-and-10 … next play, second-and-6, and Adrian Peterson plows his way up the left side for five yards.
2:40 P.M. MST: Peterson for four yards and the first down.
2:41 P.M. MST: No one overpursuing on the Broncos defense … allows them to stop Peterson for no gain on first-and-10 at the Denver 47 … next play, Jackson looks for Troy Williamson and a potential interception is dropped by Hamza Abdullah … would have been a great play to procure it, but he’ll still kick himself afterwards … even more so after Chester Taylor darts up the middle on third-and-10 for 22 yards and the first down.
2:44 P.M. MST: Eight yards on a third-down pass … Vikings now 5-of-5 on third downs today.
2:45 P.M. MST: An outstanding play by Champ Bailey — an eighth man in the box — as he came in with Nate Webster and deflected a Jackson pass after the passer was forced to the right side … but he couldn’t quite get it. One play later, Peterson runs for eight yards as the quarter ends.
Tags: Minnesota Vikings