Q3 15:00: Matt Prater is about to kick off, and Jordan Shipley is deep to receive for the Bengals. Shipley returns it to the 20-yard line.
Q3 14:45: Bernard Scott is chased out of bounds by Baraka Atkins, but there are two flags on the play. First, personal foul on the offense for a late hit. Second was a holding penalty on the offense, which was accepted by the Broncos for a 10-yard penalty. On first-and-20, J.T. O’Sullivan finds Shipley for a 5-yard gain before the receiver is brought down by Joe Mays. On second down, O’Sullivan sets up a screen pass to Scott, and the running back gets all the way to the Denver 39-yard line. Darcel McBath and Mays are down after the play.
Q3 13:38: Both players walk off the field under their own power, flanked by trainers. On the ensuing first down, the Bengals pick up another first down on an O’Sullivan-to-Jerome Simpson connection for a 21-yard gain. Scott picks up 2 yards on first down, followed by an incomplete pass intended for Andre Caldwell. On third-and-8 at the Denver 16-yard line, O’Sullivan finds Shipley, but Johnny Williams is there for the tackle short of the first-down marker. After the 6-yard gain, Dave Rayner kicks a 27-yard field goal to give Cincinnati the league.
CINCINNATI 20, DENVER 17
Q3 11:26: Matthew Willis returns the kickoff to the 22-yard line, and Brady Quinn jogs back to the huddle at quarterback. Of the starters, only Zane Beadles and J.D. Walton remain in the game. The rest of the first-teamers appear to be done for the day.
*INJURY UPDATE* McBath has an arm injury and is questionable to return to the game. Mays has a groin injury and is probable to return.
Q3 9:45: After a Bruce Hall run for no gain, Quinn connects with Willis for a 30-yard pickup down the middle of the field to the Cincinnati 48-yard line. After a Hall run for a loss of 3, Quinn looks deep once again, this time to Patrick Carter, but the receiver can’t quite haul it in and it falls off his fingertips. On third down, Quinn is sacked to bring out Colquitt for a punt. The Broncos are called for delay of game, giving Colquitt a little more room to work with. He gets the punt off on fourth-and-23, where Shipley fields it inside the 20. The rookie gets out to about the 37-yard line. It was a 44-yard punt and a 21-yard return.
Q3 8:41: The defense is on the field, and Tim Tebow is warming up on the sideline. On first down, James Johnson picks up a yard. On second down, O’Sullivan is sacked by Jammie Kirlew to bring up third-and-13. On the next play, O’Sullivan finds Johnson again, but Alphonso Smith takes down the back after a gain of 6. Kevin Huber is back to punt, with Perrish Cox deep to receive. The rookie muffs the punt and there’s a scrum to see who recovered it — it’s Cincinnati’s ball.
Q3 6:40: The Bengals will take over at the Denver 12-yard line, but Cox is down after the play.
Q3 6:39: After Cox walked off the field flanked by two trainers, O’Sullivan and the Bengals get their drive going again. With no one open downfield, the quarterback takes off before being taken down by Baraka Atkins. It was a gain of 3 yards. On second down, James Johnson is swallowed up after a gain of 2, bringing up third-and-5. On the ensuing play, O’Sullivan is sacked by a diving Atkins for a loss of 6. Dave Rayner is in for a field goal attempt, which is nearly blocked by Tony Carter. The kicker gets it off, however, and drives home the 31-yarder to extend the Cincinnati lead to six.
CINCINNATI 23, DENVER 17
**INJURY UPDATE** Cox’s injury is just cramping, and is probable to return.
Q3 4:39: After a 28-yard kickoff return by Cassius Vaughn, boos rain down from the crowd as Tim Tebow marches onto the field for his first play as a Bronco. He fakes a handoff before rolling to his right and finding Marquez Branson for a pickup of 5 yards. On second down, he hands off to Bruce Hall for no gain, bringing a large reaction from Bengals defender Michael Johnson. On third down, Tebow lines up in the shotgun. He drops back and fires deep to Willis, who has beaten his man. The receiver has the pass in his hands and drops it, bringing up fourth down.
Q3 2:59: Colquitt booms a 52-yard punt, which is downed at the 8-yard line, where the Cincinnati offense takes over. On first down, O’Sullivan fakes a handoff before finding Jerome Simpson for an 18-yard gain. The next play brings a run by Johnson for a gain of 4. Johnson takes another handoff on the next play, picking up 15 yards.
Q3 1:15: After an incompletion, it’s second-and-10, and O’Sullivan hands off to Johnson yet again. The back picks up a first down before being tackled by David Bruton. It’s now first-and-10 for Cincinnati at the Denver 43-yard line. After an incompletion on the following play, O’Sullivan appears to fumble the ball on a sack — but the ruling on the field is that it was an incomplete pass, bringing up third-and-10. The third-down play has O’Sullivan in the shotgun. The quarterback drops back and fires toward Daniel Coats, and the tight end hauls it in for a 16-yard gain, bringing the third quarter to a close.
Q4 15:00: A new Bengals quarterback has entered the game — Jordan Palmer, Carson’s younger brother. He hands off to Johnson for no gain, and on second down lofts a pass deep toward Simpson that flies out of bounds incomplete — but Tony Carter is called for pass interference, giving Cincinnati a first down at the 4-yard line.
Q4 13:32: A 3-yard run by Johnson to the 1-yard line is followed by a run for no gain — the back was tackled by Ben Garland — bringing up third-and-1 at the 1. On the next play, Johnson is drilled in the air short of the goal line, but one ref runs in late with a touchdown call. Rayner’s extra point is good, and the Bengals now lead 30-17.
CINCINNATI 30, DENVER 17
Q4 12:47: Cassius Vaughn is back to receive the kickoff for the Broncos. The rookie steps out of bounds at the 26-yard line after fielding it 2-yards deep in his end zone. Tebow is back in at quarterback. On first down, he hands off to Hall, who is brought down for a loss of a yard. Second down brings a pass from Tebow under pressure — a quick dump off to Britt Davis for a gain of 7. The attendance has been announced as 51,278 fans, by the way. On third down, Tebow is in the shotgun. The rookie drops back and fires toward Willis, who can’t haul it in. Colquitt is back in to punt, and he kicks it to about the 18-yard line. The Bengals have another productive punt return, as Quan Cosby gets out to the Denver 39-yard line after the 50-yard punt — it was a 43-yard return.
Q4 10:32: After a 5-yard completion, Jordan Palmer drops back and hands off to Johnson. The running back picks up 2 yards, bringing up third-and-3. On third down, Palmer drops back into the shotgun. He takes the snap and takes off when no one is open downfield, running for the first down himself.
Q4 8:57: Perrish Cox is in on the tackle on first down — a run for no gain. On second down, Palmer’s pass is tipped and falls incomplete. Third-and-10 brings a bootleg from Palmer after no one is open downfield. He sprints toward the sideline and leaps to dive up and over Alphonso Smith for a first down before giving the cornerback a tap on the helmet.
Q4 7:05: Chris Baker was shaken up on a run by Cedric Peerman for no gain, but he is walking off the field under his own power. Second down brings another run by Peerman for a gain of 6 to the Denver 11-yard line, setting up third-and-4. The following play is another run, but Jeff Stehle and Ben Garland are there for the stop short of the first down marker. On fourth down, Rayner is in for another field goal attempt. The 26-yarder is good, extending the Cincinnati lead.
CINCINNATI 33, DENVER 17
Q4 5:35: Vaughn is back deep to field the kickoff. He gets it out to the 16-yard line, where Tebow and the offense take over. On first down, Tebow is nearly sacked but he gets the pass off — it falls incomplete. On second down, Tebow drops back and gets a pass off to Hall for a gain of 6. That makes it third-and-4 at the 22-yard line. On the next play, Tebow lines up in the shotgun. The rookie fires to Alric Arnett’s back shoulder, and the fellow first-year player adjusts to make the catch for a 21-yard gain.
Q4 4:28: Hall picks up a yard on first down, and Tebow drops back on second down before rolling to his right and being taken down for a loss of two. On third-and-11, Tebow lines up in the shotgun and doesn’t see a blitzer, who hits him and forces a fumble. The Bengals pick it up and run it in for a touchdown — but Head Coach Josh McDaniels and the Broncos are challenging the call on the field of a fumble.
Q4 3:37: The refs rule that his arms was going forward, reversing the call and deeming it an incomplete pass. On fourth down, the offense remains on the field, but J.D. Walton seemed to think Tebow was under center when he was in the shotgun. The snap never gets to Tebow, who is forced to dive forward to pick it up and run for a handful of yards before being tackled for a turnover on downs.
Q4 2:00: The clock runs down to the two-minute warning after three Bengals running plays that has moved Cincinnati to the Denver 24-yard line — second-and-1.
Q4 1:59: The Bengals are called for a false start, making it second-and-6. Jammie Kirlew is there for the stop on the next play, bringing up third-and-3 after a run by Johnson. As the clock continues to wind down, Johnnie Williams sprints into the backfield to put an end to a fullback carry for a loss of 2 on third down, making it fourth-and-5. The Broncos call a timeout. The Bengals elect to go for it on fourth down, firing a pass toward tight end Chase Coffman inside the 10-yard line, but it falls incomplete, and Denver will take over on downs.
Q4 1:09: Tebow is back in under center at his own 27-yard line. On first down, he lofts a screen pass to Hall, who is taken down hard at the 44-yard line. On the following play, he dumps off a pass to Hall who picks up 9 yards before the Broncos call their second timeout of the half.
Q4 0:40: Tebow finds Branson for a first down as the clock continues to run. On the next play, he rolls to his right and fires deep to Britt Davis, who hauls in the pass and runs out of bounds at the Cincinnati 7-yard line. It’s a 33-yard connection. On the next play — with 12 seconds remaining — Tebow is in the shotgun. He buys time, rolls to his right and fires to Branson in the end zone — but refs rule that the tight end trapped the ball and the pass was incomplete. The booth decides to review the play, however.
Q4 0:03: The ruling on the field is confirmed, and the Broncos are left with one last play — second-and-goal — from the 7-yard line. Tebow is in the shotgun with Ball to his left. The rookie drops back before taking off and powering his way past two defenders into the end zone — one of which stays down after the play. Cincinnati is charged a timeout for the injury. Matt Prater kicks the extra point as time expires to give the Broncos 24 points in the game — a 33-24 loss to Cincinnati in Denver’s first preseason game of 2010. It was Cincinnati’s second preseason game. The Broncos will be back in action this Saturday at INVESCO Field at Mile High against the Detroit Lions. Look for more coverage from tonight’s game on DenverBroncos.com in the coming hours.
CINCINNATI 33, DENVER 24
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com