COIN TOSS: The captains are at midfield for the coin toss. As the visitors, the Broncos get to make the call. They win the toss, and elect to defer to the second half. Indianapolis will receive to start the game, and we’re almost underway.
OPENING KICKOFF After a return by Chad Simpson to the 20-yard line, Spencer Larsen is down. He walks off the field flanked by trainers.
Q1 14:53: Now the defense is on the field, and the starters consist of Vonnie Holliday, Ronald Fields, Ryan McBean, Elvis Dumervil, D.J. Williams, Mario Haggan, Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman, Ty Law, Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill. The first play of the game is a completion from Peyton Manning to Pierre Garcon down to the 49-yard line, before Goodman forces the receiver out of bounds.
Q1 13:50: Manning drops back and finds tight end Gijon Robinson near the first-down marker. The refs mark the spot, and the Colts are left with a 3rd-and-2. Manning drops back and gets the ball quickly to Joseph Addai, who is tackled immediately by Law, but the running back stretches the ball out for the first down.
Q1 10:40: After three Manning completions, the Colts have a first down in the red zone. 1st-and-10 brings a handoff to Mike Hart, who picks up three yards. On second down, Manning floats a pass to the end zone, which is caught by tight end Jacob Tamme, but he was out of bounds. On 3rd-and-7, Manning lines up in the shotgun. He finds Dallas Clark in the middle of the field to set up 1st-and-goal at the 5-yard line.
*INJURY UPDATE: Larsen is questionable to return to the game with a back injury.
Q1 9:16: It is 3rd-and-goal after an Addai run for no gain, and a Manning incompletion. The quarterback lines up in the shotgun, takes the snap and fires to Austin Collie in the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point is up and in, and the Colts jump out to an early lead.
COLTS 7, BRONCOS 0
Q1 9:06: Eddie Royal is back deep to receive the kickoff, and he does so at the goal line. He takes the ball out to the 25-yard line, but there’s a flag on the return. Holding on the Broncos — 10-yard penalty.
Q1 9:01: The offense is on the field, led by Kyle Orton at quarterback. The offensive line consists of Ryan Clady, Russ Hochstein, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Tyler Polumbus. Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal are at receiver, Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler are at tight end and Knowshon Moreno is in the backfield at running back. The unit will start at its own 11-yard line.
Q1 8:55: On 1st-and-10, Orton hands off to Moreno, who finds space to the 15-yard line. Scheffler is down after the play.
Q1 8:47: The tight end walks off the field flanked by trainers. On 2nd-and-6, Orton lines up in the shotgun. He drops back and fires to Moreno on a screen pass, and the running back picks up four yards to set up 3rd-and-2. On the ensuing play, Correll Buckhalter is hit behind the line of scrimmage by Gary Brackett, and Mitch Berger is on to punt.
Q1 7:28: After Berger’s 50-yard punt, T.J. Rushing picks up 12 yards on the return before being taken down by Darcel McBath and Richard Quinn. The Colts will take over on their own 44-yard line.
**INJURY UPDATE: Scheffler is probable to return to the game with a back injury.
Q1 7:23: Addai moves the chains on first down with a 12-yard run. Manning rushes the Colts back up to the line and tries to get a pass to Garcon, but it is broken up, setting up 2nd-and-10.
Q1 6:30: The Colts have a 3rd-and-2 after an eight-yard gain on a run by Addai. On the next play, Manning finds Addai down the sideline after he streaked out of the backfield. It is a 25-yard gain to the Denver 11-yard line.
Q1 5:20: Donald Brown picks up a yard on a first-down run before Manning tries to connect with Hart out of the backfield — the pass sails incomplete, setting up 3rd-and-9 at the 10-yard line. Manning sets up in the shotgun and fires complete to Clark for a touchdown. Matt Stover’s extra point is up and in, and the Colts increase their lead.
COLTS 14, BRONCOS 0
Q1 5:04: Royal is back deep to receive Pat McAfee’s kickoff. The kick sails about eight yards into the end zone, and Royal takes a knee for a touchback. The offense will take over at the 20-yard line.
Q1 4:57: Orton fakes a handoff, turns around and fires to Marshall, who avoids a tackle and picks up 14 yards. On the ensuing first down, Orton hands off to Buckhalter, who picks up six yards to the 40-yard line. That sets up 2nd-and-4, and Buckhalter again gets the handoff, bursting forward for a first down at midfield.
Q1 3:28: On first down, Buckhalter gets another carry, and he picks up four yards. On second down, Orton fakes a quick screen pass before turning around to hand off to Knowshon Moreno. The rookie picks up two more yards, setting up 3rd-and-4. The Broncos hurry back up to the line, but back off and reset the play. Orton takes the snap and quickly hits Royal, but he is tackled a yard short of the first.
Q1 1:56: On 4th-and-1 from the Indianapolis 41-yard line, the offense is still on the field. It’s a handoff to Moreno with Peyton Hillis in the game as a lead blocker, but Moreno is stopped for no gain — turnover on downs.
Q1 1:38: Manning tests the defense on a deep pass to Garcon, but Goodman breaks it up at the last second. On second down, Addai picks up six yards on a run to the sideline. That makes it 3rd-and-4, and Manning is lined up in the shotgun. He takes his time, snaps the ball and fires toward Addai, but the pass falls incomplete as Robert Ayers gets a hit on Manning. Royal fields the ensuing punt at the 13-yard line on a fair catch.
Q1 0:57: Moreno is taken down for a loss of two on first down. Now 2nd-and-12 on the 11-yard line, Orton drops back into the shotgun formation before finding Marshall. The receiver dances downfield, making defender after defender miss while his teammates block for him. In the end he picks up 19 yards to the 30-yard line.
Q1 0:00: Melvin Bullitt was injured on the play, but walked off the field and the clock began to run again, bringing the first quarter to a close. At the end of the first frame, Indy leads it 14-0.
Q2 14:47: Orton can’t find anyone downfield on first down, so he scrambles out of bounds just past the line of scrimmage for no gain. On second down, Moreno picks up four yards to set up 3rd-and-6. The third-down play is a handoff to Moreno, who is stopped before the first-down marker. He picks up two yards on the play. Berger is in to punt, and there’s a flag on the play. It’s an illegal formation on the Broncos, which tacks on five yards to the end of the return. The Colts will start at their own 29-yard line.
Q2 13:01: Manning drops back and fires to Reggie Wayne for a 10-yard pickup and a first down. On the next play, Addai takes the carry forward for a gain of six. That sets up 2nd-and-4, and Manning tries to connect with Garcon, but Goodman breaks up the pass. It looks like it’s a completion followed by a fumble, and D.J. Williams dives in to recover the ball. The refs blow the whistle and throw a flag, however, saying the pass was incomplete and calling Williams for a 15-yard penalty for a late hit. That sets up the Colts with a first down at their own 40-yard line.
Q2 11:37: Addai picks up six yards on second down after an incompletion on first down. On 3rd-and-4, Manning lines up in the shotgun. He takes his time before calling for the ball, then fires for Clark, but a hit by Haggan drives the ball out of his hands for an incompletion.
Q2 10:50: The offense is still on the field on fourth down, and Manning floats a pass into the arms of Clark, who picks up the first down after a 22-yard pickup. It’s now 1st-and-10 for the Colts at the Denver 12-yard line.
Q2 9:37: Addai picks up five yards on a run on first down, then follows that up by gaining four more on second down. On 3rd-and-1 at the 3-yard line, Addai takes another carry to set up 1st-and-goal at the 1-yard line.
Q2 8:02: Denver calls its first timeout.
Q2 7:58: Manning connects with Clark for a touchdown. Clark is down after the play, but jogs off to the sideline moments later. The extra point is up and in.
COLTS 21, BRONCOS 0
Q2 7:52: Royal fields the kickoff about seven yards deep in the end zone, kneeling for a touchback. On first down, Orton rolls out to his right and fires toward Scheffler, but the pass falls incomplete. On 2nd-and-10, Orton is in the shotgun. He fakes a handoff before getting the ball quickly to Marshall in the flat. The receiver picks up five yards before being pushed out of bounds. On 3rd-and-5, Orton finds Marshall yet again. The receiver hits the brakes and turns around, slowing down his pursuing defenders and giving him room to pick up 23 yards to the 48-yard line.
Q2 6:31: Orton hits Jabar Gaffney for a quick 16-yard first down. On 1st-and-10 at the Indianapolis 36-yard line, Moreno takes a carry, picking up six yards. The following play brings a completion to Daniel Graham for a first down. The Broncos hurry back up to the line, and Orton hands off to Moreno. The rookie takes the ball down to about the 20-yard line — a four-yard gain.
Q2 4:26: Orton tries to set up a screen to Moreno, but the running back is taken down after a gain of one. A Colts defensive player is down after the play.
Q2 4:11: On 3rd-and-5 at the Indy 19-yard line, the offense steps up to the line. Orton is in the shotgun with Moreno to his right. He fires a pass to Marshall, who hauls it in at the 11-yard line for the first down.
Q2 2:28: Orton fakes a quick screen pass then hands off to Moreno, who picks up three quick yards. On second down, Orton gets the ball to Marshall at the 5-yard line. That makes it 3rd-and-4, and Orton is in the shotgun. Indianapolis calls its first timeout of the half.
Q2 2:27: Orton drops back to the shotgun, takes the snap and fires for Marshall — touchdown. Matt Prater is in to kick the extra point, and it’s through the uprights, putting a dent in the Indy lead.
COLTS 21, BRONCOS 7
Q2 2:19: Prater’s kickoff is fielded at about the 2-yard line, and taken out to the 19. Manning is in the shotgun for the Colts’ first play of the drive. He completes to Addai, who is tackled by D.J. Williams after a six-yard gain. That takes the clock down to the two-minute warning.
Q2 2:00: Goodman breaks up a pass on second down, and it looks like it could be a completion followed by a fumble, which was recovered by the Broncos — but the refs rule it was an incompletion. On the next play, the Colts are whistled for a false start, making it 3rd-and-9 at the 20-yard line. Manning is in the shotgun and he fires downfield under pressure. It looks like there was a little miscommunication, as the pass sails to open field incomplete. Royal is back deep to receive the ensuing McAfee punt. The 34-yard punt takes a Broncos bounce — into the hands of Hill, who is tackled immediately. The Broncos have the ball at their own 46-yard line.
Q2 1:16: A Moreno run is followed by a screen pass to the rookie, netting a total of nine yards. A run on 3rd-and-1 goes for no gain. That makes it 4th-and-1, and the offense is still on the field. Moreno is hit behind the line of scrimmage for a turnover on downs. The Colts take over at their own 46-yard line.
Q2 0:34: After a four-yard gain to midfield, Indianapolis calls its second timeout of the half.
Q2 0:29: Manning tries to get a screen pass off, but it is intercepted by Brian Dawkins, giving the Broncos the ball. However, a 15-yard penalty is called on Darrell Reid for taking off his helmet after the play. That backs the ball up to the 36-yard line.
Q2 0:22: Denver calls its second timeout of the half after Orton finds Marshall for a gain of 16 yards.
Q2 0:18: Orton is hit by Dwight Freeney as he tried to connect with Marshall, and the pass falls incomplete. On 2nd-and-10, Orton drops back, rolls to his right and tries to find Royal, but the pass again falls incomplete. There was a flag on the play for holding, backing the ball up 10 yards but giving the Broncos another shot on second down.
Q2 0:14: On their own 44-yard line, the Broncos have a 2nd-and-19. Orton gets the ball to Marshall on a bubble screen, and the receiver picks up 12 yards to the Indianapolis 45. Denver calls its third and final timeout of the half. On third down, Orton is in the shotgun. He quickly fires to Marshall, who can’t get out of bounds, and the clock ticks down to end the half. The Colts lead the game, 21-7. Denver will receive the ball to start the second half.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com